Art And Culture

Pirouzfar’s 39 Roles in ‘Matryoshka’

The characters in different episodes are connected so skillfully that each story comes out of the previous one. The characters in different episodes are connected so skillfully that each story comes out of the previous one.

The play ‘Matryoshka’ written, directed and performed by actor and theater director Parsa Pirouzfar  which returned to the stage six weeks ago due to its immense popularity, has been extended until January 20 at Paliz Theater in Tehran.

What is unique about the performance is that Pirouzfar acts in all the roles of the 39 characters in eight different episodes. He convincingly carries out the dialogues in the various roles he assumes as father, mother, doctor, tutor, priest, widow, attorney, comedian, barber, police officer, salesman, general, judge and convict, among many others.

The play was restaged from November 21 for the second time this year (ends March 20), and has been extended for two more weeks following its rousing reception by the audiences.

Based on eight short stories by the famous Russian playwright and short story writer Anton Chekhov, it was first performed at Iranshahr Theater in Tehran September 5-October 6, 2016.

However, before its performance in Iran, Pirouzfar staged it in the US cities of Los Angeles, San Diego and Berkeley as well as in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal in Canada from September 2015-May 2016.

By changing his demeanor and the tone of his voice for every character, he makes the dialogues in each episode so convincing that the two-hour performance is absorbing till the end.

Although Chekhov’s stories are not related to each other, Pirouzfar has skillfully connected the characters in a way that each role in one story merges into the next.

It is like each story comes out of the previous one similar to the handmade doll ‘matryoshka’, also known as a Russian nesting doll, which is a set of wooden dolls of decreasing size placed one inside another. That’s how the play gets its title ‘Matryoshka’.

Despite being one of the well-known and popular actors of Iran cinema and television for his many memorable roles, Pirouzfar, 44, doesn’t talk or give interviews to local or foreign media.

  Film Debut in ‘Pari’

A graduate of painting from the University of Tehran, he made his film debut by playing a brief part in Dariush Mehrjui’s ‘Pari’ in 1994.

He has played in over 20 films, plays and TV series and won several awards including the Best Actor Award in the Osian’s Cinefan Festival of Asian Cinema, India, 2005 for ‘Tear of Cold’. He is also an instructor in acting courses in different institutes since 2004.

His resume as a theater director includes Yasmina Reza’s play ‘Art’ in 2001, David Mamet’s ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’ in 2011, Marie Jones’ ‘Stones in His Pockets’ in 2013 and ‘At Sea’ by Slawomir Mrozek. Besides directing, Pirouzfar has acted in the plays as well.

Also a painter and sculptor, he usually puts his artworks online on his Facebook page or Instagram feed. He has donated some of his works for charity in 2013.

Paliz Theater is located at No. 69, Sepand St., South Azodi St., Karimkhan St.


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