Indigenous Performing Traditions in Post-Revolutionary Iranian Theater

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9 Citations (Scopus)


One of the major trends in experimental theater refashions the representational and presentational techniques of ancient rituals, medieval dramatic forms and popular performing traditions to create new forms of dramatic expression. In pre-revolutionary Iran, the proponents of this trend included those who worked with Iran National Theater and Theater Workshop. The 1979 revolution heralded the arrival of a different kind of drama in response to a host of new subjects and restrictions. However, unlike the political upheavals of previous periods which led to catastrophic discontinuity in the development of Iranian theater, it did not result in a complete breach. The post-revolutionary practitioners continued working with the templates devised by their pre-revolutionary colleagues, creating a dramatic tradition that has produced several masterpieces during recent decades. The purpose of this paper is to put the history of this experimental trend in perspective and examine the works of three of its major post-revolutionary practitioners. As such it will not focus on the history of indigenous forms or western-style theater in Iran, but on the recent history of this experimental mode and how its practitioners have refashioned Iranian performing traditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497-519
Number of pages23
JournalIranian Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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