Seyed Javad Rooshan: Even today with so many different theater festivals, it still has its own place. Many of today’s well-known theater faces have come out these festivals. A review of many years of holding this festival shows that it has sometimes been held as a competitive festival and sometimes as a non-competitive one; and this has always had opponents and adherents; but today we see a combination of these ideas in this festival. Definitely, holding twenty seven editions of this festival and investigating the qualities of each one is a precious experience for its managers and coordinators. In the past Fadjr theater festival was a way to reach a public performance and many theater companies tried to attend this festival and after competing with each other, have a public performance in the following year; but since a few years ago, with the addition of some new sections, it has changed and is not only a place for specifying the public performance any more. The addition of various sections to this festival is a result of these experiences, for the festival has got a space for every taste _from audience’s to performer’s_ and deals with each one separately and professionally. A special focus on the production of scripts indicates the importance of supporting the Iranian playwrights and the sections of ‘New Experiences’, ‘Theater of Nations’, ‘Perspective’, ‘The Festival of Festivals’, ‘Review’, ‘The International competition’, ‘research’, and etc. all show an attention to different parts, tastes and needs of theater.
Now the question is: Is Fadjr theater festival a complete showcase of Iran’s theater or not?
It seems a bit difficult to answer this question and it may be hard to claim that, but undoubtedly this festival, if not a complete showcase, contains the reflection of theater of Iran and a considerable part of it. The regional festivals and groups from other cities attending this festival, the various sections, the great number of works, the wide and various range of participants and etc. are all a sign of Iran’s dynamic theater. Although it is impossible to include all the artists and summarize Iran’s theater in 10 days due to lack of facilities and time in comparison to the great number of theater artists, it is possible to understand that Iran’s theater is alive.
Another quality of Fadjr theater festival is being international, which is important from two angles; first the contact and cooperation of Iranian groups with foreign ones, and second getting more familiar to theater beyond the boundaries of Iran by watching foreign groups’ performances which is possible for artists, students and enthusiasts of theater. Although this has always been criticized that international productions in the festival are not at a high level of quality, the presence of some quality shows cannot be denied. Fadjr theater festival was the start of internationalization of theater of Iran and the presence of international groups which is of great importance; and now we must try to improve the quality of this section. The plan to have an theater market in this edition is a is a continuation and evolution of the plan for the contact of Iranian groups with foreign artists, festivals and theater groups. Also the international competition section which means the competition of Iranian companies with international groups, and is judged by a jury made up of Iranian and foreign artists show that Fadjr festival no longer looks at international groups as guests; and in fact this is an international competition between the theater of Iran and other countries, which now we must pay more attention to its different aspects and by resolving the problems and shortcomings try to help it reach an acceptable level of quality.
One of the other blessings of Fadjr theater festival is giving an excuse to the publication of tens of books; from plays to researches, theories and translations which besides different seminars and training workshops greatly contribute to improve the scientific level of Iran’s theater. In the recent editions there have been professional seminars which start a few days before the festival and act as a scientific introduction to Fadjr theater festival which thanks to university society has gone beyond experience and taken on an academic form.
Undoubtedly Fadjr theater festival is the greatest and the most influential theater festival in Iran which is going to find and establish its international place among the world theater festivals. The coordinators and decision-makers of this festival must also pay more attention to this position and try to provide proper situations for an international event so that by expanding the facilities we can see a clear reflection of Iran’s theater in this festival.