Şermola Performans, artistic director
Eurodram (European Network for Drama in Translation), Kurdish language coordinator
Nexus (Kurdish-German Theatre Network), founder & co-director
He was born in Kars in North Kurdistan in 1980 and grew up in Istanbul. Mirza has been involved with theatre since 1995. He trained as an actor with Teatra Jiyana Nû and Seyr-î Mesel and has performed in numerous stage productions. He studied dance and music for three years at the Istanbul Technical University State Conservatory Department of Folk Dance and went on to graduate from the Istanbul University Department of Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism. He was selected to take part in the British Council initiative, New Writing Workshops with the Royal Court, which gave him the opportunity to work with playwrights such as Zinnie Harris and Mark Ravenhill in workshops spread over one year. He founded Şermola Performans with Berfin Zenderlioğlu in 2008. He has won many awards and nominations for the plays he has written, directed and performed in for Şermola Performans. He writes his work in both Kurdish and Turkish. Of the sixteen plays he has written to date, fourteen have been staged either by himself or by other directors. A number of his plays have been translated into Zaza, Turkish, German, English and French. In 2017, he was invited to the PEN World Voices International Play Festival in New York with his play, Aç Köpekler (Hungry Dogs). The text of Hungry Dogs was named by the Eurodram Turkish Language Committee as its first choice in the 2016 Honours selection of plays recommended for translation. His play, Rawestgeharaf (Stopover), was invited to the 2017 Welt/Bühne Festival in Munich. Stopover was acquired by the Goethe Institute Theatre Library and published digitally under its German title, Zwischenhalt, by Theater der Zeit. His plays, Serencama Qijikan (Crows) and Panopticon were selected to take part in the Istanbul Theatre Festival. Mirza was awarded a Jean-Jacques Rousseau Fellowship by the Akademie Schloss Solitude in 2018 and in the course of the fellowship wrote an article entitled ‘The Dramaturgy of Fire’. The article was published in the Cambridge University Press journal, Theatre Research International. His play, Disko 5 No’lu (Disco No. 5), was selected for the Laertes Press publication ‘An Anthology of Documentary Drama from Turkey’. He has written plays for the Bonn based fringe ensemble under the Martin Roth-Initiative scholarship programme. He continues with his work as a writer and director for Şermola Performans and the fringe ensemble, and writes on an occasional basis for the independent online newspaper, T24. His Kurdish and Turkish plays are currently being published by the Turkish based Kurdish publishing house, Avesta, and in French translation by Maison d’Europe et d’Orient. He is the co-author, with Berfin Zenderlioğlu, of ‘Reşê Şevê’ (‘Nightmare’), and the author of ‘Lîstikên Tomerî’ (‘Collected Plays I’) and ‘Jêrzemîn’ (‘Underground Theatre’). He remains the Kurdish Committee coordinator for Eurodram, the European network for drama in translation.