“Epidemic” exposes liars in Nowhere City 

February 6, 2021 - 18:40

TEHRAN – Iranian director Reza Purtorab is competing at the 39th Fajr Theater Festival with his latest play “Epidemic” that disgraces liars in the imaginary metropolis of Nowhere City.

This comedy-drama tells the story of a town named “Nowhere City” that is thrown into chaos after a young man invents a substance, which prevents anyone who uses it from telling lies. The man sells the substance to the police for use on criminals, but this transaction exposes police corruption. Consequently, he distributes a large amount of the substance across the city.

The play was performed by Purtorab’s troupe at the Fakhreddin Asad Gorgani Hall in the northern Iranian city of Gorgan in December 2018.

Speaking to the Persian service of MNA on Saturday, Purtorab said that his cast, which is composed of 13 actors, is performing the play using the Brecht distancing effect.

By this effect, Brecht wanted to “distance” or to “alienate” his audience from the characters and the action, and, as a result of that, render them observers who would not become involved in or sympathize emotionally with or empathize by identifying individually with the characters psychologically. Rather, he wanted the audience to understand intellectually the characters’ dilemmas and the wrongdoing producing these dilemmas exposed in his dramatic plots.

Purtorab lamented the shutdown of theaters during the COVID-19 era and said, “Due to the pandemic, our troupe has not performed over the past year and they are under pressure mentally and financially.”

“The Fajr Theater Festival can help the theater troupes resume their activities afterwards,” he added.

The 39th Fajr Theater Festival will wrap up on Monday by announcing winners in several categories.

Photo: Iranian director Reza Purtorab’s troupe performs “Epidemic” at the Fakhreddin Asad Gorgani Hall in Gorgan on December 24, 2018. (Theater.ir)

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