Avaye Divanegan  Theatre Group has begun its activities since 1983 in Shahrud under the supervision of Saman Arastou. It is a theatre group whose attitude has been very different in comparison to other Iranian classical theatre since its initiation. Its theatrical practices is not similar to any group in a way that if one watches one of the plays of this group and several years later watches another one without knowing the name of the director or the group, one will understand that the work belongs to Saman Arastou and Avaye Divanegan.
The plays are like workshops completely based on pedagogy, improvisation and understanding the character by means of understanding the nature and identity of the yourself.
From the very beginning, the dramaturgy attitudes of the group’s performed plays are influenced by social pains and challenges which have been dealt with and staged in different forms.
Avaye Divanegan staged its first play “The Cell 18” planned and directed by Saman Arastou in 1983 and since then to date, all the group’s performed plays have been directed by Saman Arastou.
Until 1992, the group staged four plays in Shahrud: “The Bird and the Elephant, The Raining Night, A Window on the Winds, Four Hands”, and won the academy award for the best director and the best actor from Soureh Festival in Iran for the play “The Raining Night” written by Esmaeel Hemmati.
Then, due to Arastou’s moving to Tehran, in 1999 Avaye Divanegan resumed its practices to extend the theatrical activities in Tehran, the capital of Iran. The group staged its first play “Four Hands” in Youth Theatre Festival of Tehran and won the award for “the different work”. After that, Saman staged sixteen plays with Avaye Divanegan in the form of public performance or performing in festivals until 2014.
In 2014, Arastou decided to stage his biography as a transsexual in a form of a play, an idea which he thought about it for many years; the play “All of You Know Me”.
In fact, it was a play being expressed on behalf of the big society of transsexuals and sought humanity. At the beginning, the play was a monologue; however, after holding the new courses in acting workshops, Saman decided to select a number of his students in those workshops for the aforementioned play.
In 2015, after processing and fostering, and holding eight months workshop exercises, the play “All of You Know Me” was staged in Fanous Theatre of Tehran for 30 nights, but after enthusiastic reception of the audience and news reports by Iranian and foreign news agencies, the play was performed for 30 nights again in the same theatre.
As a result of successful performance, the play “All of You Know Me” was staged one more again for 12 nights at the end of 2015 in one of the halls of the City Theatre of Tehran which is the most famous and the most prominent theatre centre of Iran. Despite further enthusiastic reception of the audience, prominent artists of Iran and also news agencies, the extended license was not given to this play.
In 2016, the play “All of You Know Me” was performed in the form of the performance art in the first international participatory Iran-France performance festival held in Tehran. By the judgment of the French team composed of Christian Bie (PhD in Theatre and the professor of University of Paris), Victor Tymvnyh, Yasamin Khajei and Neda Shahrokhi (PhD in Theatre from University of Paris), “All of You Know Me” by Avaye Divanegan was selected as the top performance from among 100 plays attended in that festival.
Avaye Divanegan theatre group, with more than two decades of theatrical activities and as a theatre company in Iran, has staged several successful plays in different social genres and subjects during those years and analyzed and expressed them with theatre language.
Performed Plays by the Group
- “The Cell 18” (Shahrud/1983)
- “The Bird and the Elephant” (Shahrud/ 1990)
- “Four Hands” (Shahrud/1990)
- “The Raining Night”, written by Esmaeel Hemmati (Shahrud/ 1991)
- “A Window on the Winds”, written by Nazerzadeh (Shaheud/ 1992)
- “Four Hands” (Tehran/1999)
- “The Play House” (Tehran/ 2000)
- The street show “The First Session Free” (Tehran/ 2000)
- “Plaza Hotel” written by Neil Simon (Tehran/ 2005)
- “Open Couple” written by Dario Fo (Tehran/ 2005)
- “The House of Bernarda Alba” written by Federico Lorca (Tehran/ 2006)
- “The Wedding of Malayer’s Ruler” written by Davoud Fatali Beigi (Tehran/ 2006)
- “The Last Supper” written by Mohammad Charmshir (Tehran/2007)
- “The Virgin of Autumn” written by Mehdi Afshar (Tehran/2007)
- “No man’s land” (Tehran/ 2009)
- “The Wedding of Malayer’s Ruler” written by Davoud Fatali Beigi (Tehran/ 2009)
- “Ashes to Ashes” written by Pinter (Tehran/ 2014)
- “Not all Thieves are Harmful” written by Dario Fo (Tehran/2014)
- “All of You Know Me” in three courses of performance (Tehran/ 2015)
- Anonymous Performance in Iran-France festival (Tehran/2015)
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