Iranian theatre and art community lashed out against the recent shut down of Hedda Gabler in Tehran as the House of Theatre and Association of Drama Actors issued statements describing the ban illegal in view of the fact that the production had an official licence issued to it by the Supervision and Evaluation Council.
“This incident makes the rules and regulations for shows redundant and indicates that forces beyond the Supervision Council will be able to expand their interference and attacks against theatre productions to destroy the vast cultural background build by Iranian dramatists,” House of Theatre board of directors write.
Hedda Gabler was shut down last week after denouncement of the play in state media and accusations set against it for promoting “vulgarity and hedonism.”
Last Wednesday, Vahid Rahbani, the 31-year-old director of the play, along with a number of other members of the crew were summoned to Tehran prosecutor’s office “to provide clarification” regarding the play.
In response to a letter of complaint from Rahbani, the House of Theatre’s board of directors also issued a letter to the minister of culture and guidance to protest against the shut down of the play and disregard of its official licence.
The Association of House of Theatre Actors have also condemned this ban in an official statement and called for security in their professional activities and fair treatment of artists in accordance with the law.
The House of Theatre was founded in 2000 by a group of Iranian theatre professionals and has been active since in promoting theatre and defending the rights of performance artists in Iran.