Farideh Shirjian

One underlying reality

13th Iran International Festival of University Theatre

.JPG - Farideh Shirjian

13th Iran International Festival of University Theater was held at complex of City Theater halls and 22 other ones, from30 April to 8May in Tehran.
Some of the various parts of the festival including International competition(with presence of the Netherlands, Russia, Azerbaijan, Slovenia, Greece, Iraq, the U.K, Arkansan and Turkey); performance workshops of Shakespeare's works; educational workshops; street plays; Lecturers' works and dramatic and non-dramatic students' works.

Iranian dramatic colleges are the most important and main centers where provide four year facilities for the students who are not only the first heritors of cultural heritage of theatrical society but also the most major producers of works of art at theatre, cinema, radio and television in the future.
The facilities consist of artistic and cultural relationships with lecturers, access to written resources, activity in different dramatic groups, many diverse rehearsals and performances, gaining experience by more trying and failing, having considerable discussions and dialogues, and of course festivals.
What makes the festival distinct and gathers many more spectators is creative aspect of works in the event.
Now, the question is that the creativity has been leading in which way and aim.

A critical and serious look at the festival program shows that although the number of Iranian texts in the festival is considerable, it seems that interest and attention to foreign texts in two pars is far more:
1. 5 works of 9 participated works in part of lecturers' works are based on foreign texts.
2. One of charming and absolutely crucial parts of the festival was review of selected theses - which has been produced by the students who have graduated and are ready to entry society and directly encounter public.6 works from 7participated works in the part, were based on foreign texts! Apart from one which has been written by the student's husband who is one of the dramatic activists of the recent years.
It is clear that graduated students usually know how they tell sth but do not know what they must tell. (Of course regardless of some individuals and works) As a result, in field of professional theatre when they are going to show a content or theme on stage for instance: alienation, they usually refer Rhinoceros play which has been written by Ionesco in 1959 or they repeatedly focus on Macbeth and King Lear plays by Shakespeare for discussing on greediness for power and government or ignorance in Authority. Therefore doing research on sensitive and social issues, combining them with Iranian culture and atmosphere and use them in theatrical texts are practiced and experienced less at our universities.

On the other hand, the students do not still know who their spectators are. Some lecturers and theatrical activists believe that theatre is an art for elitists; if so, the people themselves are not enough intellectual to be able to attract this class of society .Another ones have got a particular slogan: "Theatre for All" but have not found a common language with masses. The indicated topic in the text is old not related to current years and has damaged seriously to our students' conscious thought for a long time that must be noticed and considered it immediately.

In the end, although our students must learn and practice classic plays and different genres and styles, it is absolutely essential that they notice more the issues which Iran society is involved in and use them in their works of art, so that they could be effective in cultural development of our country and they must consider profoundly this matter that their art serves whom.

It is vital to teach the following points at our universities:
1. Iran is a rich land in cultural and social issues in the world where it is suffering from concept crisis.
2. We must reinforce our research structures and resources.
3. we should not limit our thought world to a number of special artists, one or two parts of the world or historical fixed periods.

Farideh Shirjian