After about 3 decades
since the beginning of the imposed war and the creation of the early works of
theater of the Sacred defense war and about twenty years after its end, it is
possible to say after looking at the bulk of the works that have been produces
that one of the main problems and issues of the theater of the Sacred defense
war is lack of attention to the item of interest or devaluation of it in the
theater of the Sacred defense war. Interest is an item, the presence of which,
gives life to a theatrical work and the absence of which takes away life from
it. . .
One of the most important factors in the theater is interest. It is an element that the executive groups do not try to reflect and to show it in their works and the Sacred defense war theater is the most deplorable theater in this regard and this can be attributed to the lack of information on the part of the executive group or it has its origins in the inability of the group.
Of the main components or the elements of interest is entertainment; an element over use of which, according to some artists, would lead to the downfall and degradation of the artistic work. . . . . . . .
But the fairest judgment in this regard might be the fact that the human being has created art so that he is entertained and if we are destined to present a valuable, philosophical, ethical and deep as well as effective and . . . . . . . . message in the form of theater it would be necessary for it to have the element of entertainment. In this regard Alfred Hitchcock says that "The artist is highly indebted to his / her audience; he / she has to pay his debt through his / her art and it is entertainment.”? . . . . . . .
In fact one of the secrets for the success of the artistic works is the existence of the element of entertainment in those works. Of course by entertainment we do not mean necessarily laughing or imparting good sense. Most of the times, when people say they go to the theater for entertainment, they mean amusement, laughing and escaping from thinking as well as pressure. Of course there is nothing wrong with entertainment in this regard. Most of us like to be amused sometimes or to escape from the burden of life exactly in the same way when we fell like eating a piece of chocolate. Still it is possible that we become bored of both of these two. Entertainment in the framework of the present discussion means the power of presentation in getting the audience involved and interested and presenting him with a valuable experience. No play has to be boring at all. Of course there are people who might be bored with any play and with any implementation but a good play usually entertains the majority of the people and if there is audiences that feel bored the problem lies in themselves and not in the play. . . . . . . .
The power to entertain and to get the audience involved is related to the work of the playwright but it might be more related and be dependant on the production and execution of that play. There are a lot of different plays that have been badly presented due to a weak and soulless execution; on the other hand there are also some weak dramatic works that have been ascended in value due to lively and entertaining execution. Evaluation of the execution, separate from the subject of the play, has been a very difficult task and it is highly dependant on familiarity with a lot of different kinds of plays that have been executed by different theatrical groups. But based on experience it can be said that an execution that has attracted the attention of the audience during the play and none of its elements leads to the distraction of the audience is most possibly a good execution . . . . . . . . Usually a scene , a part of the dialogue or event a part of the execution of a good play is awaken in us a long time after we have left the theater as a memory. Even if a play is good we will be highly interested to think about it and to talk about it with our friends. A good play will still be interesting after we have seen it many times. One of the common characteristics of the mass arts is that they are soon out dated or become old but whenever we go to see a work of art for the second and . . . . . . . time we feel it fresh and lively as it was for the first time some times it is better than the first time. This characteristic is attributable to the entertainment element. In the realm of the theater of the Sacred defense war one can refer to the following works as the ones which were interesting: . . . . . . . "Zemestan 66 ( Winter 1987 ) ”? by Mohammad Yaghoobi , "Pechpeche haie Posht Khate Nabarad . . . . . . . ( Murmuring behind the Front Lines ) ”? by Ali – Reza Naderi , "Hamase Nane Khazire ( The Epic of a Grandmother called Khazire ) ”? a group work , "Goft va Goie Setare Ba Madaresh (Inetrview of Setareh with Her mother ) ”? , by Mohammad Charm Shir and "Dahani Por az Kalagh ( a mouth full of crow) , by Jamshid Khanian , as well as "Khial rooie Khate Movazi : "Thinking on the Parallel Lines) ’ , by Hamid Reza Azarang. . . . . . . .
Although interest and entertainment are not so obvious elements and factors but its covert and inherent presence activates the sensual and emotional organism of the observers and they will run influence on the emotion and mind of the addressee.
Think about the iron – sands on the paper under which is a magnet, with the moving of the magnet the iron – sands are moved as well. If we take the iron – sands out of the paper and put them on the paper at a distance they are instantly attracted to the magnet. In fact around the magnet are invisible force lines that cause the magnet to attract the iron – sands to it. If we draw a simile between magnet and the theater and consider the audiences as iron sands the force of attraction of the audience to the theater and the invisible force lines are the same interest and entertainment. The importance of these invisible force lines is so much so that the attraction of the audience would not entail.
