Art And Culture

Beyzaie to Stage ‘Ardaviraf’s Report’ at Stanford

Beyzaie to Stage ‘Ardaviraf’s Report’ at StanfordBeyzaie to Stage ‘Ardaviraf’s Report’ at Stanford

Prominent Iranian playwright and director Bahram Beyzaie will hold stage reading performances of his latest play ‘Ardaviraf’s Report’ at Stanford University in the US on January 24 and 25.

The play is Beyzaie’s theatrical rendition of the ‘Book of Ardaviraf’, an ancient Zoroastrian text that chronicles the journey of pious Ardaviraf to the other world where he travels through paradise, purgatory and the inferno. Ardaviraf meets many of the mythic and historic figures of Iran on his journey.

Divided into five sections of Introduction, Journey to Heaven, Heaven, Hell, and an Epilogue, the original book of Ardaviraf is considered an early precursor to Dante’s “Divine Comedy.” Although the date of the book is not known, experts such as Prof. Charles Horne ascribe it to the Sassanid Era (224 CE to 651 CE) when Zoroastrianism experienced a state-sponsored revival, reports ISNA.

The American writer states in his book ‘The Sacred Books and Early Literature of the East’  that the fact that Alexander the Great is referred to as a ‘Roman evil’, is an attest to the same period in history in which the rivalry between the two empires was intense.

‘Ardaviraf’s Report’ will be performed at the university’s Cubberley Auditorium in Persian language. Beyzaie has previously performed a shadow play of “Jana and Baladoor” at the university in June 2012.

  New Wave Cinema

Beyzaie is part of a generation of filmmakers in the Iranian New Wave, a Persian cinema movement that started in the late 1960s. The filmmakers share many common techniques including the use of poetic dialog, references to traditional Persian art and culture and allegorical story-telling often dealing with political and philosophical issues.

‘When We Are All Sleeping’ was the last film Beyzaie directed in Iran in 2009. A few years later, he left the country to pursue his academic career at Stanford University as a visiting professor of Persian studies.

Considered as one of the most intellectual auteur in Iranian cinema, Beyzaie has written and directed several films including ‘Killing Mad Dogs’, ‘Travelers’, ‘Bashu, the Little Stranger’, ‘The Journey’ and ‘The Downpour.’