Part one:Why did I form Popular Theatre Group (PTG)?
A theatrical group called National Art Group (NAG) was set up to overcome grave problems of theatrical society and to find a new way to create national theatre in Iran fifty five years ago.
The group studied, translated, discoursed, wrote and rehearsed hard and performed influential dramatic works which were based on Iranian culture, literature, traditional plays and effective techniques of western and oriental theatre.
The group has been the most successful and indicated group among all of the Iranian theatrical groups not only at that time but also so far, although (after active cooperation members of NAG) were separated and they worked independently.
I have always admired the avant-garde group and wished to be a prominent member of the group because NAG acted based on necessities and tried to thrive and reinforce audiences' self-consciousness and social consciousness.
I often asked myself that if NAG was and wanted to act now, what it would focus on. My answer to the question is one of my reasons to form Popular Theatre Group (PTG).
A day, my brother told me that " Theatre in Iran is like ski sport in Iran that a few people tend to it. Although the numbers of people who ski have gone up, according to Iran population, the number is limited and few yet. In other words, the theatre is not at the public service and is only for pleasure and entertainment of an especial social class ".
Unfortunately, what my brother was saying was right and I agreed with him on it. Then He seriously suggested journalism to me instead of working on theatre in such a bad situation, because he knew well either journalism or me. I totally disagreed with him. It is correct that the issues and performance techniques are not often appealing for spectators and prevailing view on theatre is not practical and theatre position in society is not strong but I must try to change the situation instead of changing my profession. Most developing countries have concentrated on different aspects of theatre and they have been struggling against backwardness by theatre. Therefore I formed PopularTheatre Group (PTG) to transform such situation and I have been trying to revitalize theatre power in Iran, of course based on my experiences and abilities.
My group is very young and ambitious and the only thing that it has is a long way towards the truth. It is enough for us!
The group is still in its infancy; accordingly I am going to write more about PTG to you in the future so that you are informed of my other aims, members of PTG, our methods, our issues, our spectators…
Farideh Shirjian (Former of PTG)