Interest has a close and organic relation with the other elements and factors of the theater. For this reason and in order to achieve interest in a theatrical production extensive and complicated activity is needed along with understanding. Investigating each of these relations needs a special research and investigation.
What the relation of interest with the genre of theater, rhythm and theme as well as subject and language and . . . . . . . as well as the structure of the play is a very complex issue the discovery of which will provide the director and the execution group with valuable and useful guidelines and certainly by making use of this information the theater of the Sacred defense war will be released from the lack of interest and entertainment with which it is afflicted.
The entertainment element has with it such a valuable and satisfaction that the combination of the theater with interest, especially for the theater of the Sacred defense war, will be so successful that will lead to the internalization of the theater of the Sacred defense war. The necessity of entertainment in theater is so much that M . James Young has a very good sentence in this regard saying that: "theater is not about entertainment rather it is pure joy”?.
Johan Wolfgang Von Goethe ( 1749 – 1832 ) the German theorist, novelist, poet and playwright as well as scientist considers three functions for art:
3. Praising and Lauding the human spirituality
The term entertainment has been taken from the Latin root meaning holding and keeping. The complete form of the word means attracting the senses in an enjoyable and nice manner. Of course if the first step between addressee and the theater is not settled the end goal of the theater even if it is Sacred, valuable and thoughtful is not reached at and the first step in this process is the same interest and in order to achieve this factor it is necessary to infill entertainment to the theater; it is possible to make sure of the existence of entertainment in the theater so that the audience is attracted to the theater and if this is done the end goal of the theater will be achieved. We can refer to this point through a poem written by Wang Ken:
Enjoyment is a condition of being
The outcome of what one learns
An experience of this pleasure
No learning is possible without pleasure
And No pleasure is possible without learning”?
Of course enjoying a theater is a personal affair and it is possible that an addressee is pleased with a theater in an environment and in an amphitheater while the other may be far from any enjoyment. Kakora the Japanese philosopher has a minimalist story in this regard: "One day Sushi was walking beside the river while his friend was accompanying him. Sushi said enthusiastically how happy the fish are in the water. His friend told him that "you are not a fish then how do you know they are enjoying the water?”? Sushi answered: you are not me and how do you know I don’t know the fish are enjoying the water or not.”?
In the present century – the age of the colorful media and the extensive extra – territorial channels and satellites if the artists of the theater do not find his way to the heart of the addressee and entertain his thought and mind, the theater of the Sacred defense war would soon be faced with the crisis of audience.
We have to be a realist in this regard and we have to discover the causes and take the threats seriously so as to evade the crisis through making use of the appropriate policies and planning. One of the methods to reach the domain of theater of the Sacred defense war with a great multitude of audience is to be aware of the time and to have a complete grasp of it. Any age needs its priority and requirements.
With the entrance of the European theater and plays as well as the appearance of the new entertainments as well as the changes that has taken place in the social and political lives of the people living in Tehran and other cities common mourning is about to lose its importance and value step by step.
And Nasir Al – Din Shah made the best use of the situation and condition and he who was making entertainment use of any thing has tried a lot in this regard as well. He made Shabih Khani a means for stating his pomp and showing his grandeur and glory of his state and developed it to become an industry.
During the time of Nasir Al – Din Shah the number of the houses that were designed for mourning raised from 40 to 80 that is they doubled. We are aware that mourning very welcome at those times and all people were involved in it. It had such a valuable and grandeur position; you might remember the grandiosity of the mourning house of the state which had the capacity of 2500 people. One of the other factors that lead theater to be enjoyable is creativity and innovation. Of course it has to be stated that that there would be no creativity unless it comes into being under the influence of the cognition and understanding of the past experiences. "Everything is new and old. . It old because there are a lot of things that are similar to it and it is new because we see it new.”?.
One of the means of creativity can be technique. "Technique becomes a habit through experience. And while it is working it is normally fluent. Technique is regarded to be an observance. It is always necessary to remind oneself of this and one has to be very exact. These must what worry the artist. This great enthusiasm that the writer has in his technique should not be mingled with the Artistic Ecstasy. Whoever creates a technique might have some small mistakes and until he is not estranged from what he has made he can have some small mistakes like the others have.
