From Thomas Gasser: Constellations Summer Camp

by | Jul 7, 2019 | 4 comments

The theater company I’m with will return to NYC in October and
we most likely will do some shows at Subud NYC again.. as soon as I know
something, I will send you the info.

But, there is something that we do in Turkey this summer and I think it
is an amazing project very much in line with what SICA aims at – we are
all working very hard right now to make it happen. Best wishes from Italy,


from the Open Program of the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards

from the Open Program of the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards

from the Open Program of the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards

from the Open Program of the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards








Constellations Summer Camp – August 24th to September 16, 2019.

We invite you to join us in the Constellations Summer Camp, in Turkey, from August
24th to the dawn of September 16th, at the Tiyatro Medresesi near Şirince, an old Greek
village on the hills of the Western Turkish Coast, among olive trees. Şirince is located in a
valley above Selçuk, close to the ancient city of Ephesus, and it’s easily reached from
Izmir’s international airport.

The Constellations Summer Camp will take place at the Tiyatro Medresesi, which was
initiated and founded in 2011 by Celal Mordeniz, artistic director of the Medrese and of
the theatre group Seyyar Sahne, as the first center for international artistic research,
creation and performance in Turkey. It is a complex of buildings planned on the model of
a traditional madrasa (they tell the story here). Tiyatro Medresesi is situated near the
Nesin Mathematics Village, a place dedicated to mathematics where every house seems
to be immersed in nature and yet is connected with other buildings, which during summer
the place is full of young students studying mathematics and other disciplines.

The Constellations Summer Camp, ideated and coordinated by Mario Biagini and the
Open Program in cooperation with the Tiyatro Medresesi and his director, Celal Mordeniz,
is the possibility of an encounter, an exploration of how to be together with the help of
different human practices. It is realized in collaboration with numerous partners,
colleagues and friends in the profession, as well as with experienced practitioners of
various disciplines, not necessarily related to theatre crafts. It will culminate in three days
and three nights of MedFest, a festivity that will be discovered and rehearsed during the
Constellations Summer Camp. Participants will be able to take part in the
Constellations Summer Camp for its whole duration including the MedFest, or for the
last two weeks and the MedFest, or for the last week and the MedFest.

The MedFest will start on September 13th at noon and end on September 16th at dawn.
It will include performances, meetings, dialogues, demonstrations, performative events,
convivial moments and other public activities, all resulting from the work done during the
previous weeks by individual participants and groups and by some invited guests.

The Constellations Summer Camp is a proposal deliberately open to all, that is, also to
people who are interested only in participating in discussions, dialogues, exchanging
thoughts and witnessing practices.

We call on people who perceive that the basic elements of many human activities may be
utilized in daily practice to act among and with others in the search of a future for which
we are responsible today. We call on people who, despite having aspirations that are not
directly related to the world of the arts, recognize a value in those elements of performing
arts that are not sole prerogative of cultural industry, but rather a wealth of possibilities
belonging to the individual and to civil society. Participants to the Constellations
Summer Camp can be individuals or groups engaged in fields other than theater, or in
search of their fields of action, or people interested in theater’s approach to interaction.
Also other kinds of ensembles, formal and informal groups, can apply, for example
collectives of young activists interested in the creation and development of grassroots

For the whole three weeks of the Constellations Summer Camp, the Open Program will
provide the possibility to follow different activities, which will include all elements of its
practice: work on singing and acting, improvisation with structural elements, work on
these structural elements themselves (be they living forms, as songs or dances, or sets of
“rules-of-the-game” that can be utilized as a basis for the development of a personal
technique of improvisation), and different psychophysical exercises and games. There will
also be work on two versions of the Open Choir (a participative encounter which is since
years one of the main focuses of the Open Program’s research): one version will be based
on the materials on which the Open Program works since its beginning and another
version based on Turkish, Greek, Bulgarian songs, or songs brought by participants from
other cultures and countries.

Participants who choose to be present for the whole duration of the Constellations
Summer Camp and the MedFest, and those who choose to be present for the last two
weeks and the MedFest will also work with experienced members of the Open Program
on acting fragments, individual or group scenes that they will prepare beforehand and for
which we propose as a possible topic the No-Where-Land – a real, concrete land which
exists nowhere. Textual material could be drawn from ancient or contemporary sources,
or be composed by the person herself, in the line of utopic or dystopic myths and stories.
Moreover, participants will be able to choose from a diverse array of disciplines and
practices, brought to the Constellations Summer Camp by colleagues and friends
coming from different continents: practitioners active in fields such as theatre, dance,
music, video-art, or ways of being together through elements of interaction. There will
also be occasions of theoretical discourse on these disciplines, led by scholars from
different countries.

