25 Jul OOB Final 30 Countdown – Mustafa Kaymak
For day seventeen of our Final 30 Countdown we’re delighted to introduce Mustafa Kaymak!
Mustafa Kaymak was born in Ankara, Turkey. He is a producer and screenwriter who received his BA in Journalism from Ankara University in Turkey. Later on he studied Playwriting at Columbia University in 2014 and is currently a graduate degree candidate in Columbia University’s School of the Arts Creative Producing MFA program. His plays recently appeared on Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway. He is the Executive Producer in Mintas Production and the General Coordinator of Be Productions. He wrote, directed and produced several short films in the U.S. & the Middle East. He currently lives in New York City and works on development of a couple feature films.
1. When did you start writing plays? If you had a moment where you realized you wanted to write, what was it?
In 2008 when I moved to Valdez, Alaska, my wife suggested that I take a playwriting class to improve my English. That’s when I first started writing plays and realized I had many stories to share that were unfamiliar to the American Audience.
2. How did you come to write your OOB play? Was there a particular inspiration behind its creation? How has it developed?
I wrote this play after I graduated from Columbia University’s Playwriting Program. I have been wanting to write my personal experience of getting green-card, but the process was so smooth for m that there wasn’t to write much about. Others have told me of their struggles and that was my inspiration. I had a chance to develop this play during my film studies.
3. What are 5 words that describe who you are as a playwright?
Passionate, daring, humorous, sensitive, eclectic.
4. What/who are some of the major influences on your writing?
Anton Chekov, Arthur Miller, Tennesse Williams, Yasar Kemal, Orhan Pamuk, Shakespeare.
5. What’s one fact someone would never guess about you?
I won an award for being the best dishwasher in Valdez, Alaska.
6. What are some of your favorite plays?
View From the Bridge, Street Car Named Desire, Richard III, The Cherry Orchard, A Raisin in the Sun, Mother Courage and Her Children, Trojan Women, Six Characters in Search of an Author, Waiting for Godot.
7. Any new projects you’re working on or shameless plugs?
I am working on the development of couple new plays and a TV Pilot.
My short play, The Basement tells the story of a young journalist who visits a military office in the South Eastern Turkey in search of a missing girl who was last seen by the gendarmes.
As the investigation continues, we come to the realization that the Ayse and the Lieutenant are long overdue for a meeting.
The other play that I am working on is titled Tears of Anatolia, a tragedy that is inspired by real life events. A young Kurdish poet who spent 10 years as a political exile in Germany witnesses firsthand the clash between radical Islam and Western ideals when he returns his hometown in Turkey. Vedat’s reasons for visiting the small Kurdish town of Mardin are twofold. He hopes to connect with his ex lover whom he knew as a youth and to teach at the public school the ways of life of the modern world. Not long after his arrival, Vedat encounters government officials, idealistic students, and the charismatic and terroristic fanatics. Will he be able to survive?
His play Green Card will be performed on August 12th at 8:30pm. It takes place during a Green card interview, and a couple must prove that their marriage is real. Is it really?