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German dramatist Granz reviews "Crystal Tower" on stage in Tehran

TEHRAN, Feb. 24 (Mehr News Agency) -- The play "The Crystal Tower" was reviewed on Saturday at the Mehr News Agency venue in a session attended by its author, German playwright Ronald Granz.

Directed by Iranian Nasrollah Qaderi, "The Crystal Tower" is currently on stage at Tehran's City Theater Complex.

At the beginning of the session Granz spoke about the play, but later went on to discuss the position in the world of Persian art and Iranian artists.

He said, "The initial idea for the drama took shape in my mind when I was in Chicago, where I got to know a lady whose job it was to take passengers up and down a big tower in an elevator. Apparently, as people reached the upper floors they begin to feel as if they are in heaven."

Granz then went on to describe the play's storyline, "The woman takes passengers up to floor 103 where the tower's manager resides. She falls in love with the manager and mentally prepares herself to marry him, but he ignores her attentions. At the same time, a man from an Eastern country becomes interested in her, but she doesn't like the idea of getting involved with a person from that part of the world. From there on I am writing about a woman who goes on hoping that her dreams will come true someday despite experiencing many difficulties," he explained.

He pointed out that in this production he has attempted to show that the West is not quite the way it is imagined by people living in other parts of the world, "It is true that the West benefits from a high level of technology, but people must comprehend that a good spirit does not prevail behind this modern development. The major theme of the drama is to reveal the relationship between the East and the West."

He went on to say that the play has also been staged in Germany, remarking, "The differences between the Iranian and German performances were extremely important to me and very interesting. As a German writer, I am happy that Qaderi has managed to stage 'The Crystal Tower' at Tehran's City Theater. In Germany, the central actress spoke in the form of a monologue in order to depict her sense of solitude, while here in Iran, the woman is portrayed as seeking love and peace, and the social problems of the West and New York have been emphasized."

Granz, who was a jury member of the Mah Theater Festival in Iran, expressed his opinion about Iranian drama, saying, "Most Iranian plays are influenced by the war. It would be better if Iranian troupes, whilst keeping their beliefs, were to portray social issues as well. I watched several entries which were of a high quality, but I hardly noticed any up-to-date work. If Iran's theater managed to find its way to international events, as its cinema has done, then it would be able to present its rich culture (to the world)."

He later explained the position of theater in his own country and remarked, "The government pays special attention to this province of the arts in our country and its support of theater is unique in the world. This has assisted in the development of drama in Germany. We try to encourage and lead people who are mere consumers and pursuing materialism towards an understanding of the meaning and sentiments of life by means of art and theater."

On the cooperation of Iranian and European troupes, he remarked, "Iranian theater groups must exchange their knowledge and players with successful foreign companies in order that they reach a position of equality, this is the only way the world can achieve love and peace."

"If Iran's government supports the country's theater then, along with the Iranian people who are very strong and spiritual, it would be able to help enrich Western culture," Granz concluded.

Ronald Granz is a university graduate in science and journalism. He writes short stories, plays and operas. He also writes and produces programs for TV.

"The Crystal Tower" is currently on stage at the Sayeh Hall of the City Theater Complex everyday except Saturdays. The main cast includes Mohsen Hosseini, Mahrokh Afzali and Rasul Naqavi.

The crew includes stage designer Sepideh Nazaripur, composer Mehrdad Nosrati and costume designer Behieh Khoshnevisan.

... Payvand News - 02/24/08 ... --

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