According to Covid-19 precautions, the workshops taking place at the Harbiye Muhsin Ertugrul Stage have been replaced with online workshops and meetings under the banner of “Salondan Yayın” (Broadcast from Stage), like all other Municipality Theatre events.

(You can watch them online via the Municipality Theatre’s YouTube channel)


Notwithstanding discontinuities and interruptions, the Contemporary Performing Arts Centre of Istanbul Municipality Theatre has been promoting artistic works which can be defined with labels such as ‘contemporary’, ‘new’, ‘experimental’, ‘current’, “international”, ‘inclusive’, ‘transforming’ and ‘leading’ since its foundation in 2010. The activities of the centre focus on the contemporary both inside and outside the Municipality Theatre, aiming for practice on stage.

In the history of Istanbul Municipal Theatre, formations such as TAL (Theatre Research Lab) and CGSM have contributed to the theatre’s ‘urban’ ‘experimental’ and ‘avant-garde’ credentials.

The Contemporary Performing Arts Center (CGSM) was founded in November 2010 on the decision of the Executive Committee of Istanbul Municipal Theatre, in accordance with its stated aim of “leading the way in innovation within Turkish theatre”. The centre continued its operations during the 2014-2015 season and, after an interval, started operating again in January 2020 on the decision of General Artistic Director, Mehmet Ergen.

The main objective of CGSM, is to follow contemporary theatre both in Turkey and the international arena, as well as to develop projects, workshops and educational programmes in order to share experiences and outcomes with actors, dancers and performing artists. CGSM aims to set the agenda for theatre in Turkey, (1) bringing up suggestions, (2) carrying out and paving the way to innovative works, (3) promoting contemporary theatre and the avant-garde, (4) establishing cooperation with different theatre groups and institutions, and (5) conducting studies at the interface of the traditional and modern, all of which with the aim of producing and presenting projects both nationwide and abroad. 

Amongst the objectives of the organisation is the exploration of creative dialogues between playwright, stage designer, theoretician, critic, actor and audience, and carrying out workshops and projects, all of which are receptive to the accomplishments of science, philosophy and other contemporary arts.

The diverse workshops, some of which are long term, are taking place primarily at the Harbiye Muhsin Ertugrul Stage. In addition to the workshops, CGSM is carrying out “The New Playwrights Project”. Emre Koyuncuoğlu is the founder and manager of CGSM and Başak Erzi and Elif Solak Tokatlı are the general coordinators.