Çiğdem Selışık Onat ACG 60: Educator and Actor


One of the greatest actresses of her generation, Çiğdem Selışık Onat was on stage often during her time at ACG. In Shakespeare’s Othello, she was Bianca, while Engin Cezzar RC 55 played the titular character. She also shared the stage with Genco Erkal often. She played Lydia Languish in The Rivals by Richard Brinsley Sheridan and the leading role Hedda Gabler Tesman in Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler. During the 1959-1960 academic year, Selışık took over the drama activities of ACG. In the same year, she won high recognition with her role in Jean Cocteau’s play The Human Voice, which Erkal came back to school to direct. Selışık’s eloquent Turkish and English and her talent carried her forward.

Following ACG, Çiğdem Selışık Onat studied at Istanbul University’s Literature Faculty. She founded Genç Oyuncular and also performed with Kenterler Theater and Ankara State Theater. She obtained her master’s in drama from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Not only did she act in and direct numerous plays in the US, but she also taught for many years at Lincoln Center, North Carolina School of Arts, and the New York University Tisch School of Drama. She also taught at Koç University and continues to act in Turkish films and TV series.

Published January 2023


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