Wednesday, November 28, 2018
5:45 – 7:15 p.m.
Joukowsky Forum, Watson Institute
Free and open to the public
Part of a year-long series entitled “Iran Today” aimed at sophisticated discussion of contemporary Iranian society and culture as a countermeasure to the general lack of knowledge and sensational coverage circulated in US media.
The theater is booming in Iran. At the moment, more than ninety plays are on stage only in Tehran and in official theaters; many more are being played underground without official permits. The official plays range from adaptations of Becket’s Endgame, Sartre’s Nausea, and Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, to original plays by older and younger generations of Iranian playwrights, to plays on religious figures, including a marionette opera about the events of Karbala.
In this talk, Ahoo Najafian focuses on some works by the award-winning playwright Kamran Shahlaei who collaborates with different creative groups in order to stage “alternative plays” in Iran. While diverse in setting, tone, and genre – from conversations between the executioner in the Arabian Nights and the King’s wives before Shahrzad to a documentary theater on the events of the 1981 bombing of the Prime Minister’s Office – the plays share the theme of remembering and staging the past. Through a review of some of these plays, she offers a tableau of how the past is presented in Iran today.