Art And Culture

'Mama Yerma', 'Father Othello' for Armenian Festival

'Mama Yerma', 'Father Othello' for Armenian Festival'Mama Yerma', 'Father Othello' for Armenian Festival

Two plays from Iran will take part in the 23rd Theatrical Lori Festival in Armenia, slated for October 4-12 in Lori Province.

The plays 'Mama Yerma' directed by Farzin Nobarani and 'Father Othello' by Sahar Jamali and Nobarani will represent Iran in the competition section of the Armenian festival.

By presenting the plays, Khallaq (creative) Theater Group, which has produced both works, aims at "defamiliarizing" the various objects of everyday life, said a press release by the public relations office of the group.

Defamiliarization is the artistic technique of presenting to audiences common things in an unfamiliar or strange way in order to enhance perception of the familiar.

The term was first coined in 1917 by the Russian literary theorist, critic and writer Viktor Shklovsky in his essay "Art as Device". Essentially, he stated that poetic language is fundamentally different from the language that we use every day because it is more difficult to understand.

"The purpose of art is to impart the sensation of things as they are perceived and not as they are known. The technique of art is to make objects unfamiliar," Shklovsky wrote. Thus, defamiliarization serves as a means to force individuals to recognize artistic language.

'Mama Yerma' is a free adaptation of the famous play 'Yerma' by the Spanish dramatist Federico Garcia Lorca written in 1934. It tells the story of a childless woman living in rural Spain.

Although originally a realistic play, Nobarani presents 'Yerma' in a surrealist setting using symbolism and minimalism in the work.

The play will have one performance on October 10 in the festival. It will also be staged in Tehran in February 2017 at the Iranian Artists' Forum.

Also a free adaption, 'Father Othello' has been taken from Shakespeare's well-known tragedy 'Othello'. The story revolves around four central characters: Othello, a Moorish general in the Venetian army; his beloved wife, Desdemona; his loyal lieutenant, Cassio; and his trusted but ultimately unfaithful ensign, Lago. The play encompasses different themes of racism, love, jealousy, betrayal, revenge and repentance.

In the main play, Othello's handkerchief which he gives Desdemona as a present is a key element in the story that finally brings about Desdemona's death. However, in the Iranian version, which is full of symbols, the handkerchief has various functions and is used as a motif in different scenes.

Three performances of the play are planned on October 10 and 11 in the event. Amir Farahani, Bita Azizoghli, Ava Ganji, Farzad Berahman, Abbas Alireza, Soheil Ghena'ati, Melina Qadimi and Mersedeh Afsharipur perform in the two plays. Founded in 1979, Theatrical Lori festival has made a great contribution to the theatrical life of Armenia.