Art And Culture

Play by Disabled Receives Global Accolades

Play by Disabled Receives Global AccoladesPlay by Disabled Receives Global Accolades

After a successful staging in Poland last month, ‘The Chairs,’ a production of the Iranian Papion Theater Group, will be performed in Austria next May.

The play which participated in the 13th International Festival of Independent Theaters ‘Pro-Contra’ in Szczecin city, was received warmly by the audience and media, Honaronline reported.

Designer, dramaturge and director Hossein Rahimi, said following its successful performance at the Polish festival, they received “a chain of invitations from England, Brazil and Russia.”

A unique feature of the group is that the actors are all physically and mentally challenged with some form of impairment.

Rahimi is a young director who has trained children and adults with physical and mental disabilities for several years. He has contributed significantly to bringing about a change in their lives by casting them in his plays. The global performances of the troupe have impacted audiences and critics in many countries.

“The Austrian festival is similar to other events we have attended so far and is not specifically designed for the disabled,” Rahimi said.

‘The Chairs’ is Papion’s third production with disabled actors. It was staged after 18 months of rehearsals.

Written by the French playwright Eugene Ionesco, the play concerns two characters, known as Old Man and Old Woman, who are frantically preparing chairs for a series of invisible guests.

The play has attended the Fajr Theater Festival in Iran. It won two awards at the 11th Teatralny Koufar International Theatre Festival in Belarus. The Grand Prix prize for the best play was awarded to the Papion Group, and actor Sheno Qaderi received the best actress award.

The cast includes Mehran Qandehari, Qaderi and Amin Jahangiri.

Qaderi has cerebral palsy. In addition to being paralyzed on the right side of her body, she has a severe brain lesion. Qandehari was born with Down’s syndrome and Jahangiri in addition to having mild CP, is mute.

The group takes part as a representative of Iran in international festivals with a universal slogan “a world without war, a world without poverty, a world without AIDS and a world without cancer,” Rahimi said.

“The slogan applies to every human being. Theater, as a big social artistic work, can be a bridge for eliminating global violence and enmity,” he added.