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Dr. Zishan Ugurlu

Dr. Zishan Ugurlu

Freie Universität Berlin

International Summer and Winter University



Zishan (Zisan) Ugurlu has worked extensively both in New York and abroad as a theater artist since 1995. She is an actress and director-in-residence at La MaMa Theater and the member of the Great Jones Repertory Company. She has performed in numerous productions with the company, including Panorama directed by Italian company Motus as part of The Under The Radar Festival 2018, The Trojan Woman, directed by Andrei Serban, composed by Elizabeth Swados, in which she toured internationally as Helen of Troy. Under the direction of Ellen Stewart she performed in Draupadi, Oedipus Rex and Yunus. She played Carmen in Robert Wooduff’s award winning Godard-Distant and Right. Other roles include, Desdomona in Othello by William Shakespeare, Monique in Bernard Marie Koltes’ West Pier, and Medea in Heiner Mueller’s The Medea directed by Jay Scheib. Solo performances include the world premier of Dario Fo’s Peasants’ Bible, Dante in Dante, by Dante Alighieri, Antigone by Jose Watanabe. She is featured in the films: The Letter, which was part of the Cannes Film Festival and a short movie Dog Race presented at the International Film Festivals.

She has recently directed Fragments, Lists, and Lacunae written by Alexandra Chasin, featuring philosopher Judith Butler, presented at New York Live Arts. Her directing credits include several solo performances presented at United Solo Festival in New York. She was recently awarded “Best Direction” for Yu Ling Wu’s solo performance Dream American, by the United Solo Festival. Harlem Blooms In Spring by Jersten Seraile, Race Free by Maria Mukuka, In the Storm of Pleasure by Daniel Benhamu (Best Debut Award). She has also directed other solo performances, The Surrender by Toni Bentley at Off-Broadway, The Clurman Theater, Oysters, Orgasms, Obituaries by Raina von Waldenburg (Nominated for New York Innovative Theater Award for Outstanding Solo Performance) and Request Program by F. X. Kroetz at La MaMa.

Her recent directing credits include Agamemnon (in Greek) by Aeschylus, Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare, Not About Nightingales by Tennessee Williams, She Talks to Beethoven by Adrienne Kennedy, Elegant Degradation based on Charles Mee’s Orestes 2.0, Marathon Dancing: Letters to Wall Street in the Era of Wonderful Nonsense based on They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? by Horace McCoy, The Judith of Shimoda by Bertolt Brecht, π-ROJECT (in Greek) based on The Persians by Aeschylus, The Law of Remains by Reza Abdoh, Purge by Sofi Oksanen, Kebap - Mady Baby.edu (in Turkish) by Gianina Carbunariu, The Realm of Darkness by Leo Tolstoy, Baghdadi Bath (In Arabic) by Jawad Al Assadi, The Father by August Strindberg, Temptation by Vaclav Havel, Blood on the Cat’s Neck by Rainer W. Fassbinder, The Last Supper by Lars Norèn, Operetta by Witold Gombrowicz, Until the Next Whirl by Rumi, Watershed and Serious At All by Tom Soper, Blood Wedding by Federico G. Lorca, Big Love by Charles Mee. She has also worked on devised theater pieces such as “Black Market”, “Water Therapy”. She created untitled piece with inmates at a maximum-security prison and worked on re-entry issues with formerly incarcerated individuals. She worked as a science fellow at Ligo Project working with Dan McCloskey Lab. She is the founding artistic director of “Actors without Borders-ITONY.” It is an ensemble-based theater company with a commitment to introduce well known and highly regarded but rarely produced national and international playwrights to American audiences. She graduated from Columbia University with a MFA degree and holds a Ph.D. She is currently teaching at Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts as an Associate Professor. She is the recipient of the prestigious Fox Foundation Fellowship granted by Theater Communications Group.

Current FUBiS courses: