Art And Culture

Street Theatre Festival Kicks Off in Marivan

Street Theatre Festival Kicks Off in MarivanStreet Theatre Festival Kicks Off in Marivan

The 10th International Marivan Street Theatre Festival kicked off on Monday, (Sept. 28), at Shano Park, in the western Iranian border town of Marivan, Kurdistan Province.

A total of 36 plays by 14 Iranian and 4 foreign theatre groups will perform at different venues such as streets, squares, parks, surrounding villages and around the Zeribar Lake  during the four-day event, Mehr News Agency reported.

In all, 308 artists are attending the grand cultural event this year. Participants include 190 Iranians from 14 provinces and 18 foreign artists from Italy, Spain, Azerbaijan and Greece, said Khosrow Moein, head of the city’s Culture and Islamic Guidance Office.

Organizing an international festival in the town that borders Iraq, which is plagued by political unrest, may have raised doubts on the security of the event and location among some sections, but Marivan Governor Mohammad Fallahi noted that the participation of foreign countries “is a sign of security of our border regions and holding the event will disappoint those who tend to portray the town as unsafe.”

  Theatre of the Oppressed

Besides street performances, the festival will hold educational workshops. Last year three workshops were held by Iranian professors and one by a Dutch master.

This year’s edition will see a three-day workshop on ‘Theatre of the Oppressed’ (TO) by Prof. Doug Paterson, a renowned American theater master.

Paterson, 70, is a professor of theater at the University of Nebraska in Omaha. He has dedicated over 20 years to the methods developed by Brazilian director Augusto Boal and his TO theatrical form, which is method of educating marginalized people. It promotes dialogue and acts as a facilitator for social and political change.

Paterson pointed out that his workshop would focus on one particular branch of TO: forum theatre. Activities get the audience involved, encouraging them to make suggestions, ask questions and discuss their emotions. The audience becomes active as they explore, show, analyze and transform the reality in which they are living.

“This has so many wonderful advantages. It demystifies theatre. It shows that we are capable of embodying our own ideas,” he said.

Paterson has conducted over 200 TO workshops, demonstrations and presentations in over 15 states in the US and in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Iraq, Liberia, India, Palestine and Croatia.

The festival will wrap up on October 1 by awarding the winners.