Theatre director and actor. He was born on
the 28th of March 1938 in Istanbul.
He completed his primary and secondary education in Galatasaray
High School and Robert College.
He completed Istanbul
University, Department of
Psychology in 1967. Erkal who started his theatrical career during his high
school years participated to the establishment of Young Actors Group in 1957 as
an amateur. He acted in various plays including Ayyar Hamza which was a Molière adaptation
prepared by this group, Ahmet Kutsi Tecer's Bir Pazar Günü and Tavtati
Kütüpaîi, Keloğlan and Yüzüncü Yıl Gösterisi which were
written by Young Actors all together. He became a professional with the play Çöl
Faresi which was staged in 1959 in Fodor's Town Actors. In 1963 he acted in
Arena Theatre, in the adaptation of Caragiale's Kayıp
Mektup and the adaptation of Hasek, which was called Aslan
Asker Şvayk. Within Gülriz Sururi-Engin Cezzar Group he acted in
Güngör Dilmen's Midas'ın Kulakları
(1964) and Haldun Taner's Keşanlı Ali Destanı
(1964); within Ankara Arts Theatre in Gogol's Bir
Delinin Hatıra Defteri (1965) and Brecht's Arturo Ui'nin Yükselişi (1966). In
1967-68 he made researches on theatre in countries such as Italy, France,
England and Czechoslovakia.
In 1969 he established Dostlar Tiyatrosu with Mehmet Akan, Şevket Altuğ, Ferit
Erkal, Arif Erkin and Nurten Tunç.
Aside from foreign authors such as Gorki,
Brecht, Sartre, Peter Weiss, Steinbeck, Havel and Tankred Dorst he directed
plays of Turkish authors such as Aziz Nesin, Haldun Taner, Nazım Hikmet, Can
Yücel, Refik Erduran, Vasıf Öngören, Orhan Asena and Behiç Ak. He
adapted various genres including novels, stories and poetry into theatre and
Erkal dubbed Prokofiev's Peter ile Kurt,
Stravinski's Askerin Öyküsü,
Fazıl Say's Nâzım as narrator in symphonic concerts. In 1981 he started
his cinema career with At movie of Ali Özgentürk. He played the leading
role in movies of Faize Hücum, Hakkâri'de Bir Mevsim and CamdanKalp.
He directed and acted in Haldun Taner’s famous musical play Keşanlı Ali
Destanı for TRT television.
In Avignon Festival of Paris he acted in French
language. He took part in French productions such as Nâzım Hikmet's SevdalıBulut,
Philippe Minyana's Ou vastu Jérémie and adaptation from Paulo Coelho's
famous novel The Alchimist.
In 2008, he
introduced his theatrical documentary titled Sivas
’93 he wrote and directed to audience in Turkey
and Europe. After this play he adapted one-man
theatrical play Marx in Soho written by the historian and scenarist from
USA, Howard Zinn, under the name Marx’ın Dönüşü (2009).
Genco Erkal and his friends, with their “Dostlar
Tiyatrosu”, made efforts to be a voice which addressed the sensitivity of the
audience about social issues and invited the audience to take side. This
attitude or line caused the Dostlar Tiyatrosu to face political pressure,
trials and closure.
Among the roles which granted him various
awards can be mentioned: Aslan Asker Şvayk, Bir Delinin Hatıra
Defteri, Galileo, Yalınayak Sokrates, Kerem Gibi and Can. His first award was İlhan İskender Award in
1963. Later he received awards of Ankara Association of Art-Lovers (1966), Ulvi
Uraz (1978 and 1985), Avni Dilligil (1986) and Institute of Arts (1986);
besides his roles in movies of At and Faize Hücum made him the
owner of “best male actor award” in 1982 and 1983 Antalya Altın Portakal Film
Festival. Apart from all these, he received in 2008 Pertevniyal High School
Award and in 2009 Aydın Doğan Foundation theatrical award.
Rosenbergler Ölmemeli, Ha-Me-Ka-Ha-Ha-Pe (1969), Keşanlı Ali Destanı,
Nafile Dünya, Havana Duruşması, Karagöz’ün Berberliği, Asiye Nasıl Kurtulur? (1970), Zemberek
(1971), Ezenler, Ezilenler, Başkaldıranlar (1975), Üç Kuruşluk Opera,
Ağrı Dağı Efsanesi, Her Gün Yeni Baştan, Alpagut Olayı, Sabotaj Oyunu, Gün
Dönerken (1976), İkili Oyun, Devrik Süleyman (1977), Brecht-Kabare
(1978), Yalınayak Sokrates (1985), Bay Puntila ve Uşağı Matti
(1987), Üzbik Baba, Übü, Kafkas Tebeşir Dairesi, Analık Davası (1988).