Before the pandemic, Hosseinimehr planned to stage Franz Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis”, however, the frequent theater management changes thwarted his plan after many rehearsals.
This situation followed by the pandemic led him to focus on writing, whose outcomes are “Pioneers of Iranian Theater” and “Theater in Iran: From the Coup to the Revolution”.
“For my part, I have tried to familiarize the present generation with the works carried out by our theatrical ancestors in the past,” Hosseinimehr told the Persian service of MNA.
“There is a distance between the new generation of our theater and the early forerunners of this field; ties between the generations have been severed,” he stated.
“The situation is very critical since the younger generation of our thespians do not have a great deal of knowledge about the history of Iranian theater, particularly about the history of the first three golden decades of theater after the [Anglo-American] coup in Iran in 1953,” he added.
Recalling the names of a number of Iranian theater pioneers, including Reza Kamal, Seyyed Mohammadreza Kordestani, Seyyed Ali Khan Nasr, Seifeddin Kermanshahi, Esmaeil Mehrtash and several of their successors such as Mahin Oskui, Rokneddin Khosravi, Jamileh Sheikhi, Mehdi Fat’hi and Parviz Fannizadeh, Hosseinimehr lamented that the younger generation is not familiar with any of them.
“I definitely do not expect the younger generation in Iranian theater to memorize the biographies of the people; the present generation is indifferent to the history and theater culture and to sum up, we have become alienated from ourselves; our cold stages are empty of the love of and mystery surrounding these people,” he noted.
This book explores the views of Iran’s theater pioneers, with whom Hosseinimehr held meetings recorded by his “timeworn but efficient” tape recorder.
Rarely discussed topics such as Seifeddin Kermanshahi’s doomed love for singer Qamarolmoluk Vaziri, setting fire to the Sadi Theater and the arrival of Iranian women to theatrical performances have been scrutinized in the book.