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Theatre of Iranian Zoroastrians  (1922-1979 A.C.)

– NASRIN KHANJARI

Abstract:

Zoroastrian in Iran, who hardly spent time in the reign of Safavid and Qajar, in the late Qajar, the protection and support of their coreligionists in India could gradually bring them back to life. Specially after Mashrute (the constitutional treaty) and then in the reign of Pahlavi, favorable conditions returned to them, so that after years of pressure, they turned to self-awareness, self-development, reviewing and expressing some parts of their own history, identity, and personality, and all these could be suitable topics for plays.

In different cities such as Tehran, Yazd, Kerman, Ahvaz, and even Bombay, the Iranian Zoroastrian through various organizations and associations and in some gatherings, on the occasion of various festivals they began to perform “Plays”. This became a perennial tradition in many areas and became a continuous flow, such an event happened in  “Khoramshah” quarter in Yazd, where play tradition continued for eight years and reached a significant quality level, Although the general audience of such a flow was limited and it stayed away from the others’ views.

Arbāb (master) Aflatun Keykhosro Shahrokh was one of the significant Zoroastrian people who has especially tended to this art and has played an important role in the formation of the theatre, in the early decades of the present century in Iran. He was a playwright, director, translator, and the founder of the first permanent national theatre in Iran, as well.

Indeed, the historical, cultural and social circumstances of the Zoroastrian and the facilities that they had, paved the way for them. Many occasions like various festivals throughout a year, having places such as halls and schools, financial support, management of the programs by some organizations as Zoroastrians’ “Anjoman” (regional associations) in each area, also the good reception of the audience who regarded attending the festivals as a part of their religious ceremonies was a favorable atmosphere for beginning the process of creating plays.

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