Genco Erkal

Theatre Actor/Actress, Theatre Director

28 March, 1938
Istanbul University Department of Psychology

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 translated plays.

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).



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