YESIM OZSOY is a writer/director/performer and founder of an independent theatre and performance space in Istanbul; GalataPerform. She is also the initiator of New Text Project which began in 2006 to develop playwriting in Turkey. At its 13th year, the project still acts as a great force in developing new writing in Turkey. She has a BA in Sociology at Bosphorus University. During her BA she joined Studio Players Acting School. After graduation she attended Sarah Lawrence College and Columbia University in New York. She got an MA in Performance Studies at Northwestern University.
She performed in New York (Year 2084, play alla turca) and Chicago (Red Apple and/or Other Things, Otto-turk). On her return to Istanbul she founded the GalataPerform’s Theatre Company with which she has created and produced numerous plays which she wrote and directed. Her plays have been translated into English, French, German, Catalan, Russian and Italian. She was nominated and attained awards for her work as playwright and director. With her plays she has attended festivals nationally and internationally. With GalataPerform she not only performed plays but also initiated projects and festivals. Two of these are precursors; Visibility Project (2004-2012) which was a project about the relation of the the theater space with the surrounding neighborhood utilizing all spaces in the district of Galata.New Text Project (2006-…) which dealt with and initiated the development of new writing in Turkey. In 2010 she was invited to Wiesbaden Staatstheater to write and direct a play called Turkiye-Almanya 0-0. Recent plays include Istanbul Testimonials which is a collaborative piece written by four new playwrights of New Text Project about the Gezi events in Istanbul. The play was based on the personal experiences of the playwrights and a mixed editing of story/fiction/ reality and was presented as a play reading at teatr.doc in Moscow. In her project Love & Fascism staged at Istanbul International Theater Festival, she once again worked with the texts of four different playwrights (including her own) from Romania (Gianina Carbunariu), Scotland (Linda McLean) and Spain (Helena Tornero).
Her play İz / Stain was performed as an installation of 8 cameras and live media in combination with live performance was at the core of the play. With her play she was nominated for ‘best director’ and also toured in Germany. Her play Old Child was the result of a combination of documentary and fictive theater. Combining the real life stories of four children who were killed in recent history of the Middle East she created a utopic atmosphere where they fictively could grow up and live a happy life. The performance and her play was defined as “post realistic”.
Her play Limping Tales from Istanbul premiered at the GREC Festival of Barcelona in July 2017 at Teatre Lliure. The play was produced by a Catalan theatre group, was performed in Catalan. It was the first time a Turkish playwright’s play to be performed at the GREC Festival.
Her recent play House of Hundred, is part of a multi-national co-production titled Haunted Houses on the concept of nation, developed for War or Peace: Crossroads of History 1918-2018 Festival with the collaboration of GalataPerform (Turkey), The
Red House Centre for Culture and Debate (Bulgaria), Experimental Stage/-1 (Greece), Theater Neumarkt (Switzerland) and Studio / Maxim Gorki Theatre (Germany) and with the support from the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The play premiered in Berlin Maxim Gorki Theatre under the title HAUNTED HOUSES within the War or Peace Festival on October 19th, 2018. In Istanbul the play premiered at the Istanbul International Festival on November 30th 2018 and continued its performances in Istanbul, Izmir and abroad. She’s still actively working as the General Artistic Director of GalataPerform and New Text Project.