Reza Bahrami talks about the small number of issues and concerns of the Iranian society in our country’s theater and reminds: Few people who do something in Iranian plays are hit by the blade of censorship. From the point of view of the Theater Evaluation and Supervision Council, the difference between looking at a foreign text and an Iranian one is obvious, and we can work in foreign texts much more easily and our hands are more open.
According to the ILNA correspondent, whatIranian TheaterDo we know and emphasize how much it corresponds to the reality of our contemporary theater? To what extent has the censorship system worked to discourage Iranian writers and to diminish social and influential texts? What has self-censorship got to do with the odorlessness and characterization of Iranian plays? These are the questions thatReza BahramiWe have introduced a writer, designer and theater director. A director who has shown interest in Iranian theater and its structure in recent years and considers Iranian social theater a necessity in today’s society.
How close is our theater today to the definition we know of “Iranian theater”?
When it comes to Iranian theater, this type of theater should definitely be derived from Iranian society; For years and maybe if we observe, we will see that for about three decades, Iranian theater has not had a suitable position. Because we have not been able to continue to train good writers who are present in this field and can put our social issues and concerns on paper. Unfortunately, the theater producers were forced to turn to foreign texts due to the lack of a play, which is the main theme of a drama. Maybe that’s why censorship is rampant in society today; Few people who do anything in Iranian plays are censored because the friends who are in the Council for Evaluation and Supervision of Performing Arts may find it difficult to face the social issues of our country today in these strange, hidden, or at least strange texts and portray. These concerns have a political dimension for them and cause them harm in various ways. If part of the art of theater, that is, criticism. And we need to critique our society. Correct criticism makes progress, but unfortunately we have not been able to establish this practice as much as it does in the art of theater and in Iranian plays and expose it to the audience. So that the audience that is our mirror can see their pain and worries, and this confrontation with each other will cause the progress and transformation of the society.
You mentioned the issue of censorship; Something that is so vague that many writers have made more omissions than necessary …
Unfortunately, if we see writers who are writing pens trying to mix an Iranian atmosphere with classical or Western literature in some way, it is also because they want to escape censorship and escape so that if there is a word or thought in their writing, they can Take the stage. This strange self-censorship that has penetrated the moon causes us to not have a proper future, and this is not what happened to us today and yesterday. At least in the last two decades, it has been very evident, and in my opinion, one of the reasons why our theatrical art has not made much progress has been self-censorship. Because the basic structure of a drama and a theater is a play, and when the mastermind of this art, the writer, cannot give the director the right format, then he has nothing to present, and that is unfortunate.
Today, the execution of foreign texts is more popular than Iranian ones, perhaps because foreign texts are easier to obtain licenses and are less sensitive to them?
Let me first say that when we choose an Iranian text, it must definitely have the color and smell of Iranian society in it; Each flower has its own scent, and that we want to execute our own Iranian texts in classical ways and beyond our own borders, we must have our own argument. Obviously, text is important to make a space better. Whether Iranian or foreign; If it is Iranian, it should definitely be close to our culture, social relations, language and people, and if it is a foreign text, those keywords and pictures should be seen in it.
Certainly, from the point of view of the Theater Evaluation and Supervision Council, the difference between looking at a foreign text and an Iranian one is obvious, and I think we can work much more easily in foreign texts, and our hand is more open than Iranian texts, and this is unfortunate. In Iranian texts, they may even stick to a simple word, but in foreign texts, you can say many things more easily. For example, if you have a foreign text on the subject of infidelity, you can easily show a woman who betrays her husband, but in the Iranian text, it is very difficult to show this story. I’m sorry to say yes, there is a difference.
Have our Iranian plays been able to be a mirror of Iranian society during these years?
It is very small; I look at it beyond a mirror. I call this mirror “criticism”. Nothing special happens when there is no cash to correct. Or if we measure with the same title of mirror from the point of view of many; When the mirror is dirty and does not allow you to see yourself in it, it is of no use. The mirror should be clean and show everything. Do not show just one piece of beauty or evil; In this mirror – or in my opinion criticism – everything should be criticized, the advantages and disadvantages should be seen together and talked about, but unfortunately in this category we have not been able to have the right mirror and criticism as those of us who produce Iranian plays. Let’s be. Because there is a lot of lack of it and many friends are not even particularly interested in Iranian plays; It seems to us that the neighbor chicken has always been a goose.
Have we been able to preserve Iranian culture with Iranian plays?
In one period, especially if you look at the late 40s and 50s, you see that theater creates a strange way of thinking in society. That is, he is fulfilling his mission properly. When we look at the plays of that decade, we see that most of the texts are taken from the heart of our society and lead people to greed and away from filth and towards independence, thinking and innovation. But not only is this not happening right now, we are moving more towards Western culture. That is why everything is messed up in costume design, in music and even in the etiquette and communication of families with each other. Because we can no longer implement that original Iranian culture properly, and we are more likely to roll over and drown in the strange vortex formed by Western culture. So no, in my opinion, we have not been able to preserve Iranian culture with our own Iranian plays.
What role have theater festivals played in this regard, especially the Fajr Theater Festival?
The festival, also the Fajr Theater Festival, as one of the most prominent festivals in our country, unfortunately has only become a showcase on which handkerchiefs are put on every year and lamps are changed, and nothing special happens. While there should be items in this showcase that increase its value, this does not happen; For many years, we have had an empty showcase that we feel can be seen with decoration, light and embellishment. But a festival becomes a festival when there is creativity, innovation and thinking. The fact that we are exhibiting a number of works in a certain period of time means that these are among the purest works of a year in the country that have been presented in this showcase without any mafia intervention, and you, as the audience, can choose works with different qualities. And discover new things that give you ideas for a better life. An idea that you keep thinking about as you move away from the showcase, and that thinking is the mission of theater. That is the mission of holding the festival. But unfortunately, the Fajr Theater Festival or the other festivals in our country are events that we would like to be held, and that is all the money we would like to spend and say in our work balance sheet that we have done it and that is it. But how we do it is more important. I hope that the officials working in this field will realize that the goods that are placed in this showcase are more important than the showcase itself.