Director says Dutch theatergoers not offended by “Zero”

March 13, 2021 - 18:59

TEHRAN – Iranian director Arvand Dashtaray, whose latest production “Zero” was live streamed for Dutch theatergoers last week, said that they have not deemed the play on migration issues offensive to their culture.

The play written by Shahab Mehraban was staged at the Koninklijke Schouwburg, a theater in the city center of The Hague, on March 5.

Speaking to the Persian service of ISNA on Saturday, Dashtaray said that the play is a monologue trilogy that criticizes the double standard of the world, and Europe in particular, toward emigrants.    

“In the first episode, the play revolves around a Turkish actor who lives in the Netherlands, the second episode is about a Dutch actor in Iran, and the third part centers on a Dutchman who has chosen to live in Iran,” he stated.     

He noted that the trilogy also embodies a thin layer of Sophocles’ features, Oedipus and Antigone, and Euripides’ Medea.

“This play is a protest against the double standard toward emigrants, and I thought that it might be deemed offensive by Dutch theatergoers, but this was not the case, and the play was really helpful,” Dashtaray said.

The play is a co-production between the Virgule Film & Performing Arts Company in Tehran and STET, the English Theatre in The Hague.

Robin Steegman is the actor of the monologue, which is about how human identity has been reduced to numbers, the companies have written in a statement for the play.

“We are valued by the number of followers or the number of re-tweets we get. What happens if these numbers no longer count? What if we find ourselves without a number?

“The performance aims to highlight how boxed in we have all become by numbers, rules and regulations we have created ourselves. Who dares to question the validity of these? Who dares to defy their inner police voice and self-censorship? Who dares to find their inner Antigone and dives in to rewrite the game?”

Photo: Iranian directed Arvand Dashtaray in an undated photo.

MMS/YAW

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