‘Crushed Petunias’ on Stage
Art And Culture

‘Crushed Petunias’ on Stage

A play by American playwright Tennessee Williams ‘The Case of the Crushed Petunias’, directed by  Maziar Qalami, is on stage at Tehran’s Mehrab Hall.
A lyrical fantasy the 1941 short drama tells the story of Dorothy Simple, proud owner of the Simple Notions shop in Primanproper, Massachutes. She is a woman trapped in her phobias and fears, whose dull existence is suddenly interrupted by a young man, reports Honaronline.
Explaining the plot, Qalami said: “In the story, the young man who treads on the double row of petunias that shield Dorothy’s house from the outside world is a salesman. He offers her wild rose seeds and a night out. With his poetic charm, he invites her to be a part of life where good and evil, light and darkness, laughter and sadness coexist and blend in a timeless magical dance.”
The story ends with joyful absurdity. Dorothy is shaken from her dull existence and stifling job by the enthusiastic stranger who convinces her to take a chance in life.
Williams’ works are generally focused on social and behavioral-psychological problems of people in different social statuses. “My interest in social issues drove me to work on this play,” Qalami said, adding that it is rarely performed in Iran.
He said some changes have been made in the performance, which begins with the trampled petunias. “At the end, it is discovered that this has been done by a mysterious stranger, with rather a social and spiritual purpose.”
The prim and proper shop is replaced with a greenhouse and the atmosphere and lighting is presented in the Noir style (Hollywood crime dramas style) showing a schematic setting interpreted from the original text.
“We included motions, visual images and action scenes because the audiences are mostly young students,” Ghalami noted.
The play will run through July 9. The cast includes Nazanin Alizadeh and Amir Soleymani.
Thomas Lanier, known as Tennessee Williams (1911-1983) is author of many stage classics. Along with Eugene O’Neill and Arthur Miller he is considered among the three foremost playwrights in 20th century American drama.


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