Art And Culture

Macbeth Meets Galileo in Tehran

Macbeth Meets Galileo in TehranMacbeth Meets Galileo in Tehran

A play directed by Masoud Tayyebi, a workshop production with a 23-member cast is in its finishing stages and will go on stage soon.

The project, a combination of Bertolt Brecht’s ‘Galileo’ and William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, has been in the making for over 11 months.

“That is why it is titled ‘Galileo’s Battle’, and will be finalized within the next two weeks,” Tayyebi told Honaronline.

Just like other workshop productions, the play will be staged in a modest form and does not include some aspects of a full production. “The entire play has no written script. The screenplay has been memorized through continuous rehearsals.”

Tayyebi said the entire production has a fantasy-like feel including the cast’s makeover which shifts throughout the play.

A modern take on two stories simultaneously, the play is about a brave Scottish general named Macbeth who receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become king of Scotland, and that of Galileo Galilei, the great Italian natural philosopher, and revolves around “the conflict between dogmatism and scientific evidence.”

The unique nature of the play saw long sessions of difficult rehearsals. Practices and techniques such as action, non-action, reaction, as well as world-acclaimed theater director and theorist Jerzy Grotowski’s approaches and methods have been employed in the production.

Citing the other challenges, Tayyebi said, “The actor playing Galileo’s role was changed, and the current title came later during the production process. Other changes have also been made to the storyline which took time as the cast were young and rather inexperienced.”

A collection of ambient space drone music called ‘Symphonies of the Planets - NASA Voyager Recordings’, which are electromagnetic waves in the soundless void of space surrounding Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus recorded by two automated NASA probes, have been incorporated in the soundtrack which is composed by Arash Azizi.

Tayyebi said the play is likely to be staged at Tehran’s Molavi Hall. “I cannot imagine what the response from the audience will be like. The production is a totally new and a diverse experience for me,” he said.

Co-founder of Mise en Scène Theater Group active since 2004, Tayyebi is a theater director, actor, and critic and holds a graduate degree in directing from Tehran’s Azad University’s Faculty of Art and Architecture.  His most recent experience as a director include plays titled “Don’t Say Goodbye”, “Melody in the Wind”, and “Wedding on Top of Eiffel Tower”.