TEHRAN, IRAN:   The 29th edition of the Fajr International Theatre Festival has just wrapped up this past February, with the majority of the awards going to Iran, Germany, Italy and Estonia.  The international discussions continue though with the March publication of “About the Phenemenon of Theatre,” a book of critical essays and scholarly articles from this annual festival held in the Iranian capital city of Tehran. 

Released in three languages (English, Persian and French), about 2,000 copies of the book is published by Namayesh, a state subsidized theater magazine in Iran.  The book (1389-12-15 15:41:15) is compiled by Nasrollah Ghaderi, in cooperation with Katayoon Hussein zadeh and Ali Najafi.

In an interview with the Iran Book News Agency, Katayoon Hussein zadeh says: “Most of the articles are about documentary theatre, political theatre, the formation of political theatre and its process. Every writer has presented his work according to the art in his country. The article’s analytic information is incredible. Such a kind of book was not released in Iran so far.”

Moreover she said that the book will be distributed during the awarding ceremonies of the European Theater Prize (Premio Europa), which will be held in St. Petersburg in Russia, so that an international audience may appreciate the articles in this book.

The book is divided into English and French sections. The English section included such essays as:

  • “Idioms of South Asian Theater” by Abhi Subedi;
  • “At the Crossroads” by Andrzej Zurowski, about Polish theater;
  • “The theatre and economics, the British experience” by John Elsom;
  • “Chinese women’s liberation road on the stage” by Dr. Zhu Ning;
  • “Enchanted by the BRAVE festival” by Kalina Stefanova of Bulgaria;
  • “Slovenian drama as the globalization’s litmus test” by Kristof Jacek kozak;
  • “The importance of being obedient” by the Finnish critic Matti Linnavuori;
  • “Where is the emerging point in today’s Swedish performing arts” by Margareta Sorenson;
  • “The Barbican international theatre event in London” by Maria Shevtsova
  • “The national theatre of Scotland, a theatre without walls” by Mark Brown
  • “Theatre of revolution-history, theatre, document and life” by Petr Christov of the Czech Republic;
  • “Two Lithuanian Hamlets: The metaphysics of ice and mirrors” by Ramune Marcinkeviciute;
  • “Reorientalism,” a critical essay about the emergence of Arab-American theater voices, by Randy Gener of the USA;
  • “Who will be the king or directors’ merciless fight for power against playwright in the European theatre” by Sanja Nikcevic of Croatia;
  • “National critics and the postmodern world: bridging the gap” by Savas Patsalidis of Greece;
  • “The community sensitive theatre maker” by Tamas Jaszay;
  • “Contemporary performance or whatever happened to the performative revolution” by Tomaz Toporisic;
  • “The burden of existence” by Tomasz Milkowski of Poland;
  • “The critical reception of Eastern/ Central European theater in Korea since 1989 by Yun-Cheol Kim of South Korea; and
  • “European theatre 2000-2010” by Ian Herbert of the U.K.

During this year’s event, the Fajr International Theatre Festival presented about 153 performances by Iranian and 3 international ensembles.  Iranian performers put on stage some 137 works from different cities including Mashhad, Karaj, Kermanshah, Varamin, Sanandaj, Isfahan, Tabriz, Lahijan, Sari and Yazd.

Groups from Italy, the Czech Republic, Russia, Switzerland, China, Germany, Canada, South Korea, Greece, Poland and Estonia also participated in the festival. The 2011 Fajr International Theater Festival was held from February 5 to 20 in the Iranian provinces of Alborz, Tehran, Gilan, Golestan and North Khorasan.

Iran holds international Fajr film, theater, music and visual arts festivals on a yearly basis to mark the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.