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Bahram Beyzai’s 2 Adaptations on Stage

A scene from “The Scarecrow”A scene from “The Scarecrow”

Two adaptations from veteran playwright and filmmaker Bahram Beyzai’s plays are being performed in Tehran theaters.

The mythical play “Arash” directed by Arash Ashadad is on stage at the Fourth Wall Theater until August 26 while “The Scarecrow,” loosely based on the symbolic play “Four Boxes,” is directed by Mehrdad Khamenei at Entezami House Museum and will run until September 22, Honaronline reported.

Story of “Arash” by Beyzai, is a new narrative about the heroic mythical figure Arash the Archer, in Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh, who sacrificed his life to protect Persia from the invading Turanians by shooting an arrow and marking the border between Iran and Turan.

“Character of Arash in Beyzai’s text is a pacifist; the  story of the play is relevant to the present times,” director Ashadad said.

The music in his play features epic tunes alongside choral songs. The cast includes Milad Mohamadipour, Naqmeh Tousi, Mohammad Sadeqi and Ra’na Hoessin-Dokht.

Another distinctive play by Beyzai, “Four Boxes” has been produced by Exit Theater Group and aims to visualize the theme of the play with a new setting.

The play, written in 1967, is considered as one of his radical plays thematizing the fear of the unknown and state oppression.

It is the story of four characters, named Red, Green, Yellow and Black, representing different types of people in society from working class to intellectuals. They create a scarecrow to fight unknown threats, however, the scarecrow itself turns into a tyrant, and now they have to rebel against their own creation. In the end the working class representative dies while the others are in hiding.

Ghazaleh Kana’anpanah, Avishan Bikaei, Mohammad Mostafa Malek, Aban Asgari and Atefeh Amini are in the cast.

Bahram Beyzai, 79, is respected for his style of pure Persian writing and choosing mythical Persian figures and stories. His research on history of Iran’s theater led to the publication of “A Study on Iranian Theater,” in 1965. He is the first Iranian scholar to publish books on theater in Japan and China.

Some of his plays have been translated into several languages and shown in many countries.

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