A brief historical overview of theatrical performances in prison, particularly in Iran. The presentation is based on an essay.
You can contact the Iranian Studies Program for a copy of the essay after the event has occurred.
Nasser Rahmaninejad, a foremost, celebrated Iranian artist started his career in theatre in 1959 Iran. In response to the authoritarian cultural policies and harsh censorship of the Shah’s regime, he founded his alternative, independent theatre group, Mehr in 1966.
His group, which later changed its name to Iran Theatre Association, became very influential in the field, competing with other well-financed, state-sponsored theatre groups until it was closed down by the SAVAK, the Shah’s secret police in 1974. All members of the group were arrested and Rahmaninejad was sentenced to twelve years in prison to be freed by the 1979 revolution that toppled the Shah’s regime.
After the revolution Rahmaninejad resumed his artistic activities, staging several plays while teaching in the Faculty of Dramatic Arts, and writing articles and lecturing on theatre and politics for a range of audiences.
Following the Islamic regime’s crack down on the opposition Rahmaninejad was forced into exile. However he continued his artistic activities writing essays, translating into Persian articles on theatre and politics, giving invited lectures in variety of academic and artistic organizations in Europe and the United States, such as the International Writing Program (University of Iowa), and the Center for Iranian Research and Analysis (CIRA). His plays, in exile include My Heart, My Homeland, produced by the Society for Creativity and sponsored by the Lilly Foundation, Office of Student Life, Liberal Education Department and Hokin Center and performed by Department of Theatre of the Columbia College of Chicago (1995); One Page of Exile, in the first festival of New Windows on Old Pasadena (1996). Rahmaninejad lives in Berkeley, California.
Lecture in Persian
Free and open to the public