Art And Culture

Street Theatre ‘Shopeh’ Revives Rituals

Street Theatre ‘Shopeh’ Revives RitualsStreet Theatre ‘Shopeh’ Revives Rituals

The street theater ‘Shopeh’ from Mazandaran Province was one of the plays performed at the 9th Marivan Street Theater Festival.

Meaning ‘The Night Watch’, ‘Shopeh’ shows the people’s rituals from a northern region of Iran.

Director Tayyebeh Moghaddam, in ‘Shopeh’ has portrayed men and women farmers working together on their land from the beginning of spring, to achieve the desired harvest yield; there are difficulties but she tries to show the traditional ways by which farmers guard their crops.

In an interview with Tasnim news agency, Moghaddam said: “There have always been wild pigs and birds coming to the farms in search for food especially at night. Traditionally, the night watchmen and their wives try to guard their crops against the predators, but they face interesting encounters, which we have tried to show in this theater.”

 Common People

Talking about her career she said she began on stage but over time she realized that people “are not willing to pay to watch a show.” The common street people also needed to be familiarized with theater. Therefore, “we brought theater to the streets; also to reduce the expenses of hiring a hall associated with stage shows,” she said.

People welcome street theater and “there are many traditions in our country that can be revived by street performers,” she added.

Moghaddam also called for more support for street theater, saying it needs patrons in order to survive, since the shows are free.

“Traditional theater needs to do more to revive rituals and encourage the audience to interact in the performances, instead of just repeating the same old styles,” Khosrow Sina, a reviewer of the festival said. “In any way, ‘Shopeh’ has revived a part of Iran’s rituals and the performers have captured a glimpse of the daily life of people of Mazandaran in an artistic way.”