Review: ON THE PERIPHERY at Potrero Stage

Review: LET THE RIGHT ONE IN at Berkeley Repertory Theatre

The plight of social outcasts living on the periphery of 1990's Istanbul is hauntingly presented in Golden Threads and Crowded Fire's production of Sedef Ecer's emotionally somber On the Periphery. Buoyed by excellent performances, direction, scenic design and multimedia projections, Ecer provides a seldom presented glimpse into the reality of the dispossessed of society; young lovers Tamar and Azad eager to leave their slum for new opportunities in Paris, villagers Dilsha and Bilo, whose urban migration turns from excitement to nightmare, and gypsy wanderer Kibele, a pariah living on the periphery of the periphery.

Review: LET THE RIGHT ONE IN at Berkeley Repertory Theatre
Azad (Zaya Kolia) and Tamar (Leila Rosa) listen to Sultane (Ayla Yarkut) sing.

The lives of these characters are tough, but their resilience against the odds shows their inner strength. Azad (Zaya Kolia) and Tamar (Leila Rosa) watch TV reality queen Sultane (Ayla Yarkut) on their rickety cable connection dreaming of immigrating to the EU. Sultane, an Oprah-esque manufacturer of dreams provides the much-needed humor balance of the play. Hawking her sponsors pot and pans and quoting false Plato quotes, Yarkut represents the hopes of the poor to see their wishes realized.

Review: LET THE RIGHT ONE IN at Berkeley Repertory Theatre
Sultane of the Periphery (Ayla Yarkut) dispenses miracles and wishes.

Dilsha (Sofia Ahmad) and husband Bilo (Lijesh Krishnan) are following their dream of creating a community near a trash heap on the other side the periphery, the border between modern Istanbul with its skyscrapers and seaside with the slums of huts and dirt roads. Building their Genies and Angels Hill slum from scratch is a dream realized, but it al falls apart when a polluting pesticide factory begins the decay and destruction of their slum. Kibele (Olivia Rosaldo-Pratt) is the outsider's outsider- reviled for her practice of ancient magic and spells, she's a wanderer still in a land of wanderers.

Review: LET THE RIGHT ONE IN at Berkeley Repertory Theatre
The gypsy Kibele (Olicia Rosaldo-Pratt) and Dilsha (Sofia Ahmad) bond over their respective pregnancies.

The two generations stories will eventually merge providing a continuity of the hard struggle these people endure with a brief glimpse of hope to alleviate the abject misery presented. Ecer's script had a folk-tale cadence with a resounding authenticity. Director Gilley allows the actors to reveal the story simply but with the strength of their characters will. Scenic Designer Kaye Boyd, Lighting Designer Cassie Barnes, Projection Designer Nima Dehghani and Costume Designer Maggie Whitaker take us into the realistic slum environment. Sound Designer James Ard supplies the music and sounds of the Turkish culture.

Review: LET THE RIGHT ONE IN at Berkeley Repertory Theatre
Kibele (Olivia Rosaldo-Pratt) listens as Dilsha (Sofia Ahmad) and Bilo (Lijesh Krishman) speak of their dreams.

On the Periphery is powerful theatre providing an opportunity for us comfortable Americans to connect with the millions of immigrants reaching for the dream of safety, the prospect of work and acceptance in a new land.

On the Periphery continues through April 4, 2020 at Potrero Stage, 1695 18th Street, San Francisco, Tickets available at or by calling (415) 992-6677.

Photo by David Allen Studio.


Cast and Creative Team Revealed For OTHELLO at San Jose Stage Company

San Jose Stage Company has announced the full cast and creative team for The Stage’s upcoming Jazz-Infused Adaptation of William Shakespeare’s OTHELLO.

Review: LET THE RIGHT ONE IN at Berkeley Repertory Theatre

What did our critic think of LET THE RIGHT ONE IN at Berkeley Repertory Theatre?

San Francisco Opera's Italian Roots Celebrated in New Museo Italo Americano Exhibition

The Museo Italo Americano celebrates the 100th anniversary of San Francisco Opera with a new exhibition: BRAVO—Celebrating San Francisco Opera, Its Italian Roots and Legacy. Presented in partnership with San Francisco Opera and Museum of Performance + Design, the exhibition runs through October 22, 2023 at the Museo Italo Americano located at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco.

Merola Opera Program kicks off its 2023 Summer Festival With METAMORPHOSIS

San Francisco’s internationally acclaimed Merola Opera Program kicks off its 2023 Summer Festival with Metamorphosis: Recovery, Renewal, and Rebirth, an uplifting vocal and piano concert featuring a rich array of songs that explore the many facets of transformation.

From This Author - Steve Murray

Steve Murray is a writer for Cabaret Scenes magazine, contributor to ForAllEvents and now BroadwayWorld. He started writing rock reviews for his college newspaper in the 1970’s, produced a varie... (read more about this author)


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