The range of the different activities will span from philosophical practice and the exercise
of social, political or ecological thought and action, to personal techniques such as
different forms of yoga and meditation, to artisanal crafts such a carpentry, masonry,
gardening, shoemaking. All these different activities will be interwoven together in the
scansion of day and night, and some of them will often take place simultaneously. All
work and research sessions, moments of rest, opportunities for structured and informal
interaction and exchange of thought, will not follow a rigid scheme and will be modulated
on the need to discover the rhythms of the various possibilities of encounter. All activities
will soon be announced in detail.

Theatrical, musical or dance groups and ensembles are encouraged to apply for a period
of residency at the Constellations Summer Camp, during which they will be able to
rehearse and develop their works, while at the same time interacting with others. They will
present during the MedFest the stage of their rehearsals and what they have created with

Tiyatro Medresesi is operated by the colleagues from Seyyar Sahne. The complex of
buildings consists of private and common rooms, performance and rehearsal halls, a
library, a kitchen and a dining room, an amphitheater and an arched courtyard surrounded
by olive trees. The place is elegant, sober and welcoming, with arches and gardens,
common spaces in and outdoor, and workspaces with different characteristics. It is
possible to host and feed there with local produce more than a hundred people. The
Tiyatro Medresesi is not only shaped by aesthetic concerns but also by the idea of living
and creating together in a space open to the world and in relative isolation.

That’s the place we invite you to. The buildings exist, the necessity is felt, we look for its

The Open Program

Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards
Logistics for individual participants

Registration fee for the International Pedagogic Encounter: 300 euros. We foresee the
possibility of applying a lower registration fee for participants coming from countries in
economic crisis, or with low per capita income.

In addition to the registration fee, participants must cover their own food and lodging
costs. Tiyatro Medresesi offers various accommodation options, with different prices, and
will take care of preparing meals throughout the day.

Here below the different options of accommodation with their costs, which vary according
to the lengths of stay. All solutions include food, consisting in 3 full meals per day and

1) Daily accommodation costs for the entire duration of the Constellations Summer
Camp + MedFest, August 24th – September 16th:
Single room with bathroom:
Double and triple room with bathroom: Dormitory for 4 people:
Dormitory for 18, 14, 8, 6 people: Tent:
39,13 euros/day 29,14 euros/day 25,18 euros/day 21,22 euros/day 18,30 euros/day

2) Daily accommodation costs for two weeks of the Constellations Summer Camp +
MedFest, August 30th – September 16th:
Single room with bathroom:
Double and triple room with bathroom: Dormitory for 4 people:
Dormitory for 18, 14, 8, 6 people: Tent:
40,60 euros/day 30,02 euros/day 25,87 euros/day 21,71 euros/day 18,30 euros/day;

3) Daily accommodation costs for one week of the Constellations Summer Camp +
MedFest, September 6th – 16th:
Single room with bathroom:
Double and triple room with bathroom: Dormitory for 4 people:
Dormitory for 18, 14, 8, 6 people: Tent:
51,91 euros/day 36,81 euros/day 31,15 euros/day 25,48 euros/day 21,71 euros/day
Registration and information:



  1. This is really interesting but a bit confusing. I assume that this activity is not an official Subud activity but one organized by an organization that a Subud member happens to work for. Of course it is nice to read about what Subud members are doing in their lives. However this article also promotes a specific event (in Turkey) but as you don’t make clear whether this is an activity that is organized by or for Subud members or not, could you make this clear in future articles? It would make a big difference in my decision to sign up for the event or not! Many thanks.

    • Yes, Thomas is a Subud member.

  2. Dear Rashad,
    Thank you very much for your question. The event in Turkey is organized by many different people, among them Subud members and individuals from other walks of life, and other traditions. As is evident from the description, there will be space and time for people to continue their own personal practices, while at the same time having the possibility to contribute in other activities in tangible, concrete ways – like preparing a performance. This can be a way to explore our capacity to share in a practical manner what we receive.

    • Thanks for this, Thomas and good luck!


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