For this project we asked two women playwrights – American playwright, Tammy Ryan, and a Turkish playwright, Zeynep Kaçar – to each write a one-act play about what it means to be a woman, most specifically exploring the body as a battleground from each cultural perspective. We have asked them to consider who or what controls what happens to a woman's body? If she is not in charge, then what is the nature of the oppression? Can she liberate herself from perceptions and actualities of powerlessness? Is traditional patriarchy in expansion or decline?

They have created two very different and remarkable plays. In Ryan's play, Lindsey's Oyster, a high school girl becomes pregnant when she is date-raped by her boyfriend. The resulting pregnancy forces her to examine definitions of love and self, and who controls what happens to her body. Kaçar's play, Last Exit Before the Bridge, takes a satiric look at Turkish societal standards of beauty, desirability, and gender politics. In our January 2011 workshop, S/he's entire creative team came together to weave the two pieces into one evening of theater.

Directed by ICL's Melanie Dreyer, S/he's cast includes 3 Turkish and 3 American actors: professional actors Cem Baza and Duygu Erdogan, Yeditepe University student Elif Akbaydogan, Cornell University student Julie Reed, and ICL's Nick Fracaro and Gabriele Schafer.

Along with the theatrical production, an important focus of the project is to create avenues for dialogue and exchange of ideas through various kinds of educational and cultural events, including, among others, panel discussions, exhibits, readings and musical concerts and in-school programs for youths and children.


January 2-8, 2011 – A one-week workshop at Cornell University in Ithaca.

May 4-15, 2011 – A two-week run at The Kitchen Theatre in Ithaca, New York.

atslogomoonstars The Ithaca production is sponsored in part by
the Moon and Stars Project and The American Turkish Society. ICL is deeply grateful to all its supporters!

What the critics say...

"S/he is a great work of art about translation, a powerful new play that should spark many important conversations."
Ithaca Times, May 11, 2011 (full review)

"Despite all these serious themes, S/he is a delightfully funny evening. Thanks to the Kitchen for bringing this unique collaboration to Ithaca."
The Lansing Star, May 13, 2011 (full review)



Satellite Events


  • Thursday, April 28
    Head Scarf Harassment Hearing, Moot Court, Room – Cornell Law School

  • Thursday, May 5
    Nilufer Göle lecture, “Islamic Visibility in European Publics: Secularism, Culture, and the Sacred,”

  • Wednesday, May 11
    How They See Us
    Culture Camp – Charlotte Jirousek, Cornell University, “Carry it Close to your Heart: Turkish Textile Exchange and Courtship” (lobby display)
    Turkish Cast Members – Elif Akbaydogan, Cem Baza and Duygu Erdogan

  • Thursday, May 12
    Being Female
    Culture Camp
    – Dr. Ayfer Karakaya Stump, Cornell University: “Being a Woman in Turkey: Past and Present"
    Local Experts – Alison Bliss, Adult Assault Counselor/Advocate from the Advocacy Center

  • Friday, May 13
    The Teenage Mind
    Culture Camp
    – Lee Humphreys, Cornell University: "How Communication has Changed for the Younger Generation"
    Local Experts – Ithaca High School Avid Students

  • Saturday, May 14
    Controlling Our Bodies
    Culture Camp
    – Noor Hashem, Cornell University: "Covering Muslims: On Representations of Gendered Bodies"
    Local Experts – Carol Oddy, Co-Owner, Medusa Tattoo Studio

  • Sunday, May 15
    Negotiating the Unexpected
    Culture Camp
    – Alice Wu, "Learning to Speak Redundancia"- A Workshop on Cultural Communication
    Local Experts – Joan Adler, Planned Parenthood

November, 2011 – S/he was invited to participate in garajistanbul’s “Honor Games” festival in Istanbul.


Cornell University Department of Theatre, Film and Dance and Yeditepe University (Istanbul).