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“Theater, Online”, How Performing Arts Responds to Deadly Virus in Iran

From March 23, 1998, when the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance announced the closure of all cultural and artistic centers, followed by theatrical theaters, the reason for the outbreak of the Corona virus was announced.

 After the end of the Fajr International Theater Festival, at the end of Bahman 98, many plays had started their public performances, and the time for closing the theaters on the third of Esfand was only a few days after their public performances. Early in the new year, they put their plays on stage, became indecisive and worried, because with the spread of the disease and the rising death toll, it was not clear how long the crisis was going to last, so virtually all projects were being prepared, rehearsed and planned. Tiny was disrupted for the future.

This forced holiday in the field of culture and art continues despite the passage of more than 2 months, and it is not clear how long it will last, but in this 2-month period, theatergoers may have tried more than any other class or group in the field. They were active in their work and were among the first artists to start working and continue their activities in cyberspace on a large scale, which, of course, was accompanied by criticism.

The use of Instagram live space for online theaters, as well as discussions on various topics in the field of theater, from teaching and learning to advertising and marketing these days, are among the topics discussed by theater artists during this period and They continue to do so.

After these spontaneous activities of artists in cyberspace, which led to the performance of “online theaters” and following the experience of holding an online concert on the days of the corona virus, the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance in cooperation with the Tehran Municipality Cultural and Artistic Organization launched an online theater project on campus. They did the Tehran Theater, which was broadcast on the Internet TV show.

It was under these circumstances that the “Online Theater” was launched, a project that lasted for 10 nights from April 17 to 26, in which plays that were ready to be performed or performed due to the outbreak of corona disease in March were stopped. They went on stage.

In the first step, we saw several children’s shows and traditional coffee shows. The launch of the online theater project was criticized from the beginning, and critics also said that all theaters and rehearsal platforms should be closed, despite the fact that the lives of all our compatriots are in danger. Criticism was open to rehearsing and performing theater, and on the other hand, the quality of these performances, as well as the contradiction of the online theater performance plan with the originality of theater art and the liveness and confrontation of the audience and the artist were other criticisms of this plan.

Some proponents of the project see online theater launches as virtual concerts and online movies as a way to keep the lights of culture and art alive these days, and believe that online theater can keep the space afloat. People’s minds will be drawn to artistic activities as well as a source of income for unemployed artists.

The reception of this project, which was held for 10 nights from 17 to 26 April, was very good by the audience, so that it forced the officials to strengthen the servers in order to better cover this project.

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