One of the issues that has a close relation with interest and enjoyment is aesthetics. Whenever we talk about interest and enjoyment it is the genre of comedy that comes to one’s mind of course this is a mistake. Although the genre of comedy has a high capacity for the interest and attraction for he audience but in the theater of the Sacred defense war it is possible to create interest and enjoyment even through the most tragic of tragedies. There are a lot of things that cause interest and enjoyment but they are not beautiful in any way such as the inappropriate works and the terrible works of the actors that although are the causes of interest and enjoyment but they are not at all acceptable and beautiful rather they are unacceptable and terrible. There are a lot of things that cause worry and unhappiness of the mind but they are indeed beautiful and acceptable such as woeful songs and sorrowful stories as well as worried movements and bodies that have been dealt with in an artistic way and this why the tragic play are very sorrowful and full of tragic events although they are made very artistically and very meticulously. Therefore it is possible to consider beauty as a criterion and standard of a degree of interest and enjoyment that is gained from theater and there is no necessity to gain them only through laugh and entertainment.
Most of the successful theatrical works have special interest and enjoyment that have three characteristics: 1 . feeling 2 . intimacy 3 . clarity
In fact these three characteristics in the theatrical works ensure their interest and enjoyment to some extent and keep the theatrical works from direct speech, slogan, ambiguity and vagueness as well as haphazardness away. Unfortunately the majority of the works written in the domain of the theater of the Sacred defense war are afflicted with this weakness except for a few works written by . . . . . . . .Ali – Reza Naderi , JAmshid Khanian , Mohammad Charm Shir and Hamid Reza Azarang who form the main four columns of the literature of the Sacred defense war. . . . . . . . .
Although the creation of interest takes place in the theatrical text but execution has also a great role in reaching that goal. All the stages and elements of direction are important factors in creating interest and attraction; it is possible to increase this quality by intelligently designing each of these theatrical elements and factors. One of the elements that can ensure the interest and attraction of the theater of the Sacred defense war is to reach and to gain new methods and experiences. "our goal is to create a thing that you think it as your own and at the same time it has to keep the originality and first – handedness of the playwright. . . . . . . . .
When there is a relation between form and the execution of the play, meaning the general form of the scene execution, is used in opposition with a special form. The form requires that the texts of a play are executed on a ready made scene to which a special kind of beauty and decoration is given. In order to reach this aim the theatrical costume and lighting (even the day light) is used and that they are formed at least by actors of the lower scale. All the executed plays, for example the historical plays, have form because it abides by the fact that theater is changed to a live custom and to be regarded as different from other arts. It is in this way respected. This means that the supposition that play is an invented story so that the actors play it for the audience on the scene. The real form of execution from a century before the birth of Jesus Christ has remained stable; it is the method of playing that has changed. . . . . . . . .
But in the method of performance, such as the method in the texts of the play, means a special individualization and it is a great step that goes ahead of the form. It is also possible to define method as general characteristics of scene performance at a special period and the general characteristics of a unique performance. General Characteristics are those performance executions that are extended and expanded in any age and are used in a special time span. (The Elizabethan Style, The Reformation Style and the Realist Style as well as . . . . . . . . . . . ). Special characteristics are those characteristics that the director in the scene performance of a special play performs.
Therefore the director in the modern times, in the execution of the plays is more than a coordinator. He is very useful. He is more than a coordinator rather he is a stylist and he is dependant on his own originality. At the same time since theater has always been a group art and it will remain as it is, if the director wants to think about a unique performance he has to learn that he has to guide his colleagues whose creativity goes beyond the individual borders and are combined with the other’s creativity. . . . . . . . .
In fact, in order to gain an appropriate performance style, the analysis is accompanied by patience and study who guides the director to an individual and miracle like understanding. And if this important thing does not happen it is impossible to reach at a defendable and valuable performance because the basis and the foundation of the style that the director chooses is the same individual understanding. . . . . . . . .
One of the other things that are not valued appropriately is that the standard time is not allocated to the production process and it is produced at a hurry. The Sacred defense war performances do not have the necessary delicacy and coordination and this decrease the attractiveness of the theater of the Sacred defense war. Most of the directors of the Sacred defense war theater are not completely satisfied with their productions and consider one of their main problems to be lack of time. After the general structure of the play was set up it is the time for the next stage which is giving the play precision, adding details and polishing it. . . . . . . . . Consider the sculptor who has formed the general form of a sculpture by scraping the stone and by using the mud. Now he is standing a little far from the sculpture and looks at his work in its totality in order to make sure that the relation of the details and its components are likely then he feels relaxed and now he takes his devices so as to form the details.
