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Anchor 1

shadow theatre

October - November 2022



-virtual and in-person-

with puppetmaster Ayhan Hulagu

guest speaker Mehmet Ozbek

produced by Duygu Gun

Magical Curtain is a Karagoz performance group to introduce TRADITIOnAL Anatolian Shadow Puppetry in the Bay Area. as a means to express our experiences here as immigrants MAGICAL CURTAIN uses the TRADITIONAL art form as a connector between cultures. 

Karagoz is known as one of the oldest shadow performances in the world dating back to nearly 700 years. Karagoz was inscribed on the UNESCO representative list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity in 2009.

Magical Curtain is an Anatolian Arts Institute project supported by CMES -Center for Middle Eastern Studies at University of California, Berkeley-, and a recipient of YBCA Artist Power Convenings grant that aims to build the capacity of artists and artist-led organizations in service of their communities. The project is fiscally sponsored by SOMArts.



Guest speaker Asst. Prof. Dr. Mehmet Ozbek 

October 26th, 2022  5 pm - 7 pm (Pacific Time)

Location: Online 


  • Our guest speaker will present traditional Anatolian theatre forms.

  • Puppetmaster Ayhan Hulagu will make an introduction to the history of shadow theatre driving concepts from many traditions worldwide, elaborating on the cross-cultural journey of Karagoz throughout Anatolian region and beyond. 

  • Puppetmaster Ayhan Hulagu will talk about the history of the Karagoz and demonstrate how it is performed (as listed on the UNESCO intangible heritage list).

  • Participants will listen to the traditional music specially made for Karagoz art.

  • Participants will explore a classic shadow play text and learn the traditional sounds of characters.

*The recording link of the event will be shared with Weekend Intensive participants.



November 5th and 6th, 2022 10 am-4 pm.

Location:​ Center for Middle Eastern Studies

              University of California, Berkeley

              340 Stephens Hall, Berkeley

              CA 94720-2314

  • Participants will learn how to make two main characters for their own shadow play.

  • Participants will have the chance to study puppets made following traditional methods established over 700 hundred years ago.

  • Participants will have the chance to perform part of the Karagoz show on an original stage with Ayhan Hulagu.

  • The workshop and the end show will be recorded partially and shared publicly.

*The recording link of the Intro to Karagoz event will be shared with Weekend Intensive participants.


Ayhan Hulagu is a United States-based actor. After obtaining his college degree, he joined the Sahika Tekand Studio Players in Istanbul, an established theater group, to further advance his acting skills. Hulagu brought his artistic experience to the U.S with extraordinary ability artist status. He founded Karagoz Theatre Company in the U.S. in 2017. His shows debuted in Washington, D.C., and were played in Miami, California, Texas, and New York City. As part of his projects in the U.S, Hulagu organized workshops and exhibitions to win new fans and audiences for a Turkish Theatre in Cornell,  MIT, Harvard University, etc. Hulagu received invitations from a number of organizations to perform; Hollywood Fringe Festival, National Puppet Festival, International Puppet Fringe NYC, Washington DC Culture Festival, Neopolis International Theatre Festival, and La MaMa Puppet S., to name a few. He frequently receives such invitations from similar organizations in the U.S, Africa, and Europe. He made history as the first artist to introduce Karagoz’s character —in its nearly 700 years of history– to Broadway.

Review his  US Karagoz Theatre Company here.



Mehmet Özbek studied acting in Anadolu University, Department of Performing Arts. During his undergraduate education, he studied acting at Akademia Teatralna im Alexandra Zelwerowicza - National Academy of Dramatic Art, Warsaw, with the Erasmus student exchange program. He has performed as an actor in many private and public theatres.
Between 2012-2013 worked as an instructor in Maltepe University. In 2012 performed as an actor in Antony and Cleopatra in Globe to Globe Theatre Festival at Shakespeare’s Globe London, UK. Became entitled to receive Tubitak’s doctoral research scholarship between 2014-2015 and attended the Department of Theaterwissenschaft in Ludwig Maximilian University, Germany. In 2015 received his Ph.D from Istanbul University, Department of Radio-Television and Cinema. Became entitled to receive Tubitak’s 2219-International Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Program and he is currently a visiting research scholar for his postdoctoral studies at the University of California – Irvine, Department of Drama. He is also a member of the International Puppet and Shadow Play Union (UNIMA – Union
International De La Marionette) - Turkey. Currently working at Aydin Adnan Menderes University, Faculty of Communication, Department of Visual Communication Design as head of Communication Technologies Program.

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