The US Karagöz Theater Company is coming to SUNY Broome Community College this weekend (April 19 and 20). Members of the community are invited to a performance of The Forest of the Witch at 1 p.m. Saturday (April 20) in the SUNY Broome Angelo Zuccolo Little Theatre. The 1.5-hour performance is free, open to the public and suitable for all ages. Seating is limited, on a first-come basis.

Karagöz shadow puppet theater is a traditional performance art, dating back 700 years to the Ottoman Empire. In 2009, this art form was inscribed on the UNESCO representative list of intangible cultural heritage of humanity for Turkiye. A Karagöz play incorporates singing, music, poetry, myth, tongue-twisters and riddles. Karagöz plays are usually humorous and feature the main characters Karagöz and Hacivat. They often are compared to Punch-and-Judy-type folkloric puppet shows.

Members of the arts community are also invited to register for a free karagoz workshop from 1 to 3 p.m. Friday (April 19) to learn about Karagoz shadow puppetry theater. No experience is needed, but participants should be willing to bring their enthusiasm and sense of adventure to the event.

To register for the workshop, email Lynda Carroll at Registration is free. The workshop at SUNY Broome will last two hours; light refreshments will be available before the workshop begins.

The company’s founder, Ayhan Hulagu, will be performing and leading the workshop. Hulagu has performed Karagöz on Broadway and at numerous universities and various international festivals in Europe, Asia and Africa.

This event is sponsored by the Division of Liberal Arts at SUNY Broome and funded through a grant from the Center for Middle East and North Africa Studies at Binghamton University.

— Barb Van Atta