Your job at this stage is exactly like this. You also get away from the play you have formed and look at its totality. Now your actors know what hey do and what they want to do. . . . . . . . .
The interviews and the mise – en – scene, the characters of the play as well as a main part of your personal interpretation of the play has formed; they are ready to adapt themselves with the clothes, decor and light as well as the voice in a perfect way. In fact the adaptation of the work with clothes and décor as well as light and . . . . . . . . has started from a long time ago. It happens a lot, when the performance is weak, and you hear this sentence from the directors: "in order to reach a perfect level of performance we only needed a week more”?. But this is just an excuse. Reality is bitter. If the last sessions of the rehearsal are not made use of very effectively nothing changes even if they have a week more time.
In the beginning of this stage, the director has to work on the details and giving delicacies and precision to the play; he has to make the latest emendations in a way that this stage has ended before at least 1 / or 1 / 4 of the time ended. At this stage you have to make use of all the facilities you have and through adding and subtracting the necessary details to present the audience with the best interpretation that you have of the play. One of the best methods in the last stages of this part is to see by your own ears and to hear with your own eyes. . . . . . . . .
To hear with your own eyes means to cut the voice of the play during the rehearsal as you some times turn off the voice of the TV and you just see the pictures and now look at the play. Is it possible to understand what is going on on the scene clearly without making use of the speech? Is what is seen on the stage in the forms of movement and action in accordance with what you had wanted to say or do? For this aim you can use some plastic pieces that you put in your ear when swimming or you van use wax in your ears and then you can look at the play. . . . . . . . .
To see by your own ears is easier. It is enough to see all the play while your eyes are closed. Do the rise and fall of the voices of the actors and the biting of the scenes convey the same pictures that you had in your minds? Making use of these methods is very important in increasing the sensitivity of your senses and they are very important for the evaluation and assessments of your work. . . . . . . . .”?
In brief one of the main reasons that the audience is not attracted to the theater of the Sacred defense war is lack of interest and attraction and subjecting this miracle issue to oblivion on the part of the performance group. It is under the influence of this interest that it would be possible to reach the great goals in the theater of the Sacred defense war. The more we emphasize this element in the process of production the more successful we would be in attracting the audience. How we can make the elements and the necessities of a performance attractive needs a very extensive and overall research. But in this research it was tried to focus on the importance of attraction and to subject it to consideration to the most possible extent. We have to draw attention to this fact that infilling the theater of the Sacred defense war with interest and attraction is one of the most effective ways of that can attract more audience which is at the time being the most critical need of the theater of the Sacred defense war. Last but not least is that the term that can put an end to this crisis is attraction whose vacant place is largely felt in the theater of the Sacred defense war. . . . .
1. An Introduction to the Theater . Overly Holton . Tran. By : Mahbubeh Mohajer . Souroush Pub . Co . , P . P . 269 – 70 .
2. Theater of Monovi , Collection of Articles . Trans . By : Mashhood Mohesnian . Porseman Pub . Co . , 1st Ed . P . 61 .
3. Ibid. P . P . 42 – 43 .
4. Conscious Learning . Allan J . Longer , Trans . By : Abbas Mokhber , MArkaz Pub . Co . , First Ed . 1377 . P . P . 67 – 68 .
5. Ibid . P . 142 .
6. Tazieh and Reading Tazieh . Enaiat Allah Shahidi , The Cultural Research Center , First Ed . 1376 . P . 170 . .
7. Ibid . P . 170 .
8. Nima’s Letters . Shergim Yooshij . Negah Pub . Co . , 1st Ed . 1376 . P . 645 .
9. Ibid . P . 445 .
10. Beauty and Art . Fazl Allah Parvin . Parcham Pub . Co . , P . 52 .
11. Directing Theater . Francis Hajj , Trans . By : Mansour Ebrahimi , Ali Akbar Ali Zadeh . SAMT Pub . Co . , First Ed . 1382 . P . P . 546 – 547 .
12. The Principles of Directing Theater , Ahmad Damoud . NAshr Markaz Pub . Co . , 1st Ed . 1376 P . P . 161 – 163 .