In Istanbul, you’ll truly enjoy yourself. Musicals, dramas, comedies are in every corner. Number of theaters in Istanbul increased constantly in recent years. Just sit back and watch the curtains swish open in the theaters of Istanbul.
The problem for the foreign visitor is language because most performances are in Turkish. During April’s International Istanbul Theatre Festival, foreign visitors have the best chance of seeing theatre in English because some English language plays are staged. The International Istanbul Theater Festival presents the finest examples of Turkish theater. It was first held in 1989. In May each year Istanbul hosts the International Puppet Festival and it is the best time to see Karagoz (shadow puppet theatre). Karagoz is very famous not just in Istanbul, in all Turkey. Puppets are decorated with colorful paints and have movable arms and legs.
You can go to Taksim Sahnesi and the AKM for theatres. More alternative performances you can find at the Istanbul Sanat Merkezi, where the co-operation of five different theater companies organizes some interesting entertainments. Also you should look out for performances by Kum Pan Ya, Orta Oyuncular, Studyo Theatre, Tiyatro Oyunevi, and Oyuncular.
The Istanbul City Theater is the oldest of the municipal theaters in Turkey and stages almost 20 different plays every year in five theaters in various districts of Istanbul and during the summer months the Open Air Theater attracts large audiences.
The first children's theater in Turkey was also established at the Istanbul City Theater with the initiatives of Muhsin Ertugrul in 1935.
Mydonese Show land is the biggest Show Center in Istanbul which offers 16 000 m² open and 8000 m² closed area for musicals, artists, concerts and parties, shops, cafes and pubs.
There are numerous theater stages in Istanbul such as Ada Culture Center, Aksanat Production Theatre, Dusun Stage, Muammer Karaca Theatre, Orta Oyuncular, Oyuncular, Sadri Alisik Theatre, Theatre Oyunevi are in Beyoglu; Ali Poyrazoğlu Theatre, Ataturk Culture Center, Aziz Nesin Stage, Istanbul Stage Theatre, Maya, Oda Theatre AKM, Taksim Stage, Theatre Pera are in Taksim; Aziz Nesin Stage, Altan Erbulak Stage are in Bakirkoy; Abdullah Sahin Nokta Theatre, Barıs Manco Culture Center, Cagdas Stage, Haldun Taner Stage, Kadikoy Public Training Center, Tevfik Gelembe Theatre are in Kadikoy; Ortakoy Afife Jale Stage, Hamdi Saver Theatre are in Ortakoy .