SAFAR is a collective site-specific theatre project in Tehran, which will be realised in an abandoned house in the centre of the city of Tehran by "Family Theater Group" in April 2021. During these difficult times, Hope has become a powerful weapon to protect humans from their suffering and therefore we want to spread the importance of being hopeful. This 15-person "Family Theater Group" consists of 8 actresses and 7 actors aged 20 to 30 years old.
Introduction Since the beginning of this pandemic in the early 2020, theater halls were one of the first place to shut down in Iran. The effect of this coronavirus outbreak on the theater society is dreadful. After almost 7 months of lockdown, "Family Theater Group" gathered again under the leadership of director and actress Elham Korda to start a new project. Due to the regulations imposed to contain Covid-19, theater groups were unable to perform indoors. However, our group overcame the challenges and found an old house which is taking its last breaths to perform outdoors.
Pandora, who was the first mortal woman in Greek mythology; a sort of Ancient Greek Eve. Following the instructions of Zeus – who wanted to punish Prometheus for stealing fire from the gods and giving it to humans – she was molded by Hephaestus and endowed with gifts by all the other Olympian gods. One of these gifts was a jar full of all the evils and diseases which exist in the world. Once Pandora married Epimetheus, she lifted the lid of this jar and set them all free, thus marking the end of the Golden Age of Humanity. One day, out of curiosity and not out of malice, Pandora lifted the lid of the jar, thus instantaneously releasing all evils and diseases into the world. Shocked by what had happened, she quickly tried to put the lid back, managing to merely trap Hope inside it. That is why Hope is the last thing that dies in human.
The location of this play is an empty, dried swimming pool of an abandoned house. The Pool as a symbol of sea and water, grave and tomb. A place that gives and takes away lives.
Besides the message of hope and fighting against oppressive powers, we want to show that those who survive difficult times are those who rebel and take action for the greater good. The play starts with those in power, but it ends with those who rebel with hope in their hearts. The play ends with Pandora’s jar that contains only hope, where we will echo that hope is the only way to save the world.
This play includes acting, singing, dancing, music and video-projections.
What is the project goal and who is the project for?
During these difficult times, Hope has become a powerful weapon to protect humans from their suffering and therefore we want to spread the importance of being hopeful. This is the main concept of our project that involves some water related myth. The most important message of our play is encouraging Hope in human to take actions and be as passive as possible in a world full of powerful dictators.
Why would you support this project?
Unfortunately, there is not much attention from the government or any other organizations towards stage plays in Iran. It’s all run by independent groups and artists. Our group is concerned about the lack of attention for the performing arts and how that impact society’s growth and development. Passionately, we are willing to communicate with other cultures to make a difference. We are faced with multiple barriers such as the, shortage of financial support, censorships, and a lack of auditoriums in this part of the world. To overcome these challenges, we need your help and support. Theater and society are firmly linked, and we are sure that we are not the only ones who are concerned about the effects of theater, or lack of it on society. We sincerely hope that we will not be left alone here.
Recently, millions of people around the world, including Iranians have been forced to stay at home because of the COVID-19 outbreak. By staging this outdoor performance and make it safe for our audience to watch, we wish to be a part of the healing process.
Theater is an important cultural, political, educational and society functional event. In all societies theater has become one of the most influential ways of communication that unites people with a shared experience. We are also in a country full of youth who are the passionate fans of Theater and Cinema. By using these two platforms we hope to positively impact the mindset on our younger generation.
Culture as theatre, culture as belief. Can you imagine a society without Theatre!?
How will we use the money if the project is successfully funded?
Since we are not staging this play in a proper working theater hall, all the technical equipment shall be sourced by ourselves. The main expenses would be honorarium, transport, lighting systems (projections, Dimmer), audio systems, video projector, mixers, microphones, audience seats, talent’s costume, stage decorations and any other construction required to facilitate the outdoor setting we use.
Who are the people behind the project?
Ms. Elham Korda (based in Tehran); an actress, director and former acting coach at the “Inja, Middle of Town” acting academy.
She initiated this project by forming this group with some of the graduates from the academy. This is her third project in collaboration with her students. Furthermore, she serves as the producer, director and writer of this project.
Amen Feizabadi, her long cooperative partner who is based in Berlin-Germany is also involved in this project as fundraiser and music producer.