- Macbeth: An AdaptationMarch 3, 2021 - 6:11 am
Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are in a nightmarish state which depicts the eternal punishment for their crimes. The story begins with a witch talks about heinous bloodshed while Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are dead in body bags , the witch opens the body bags and lady Macbeth rises frantically washes her hand in the air while the witch chops off Macbeth heads and dances with the headless body bringing both back to their memories of their crimes. Three witches are three men in military uniform singing and prophesying that Macbeth will be thane of Cawdor and then King of Scotland. Macbeth writes the news to Lady Macbeth and telling her that King of Scotland Duncan is coming to visit them, Lady Macbeth tempts Macbeth to kill the king while she kills the guards. The headless body reappears in waltzing with the witch while Lady Macbeth dances with Macbeth and puts on the crown but he feels the guilt of his crime and sees three witches laughing. Lady Macbeth and Macbeth are in bed lamenting about their crimes and both go to their doom fate looking at their lost child in a cubed glass while witches sing.
- The House of Bernarda Alba: An AdaptationMarch 3, 2021 - 5:20 am
After the funeral of his husband Bernarda tells her five daughters that they must go through an eight year mourning period for her dead husband, father to all of them except the eldest daughter Angustias who is from her first marriage. Bernarda orders La Poncia the housekeeper to close the windows and prevents any connection with the outside world.
She becomes an authoritarian force that controls her five daughters Angustias, Magdalena, Amelia, Martirio and Adela that each wants freedom and love, but only the youngest daughter Adela is brave to show her desire while Bernarda elderly mother María Josefa is also with her dream of lost love. Angustias is expected to be wed to Pepe that creates tensions between other sisters and eventually Adela announces that she has an affair with Pepe and Bernarda runs offstage with a shotgun to shoot the man. Martirio tells a lie that Pepe is dead, Adela hangs herself. After they find the body, Bernarda demands Adela be buried as a virgin.
- The Fox HuntFebruary 28, 2021 - 9:16 pm
A story of Agha Mohammad Khan Qajar , the founder of Qajar dynasty in 18th century and how historical and social climate of the time has formed his tragic life and turned him to a brutal king. The Eunuch monarch has paradoxical persona that has fears and compassion, while he acts grotesque with his statuesque figure he commits cruel crimes and kills his brothers. The setting of the play is in a mortuary that creates surreal atmosphere, where the egotist antihero is schemes and sends all the characters to their deaths but at last he is also end up dead.
- Afra or Another PassesFebruary 28, 2021 - 9:13 pm
Afra is a teacher from a working class family with a retired mother that used to serve in the house of a Qajar princess, while her father, an official clerk has passed away , Afra tries to makes ends meet by tutoring old Qajar princess’s son but the princess treated her badly scheming his dim wit son marrying Afra but her offer is rejected by Afra that claims she has a suitor as a pretext.
The conflict with the bourgeoisie and working class rises when the princess accuses Afra of stealing so she would marry her son to avoid her reputation destroyed but again she refuses, the other characters in working class join the opposing voices against Afra and drag her to police station for persecution since she is no longer belongs to her own class either.
Meanwhile a police officer and a real estate audit investigate the events and proves Afra’s innocence by the end the story is being read in a newspaper by a story teller that decides to change it and claim he is the imaginary suitor to create a happy ending.
- Writing in the DarkFebruary 28, 2021 - 9:07 pm
A group of friends who are journalists are plan a holiday to the north of the country, but each one starts to debate whether it’s good to travel, that eventually leads to a vote and signifies the lack of a common goal among these friends. Nima is a photo journalist who has been arrested for documenting a protest, and being questioned by an interrogator.
In another timeline, Nima and his journalist friends are again on holiday in Germany, discussing the possible call for asylum, but only one decides to become a refugee. It appears that Nima is no longer in the interrogation room suggesting he is dead, while his friends seated separately on chairs watch the blindfolded being investigated by a young interrogator.
- Born in 1361February 28, 2021 - 9:00 pm
Born in 1361 portrays the life of a girl born in 1982 (the Iranian year 1361) through ages of 6, 13, 22, and 28 until her death. The play is a monologue in several episodes describing the sociopolitical challenges in Iran that affected the life of Nava and her generation. The play starts from the viewpoint of a fetus in her mother’s womb, describing how it has conceived to her still born twin sister and being born under the air raids during the Iran-Iraq war. Nava continues to grow to a young girl, discovering social contrasts in her life, and then witnessing limitations of the society and the sociopolitical changes of the 90s, adulthood and marriage, facing the post-election events in the 2009 that eventually leads her to illegal immigrate by boat and being drowned. The first production of Born in 1361 was performed with an all-female cast. Each actress portrayed a different episode from the life of the female character.
