Iran News ...


06/22/10

Tehran theater closed for "unknown reason" or was it "lax observance of hijab"


TEHRAN, June 22 (Mehr News Agency) -- The Molavi Hall, one of the five main places for staging plays in Tehran, was sealed Tuesday morning. The officials did not give any reason.

"This morning, when we arrived at the hall to fix photos of 'The Secret of the Golden Fish of Mr. Jean's Aquarium' we noticed that it was sealed," Ahmadreza Hajjarzadeh the public relations officer of the play currently on stage at the Hall told the Persian service of IRNA.


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The disciplinary officers of the hall alleged they were not informed about the notices of "No Entrance! The Hall is Sealed" on the theater's main entrance, he said.

Molavi Hall public relations officer Hojjat Seyyed Alikhani told IRNA that he has been "informed about the case" but he "does not have any further information."

However, a reliable source who preferred to remain anonymous told the Persian service of ILNA that "the lax observance of hijab by artists and audiences is one of the reasons for shutting down the theater, but officials asked us to announce to the media that the closure is due to an internal problem."


Iranian authorities have once again stepped up the hijab crackdown
file photo: woman stopped in Tehran by police for immodest appearance

"I wonder if it is any different elsewhere in the city or if disciplinary officials at the entrance of this hall simply did not observe the women who entered. Since this theater is used by university students for performances, there may be increased sensitivity by officials over issues of proper dress.

"We are currently negotiating with officials and I hope that our plays will be able to go on stage this evening," the reliable source concluded.

The Molavi Hall is currently host to "The Secret of the Golden Fish of Mr. Jean's Aquarium" directed by Ahmad Iranikhah, "Catch a Moving Bus" by Haedeh Haeri, "The Soil Fish" by Saeid Najafian.

The Molavi Hall is located on 16 Azar Avenue and it is affiliated to the University of Tehran's Academic Center for Education, Culture, and Research.

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