Iranian stage director Nasser Hosseinimehr has withdrawn his play from the schedule of the Molavi Hall in protest over the new official changes that occurred at the theater last week.
His troupe had spent the past few weeks rehearsing the German dramatist Heiner Müller's play "The Hamletmachine", which was scheduled to be performed at the theater in late August.
"My drama is cancelled. Behind me the scenery is being taken down by people who are not interested in my drama, for people to whom it doesn't matter," Hosseinimehr brought an excerpt of a dialogue written for the protagonist of "The Hamletmachine" in a press release.
Adjacent to the University of Tehran, the Molavi Hall, which belongs to the Academic Center for Education, Culture, and Research (ACECR), was closed down by officials of the university on June 22 while no specific reason was mentioned for the decision.
However, a source who wished to remain anonymous told the Persian service of ILNA that loose observance of hijab by artists and audiences was one of the reasons the theater was shut down.
The Molavi Hall, mostly dedicated to intellectual and student performances and one of Tehran's five main theaters, was reopened a few days later. However, the University of Tehran appointed a single new director to supervise the hall and dismissed all others from the staff.
"I condemn this decision, and regard it as disrespectful to Iranian theater," Hosseinimehr stated.
He said that he would stage his play at the Molavi Hall when it is once again returned to its rightful owners.
A large number of stage actors and directors have signed petitions against the decision over the past week.
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