Art And Culture

Historical Medallion for Best Theater Actors

Historical Medallion for Best  Theater ActorsHistorical Medallion for Best  Theater Actors

The ‘Actor’s Festival’ is undoubtedly one of the most important events for those involved in Iran theater, since the best theater actors of the year are chosen and awarded by a jury from the Iranian Theater Actors Association.

Noted actor and screenwriter Behzad Farahani is the secretary of the annual celebration this year which is slated for May 18 at Tehran’s Vahdat Hall, Honaronline reported.

However, what distinguishes this year’s edition from the previous rounds is that the winners will receive a valuable historical medallion.

As recommended by well-known director Bahram Beyzai, the medallion will depict a document related to the existence of theater in Iran in 9th-7th century BC. Unfortunately, since there is no access to the original document as it is kept in the Cleveland Museum of Art, in the US, so “we just used its image printed in one of Beyzai’s books: ‘Where Are the Thousand Legends?’ which is a survey on the origins of Persian legends as well as Iranian history and culture,” Farahani said.


The historical document is a small votive pin with a decorated disc at the top that is made of silver. The repousse (a metalwork technique in which a malleable metal is ornamented or shaped by hammering from the reverse side to create a design in low relief) and incised disc shows ancient Iranians wearing masks and costumes, performing what appears to be a show. Veteran sculptor Iraj Mohammadi is working on the medallion design.

The selection committee, comprising 15 prominent actors, carefully watched a total of 284 plays, staged in the previous Iranian year (ended March 20), and selected 58 plays.

The plays that qualified were evaluated by a 5-member jury, who nominated 10 male and 10 female actors. The jurors will finally select three male and three female, and one top actor at the event next week.

The best young talent will also receive a separate prize. As a routine part of the festival, five veteran actors will also be honored. A surprise is that one of the honorees is a 101-year-old actor whose name has not been disclosed yet!

Having run for 12 years, the program organizers seek to create a “joyful atmosphere for the audience through theatrical and musical performances.”