Art And Culture

Life of Literary Figure M.A. Jamalzadeh Adapted for Stage

Despite living abroad, Jamalzadeh stayed in contact with writers of his time in Iran including Mahmoud Dowlatabadi, Jalal Al-e-Ahmad, Simin Daneshvar and Mohammad-Ebrahim Bastani-Parizi via letters
Mohammad Ali JamalzadehMohammad Ali Jamalzadeh

Life of prominent contemporary writer Mohammad Ali Jamalzadeh, often dubbed as the father of Iranian short stories, has been adapted for stage by actress and director Ladan Nazi.

The play “Masterpiece” (named after the writer’s two volume book) opened on Saturday at Paliz Theater and will run until August 23, ILNA reported.

Written by Ehsan Badakhshan, the play is a blend of live performance and puppetry techniques including shadow theater and paper theater.

Shadow theater, also known as shadow puppetry, is an ancient form of storytelling that uses flat articulated cut-out figures which are held and moved between a source of light and a transparent screen.

Paper theater or toy theater is a form of miniature theater dating back to the early 19th century in Europe. Toy theaters were often printed on paperboard sheets and sold as kits that could be assembled at home and performed by family members.

The cast includes Roozbeh Hesari, Mostafa Malek Makan, Ali Qorbankhani, Nasim Afsharpour, Afshin Hassanlou and Pouya Baqeri.

Nazi, 32, a puppeteer herself, has directed two plays and acted in over dozen plays and short films.

Tickets to the play are available at The venue is located at No. 69, Sepand St., South Azodi St., Karimkhan Ave.

  Away From Home

Seyed Mohammad Ali Jamalzadeh (1892-1997) was one of the major literary figures of Iran in the 20th century, best known for his unique style of humor, criticism of social behavior of his time and use of old proverbs and slangs in his works.

He has written 50 books including more than 30 short stories and translated poems written by German romantic poet Fredrich Schiller and selected stories by French author Jean Baptiste Moliere.

Born in Isfahan, Jamalzadeh lived in Iran until he was thirteen then moved to Lebanon, where he attended The Collège Saint Joseph, the oldest French school in the Middle East, in Antoura in 1908. He moved to Switzerland for higher education and studied law at University of Lausanne and later at the University of Burgundy in Dijon, France.

Despite living abroad, Jamalzadeh stayed in contact with writers of his time in Iran via letters. According to Iranian journalist, researcher and the chief editor of Bukhara magazine, Ali Dehbashi, Jamalzadeh was in touch with Mahmoud Dowlatabadi, Jalal Al-e-Ahmad, Simin Daneshvar and Mohammad-Ebrahim Bastani-Parizi.

His first collection of short stories “Once Upon a Time” was published in 1921 in Berlin. His other notable books include “Lunatic Asylum,” “Iran and Russian Relations,” “Saadi’s Councils,” and “Vulgar Encyclopedia”. He died in a retirement home in Geneva at the age of 105.


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