Tehran, August 2014
Bahar, Setareh, Amir et Mohammad explained us in the previous article that when you create a show in Iran, you have two options : working with the permission from the State or working without. And in case you decide to play in an official theatre, you have to request and obtain the permit to present in public your text, your characters, your mise-en-scène, your costumes, your scenery… in other words, everything is reviewed.
But the subjects that are likely to be censored only concern very specific themes.
The key is to find the way you say things, without fundamentally changing the content of the play. To some extent, the censorship forces you into being inventive. But taking into account the things not to say is not always wanted : the author censors himself automatically.
And in case where the modifications that are requested by the Ershad Ministry would be too annoying, there is still a little more radical solution...
Censorship is part of the Iranian creations but it does not mean that the theatre in Iran would be extremely different without it. Indeed, even if some people have some ideas and sometimes, would like to show more intimate and more realistic scenes, when we asked « what would you do without the censorship », we were generally answered : « I haven’t really think about it », and Mohammad Rezayi Rad, who works without permission, added that, without it, he would do exactly the same thing.