- AutopsyFebruary 26, 2021 - 3:44 am
‘Autopsy’ begins with a disturbing scene in which actors emerge one by one from their shrouds (white cloths covering their bodies), improvise dialogues, and submerge back into their dark and isolated space. Actors randomly involve the audience in their improvisations by using symbolic props that include white cloth and shroud, a belt and a red lipstick. The play displays the challenges of the transgender community that resonate in an episode about a trans person’s marriage to a cis woman due to pressure from society.
- Barefoot, Naked, Heart in His HandFebruary 26, 2021 - 3:27 am
‘Barefoot, Naked, Heart in His Hand’ is based on a tragic incident that happened in Germany in 1993. A group of young neo-Nazi men set the apartment of a Turkish immigrant family on fire. In the fire, five members of the family perish, and the father and a little son survive. The play is narrated from the point of view of Ali, the father of the family, who survived the fire but stays in a mental hospital. To turn this catastrophe into a play, instead of writing a drama full of pity and tears, Jalali chooses the framework of tragicomedy which grants a dynamic rhythm to the monologue, that, alongside the alienation effect produced, makes the audience experience the bitterness and ugliness of the misfortune with an alert mind. Compactness is another characteristic of Jalali’s style which affects all parts of the play including the narrative, acting, stage design, and music. Choosing the form of monologue performed only by a single actor is evidence of this, which results in the play’s richness and complexity. ‘Barefoot, Naked, Heart in His Hand’ is compact but rich, simple but complicated, and comic but tragic.
- Launcher 5February 25, 2021 - 10:13 pm
Launcher 5 is a hard-hitting report of the aftermath of three mysterious murders that have taken place at a military garrison’s launcher number 5. The play takes place in the inspection office of a garrison, where the inspector performs a long and complicated process of interrogation to discover the culprit. Launcher 5 pioneers the use of foregrounding a sexual crime committed in garrisons, which nobody dares refer to publicly. Military service is generally celebrated as a holy symbol that manifests young men’s duty to their country, but Launcher 5 desacralizes it and implies an urgent need for reevaluation and reform. Launcher 5 presents military service as imprisonment that can cause severe psychological issues in young men. However, the small world of the garrison can be seen as a metaphor for a social system in which too much repression is destructive rather than constructive. It can kill people’s spirits, resulting in outbursts of crime and violence. Launcher 5 gives a straightforward picture of reality and does not have any reservations against speaking the truth. This genuine honesty, along with brilliant acting, an outstanding script containing an intelligent mixture of tears, laughs, mystery, and violence, causes the spectators to trust the play and enjoy it.
- A Moment of SilenceFebruary 17, 2021 - 7:35 pm
A young woman’s (Sheeva) life alternates between sleeping and awakening with 3-4 year intervals. Each awakening reveals a socio-political change, including revolution and war. While this life cycle is unfolded, the playwright who is in fact writing the young woman’s lifestory receives life threatening calls from the government’s secret agents.
The play has been widely admired for its innovative approach to playwriting and its audacity to bring to the surface issues of socio-political urgency. It has been translated to more than five languages and has been revived several times in the Middle East, Europe and North America. Its surreal narrative coupled with Mohammad’s poetic yet witty dramatic writing style addresses universal issues about freedom and security.
- The Blue PinkJanuary 12, 2021 - 2:14 am
A journalist is investigating story of Shahrzad, a transgender woman killed by her son through interviews with her transgender friends and other acquaintances including a relative, a social worker, a child labour and her housemate who is a sex worker. Shahrzad formerly known as Majid has a difficult time expressing her sexual identity since childhood until marriage, which she breaks off and leaving for the big city of Tehran without knowing that she has left a son behind. She is living in a trans community and finally able to obtain money and legal permits for sex change operation, she is happily married to a transgender man but after a long journey of transformation her past comes to hunts her. While her husband, friends narrates Shahrsad life they also unravels their own sad tales of discovery, harsh cruelties in the society and transformation and even recounts the history of Khomeini’s fatwa on sex reassignment surgery. These characters have faced common conditions and plights in the society facing violence, rape and poverty.
- HearingNovember 2, 2020 - 3:05 am
The play depicts the story of three female students at the University of Tehran living in the university dormitory that is disciplined and monitored under the strict surveillance of dormitory officials. Two of the girls hear some male voices and start searching for the source of these voices while being interrogated by the dormitory authorities. The girls’ quest is in line with an engaging and intimate journey of remembering and confessing. Through recollecting figments of memories and their alternation with verbal, visual and aural expressions in the present, the line between reality and fiction blurs. The girls with their over-head cameras enter a Kafkaesque journey to discover the truth. At the core of this journey lies the enigmatic mediatized dramaturgy of interweaving verbalism and imagism. During eighty performances, it attracted 10-12 thousand spectators. Hearing is the first Iranian play invited to Festival d’Avignon (2016).