About 40 plays have been selected to be performed in the national competition and 23 troupes will give performances in the international competition, the festival president, Kurosh Zarei, said in a press conference on Tuesday.

The foreign troupes are from Brazil, Russia, Oman, Spain, Iraq, Armenia, Tunisia and Jordan, and several theater experts from Ireland, Serbia, Algeria and Russia will hold workshops during the festival, which will run until January 31.

Seven managers of international festivals and a group of 25 stage artists from across the world have been invited to attend the festival.

This year’s festival plans to launch a union of the Islamic world theater in the international section. Twenty papers from ten Muslim countries will be presented on January 27 and 28.

The festival had planned to organize the launch of the union in Khuzestan Province with several performances from Arabian groups, however, the plan was canceled due to a lack of adequate funds. 

“Theater is an art that can generate sympathy among Muslim nations, because it is formed based on dialogue,” said Zarei and noted that the world needs to engage in dialogue to avoid wars.

In calls published on social media, groups of Iranian artists have asked their colleagues to boycott all Fajr festivals, which are organized every year to celebrate the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, in support of the unrest that has struck the country over the past four months.

“Although many artists have been threatened, yet they have persisted eagerly in their decision to participate in the festival,” Zarei said.

He expressed his thanks to the participants and viewed the calls to shut down theater as “oppression of people”.

“Theater is an activity that never is closed; by shutting down theater, we would be depriving ourselves and the people of it,” he added.

The theater festival will be followed by the 41st Fajr International Film festival.

Source:Tehran Times