Troupes bring tragedy of Ashura to Iranian theaters

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SHAFAQNA – The Center for Dramatic Arts has arranged a number of religious plays to be performed by different theater troupes in several cities across the country under the title “Ashura until Arbaeen”.

The plays will help highlight the mourning rituals of Iranian Shia Muslims for the great loss of the third Imam of the Shia, Imam Hussein (AS).

“The program will be running from October 17 until November 30 in 16 different cities with 15 onstage plays and 5 street plays,” director of the center Mehdi Shafie said in a press release published on Wednesday.

The mourning rituals of Muharram are held to commemorate the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (AS) and his companions during the first ten days of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar. Ashura, which falls on the 10th of Muharram, is the day when Imam Hussein (AS) and his companions were martyred.

Arbaeen marks the end of the 40-day mourning period following the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (AS) and his companions on Ashura.

“Cities in the provinces of Ilam, Tehran, Gilan Mazandaran, Markazi, Isfahan and Khuzestan are among the locations to be hosting the plays,” he said.

He added that the provincial centers for dramatic arts have also organized different programs, including the Iranian passion play, tazieh.

The Courtyard of Tehran’s City Theater Complex will also be hosting street performances of tazieh after Ashura.

In addition, Tehran’s Art Bureau has arranged a number of plays to be staged during the month of Muharram.

Photo: This file photo shows thespians from director Kurosh Zarei’s troupe performing “The Travelers of Kufa” about the tragedy of Ashura at Tehran’s Azadi Tower on December 22, 2010. (Jamejamonline/Amir Naderi)

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