Mehmet Ali Alabora, a successful young actor, has brought his experiences gained from working on a television news program between 1995 and 1998 to the stage with his solo play ‘Muhabir’ (The Reporter). The play, which has English subtitles as well, has already been performed in Europe
The solo play entitled “Muhabir” (The Reporter) is being performed at Garajistanbul with English subtitles.
The 1990s were very significant for Turkey in terms of social and political matters. During these years as political Islam grew in strength and the Kurdish problem became more violent, the media landscape underwent broad changes.
Turkey’s evolving political and social environment allowed private television channels to open as alternatives to the state-owned Turkish Radio and Television, or TRT. Unlike TRT, private channels reported news to the public with various viewpoints and analyses. Although they were sometimes fined and banned, the new generation of channels continued to broadcast.
Those years were marked by profound change throughout the country. Mehmet Ali Alabora, who is a successful actor today, was 17 at the time. Unable to stay indifferent about the changes in the country, he took an acting education and decided to become a “reporter” by his own definition.
While continuing his education in the conservatory, Alabora started working as a reporter for the news program A Takımı (A Team) on a private channel. His adventure with reporting started in 1995 and ended three years later when he was 20. Now an actor, Alabora decided to write a play examining his three-year experience and brought the play to the stage under the directorship of Övül Avkıran and Mustafa Avkıran.
The solo play entitled “Muhabir” (The Reporter) is being performed at Garajistanbul with English subtitles. European audiences already saw the performance last season, and there are plans to continue the play’s European tour in the coming months.
‘Reporter’ is an interrogation
“I am trying to review and interrogate the past with this play,” said Alabora in an interview with the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review. He did not, however, wish to answer many questions about the play. He said, “I don’t like speaking about what I have gone through. The play already explains everything.”
Although the three years spent as a reporter seemed to be a short period of time, it was very important for him, he said. “Yes, three years of experience is not enough to become professional in a business, but as a 17-year-old young person, my experiences were important to me. I closely witnessed many incidents that left their mark on Turkey’s history,” he said.
European viewers are curious
Although the play features incidents about Turkey’s internal affairs, it has attracted attention in European countries as well. Audiences in five countries including Austria had the opportunity to attend the play. Alabora observed the audiences while he was on stage. “We staged the play in Austria the last time out. The viewers did not have a comprehensive knowledge of Turkey’s internal matters but I saw that they were trying to perceive it. They were asking questions after each play,” he said.
Alabora said the European performances of “Reporter” would resume in February.
Reporting the Wild West in Turkey
Recalling an interesting event while working as a reporter, Alabora said, “We received an urgent announcement from the radio in the middle of the night. It said some ‘horses have run away.’ We thought that it was an encoded message and went to the relevant place with the team. We learned that the announcement was really about lost horses but they were found late at night and brought to the police department by police cars. It was like a Wild West film. I still laugh when I remember it.”