Theater as a Mode of Dissent / تئاتر هنر معترض
Mohammad Yaghoubi is a multi-award-winning playwright, director, screenwriter, and theater instructor. He is also the co-founder of Nowadays Theater which is a non-profit theater company in Toronto, Canada. In this podcast, our conversation revolves around the issue of theater and what Yaghoubi believes is the inherent correlation of theater with politics, ethics, truth, and freedom. Inspired by Greek tragedies which were heavily dependent on philosophy and litrature as their indispensable attributes, Yaghoubi contributes to a theater where the human situation is taken seriously, a form of theater that abstains to surrender to pure aesthetic inclinations. Having been disappointed by those thinkers, such as Russian theater practitioner Konstantin Stanislavsky, who consider theater as an autonomous form of art detached from philosophy, politics, and society, Yaghoubi characterizes theater as a mode of dissent. In this sense, Mohammad Yaghoubi recognizes theater as an inherently socio-political phenomenon which casts doubt over apparently unquestionable axiomatic principles which have constructed social norms and shaped our understanding of the truth. Through engaging in theater either as a playwright or director, Yaghoubi attempts to raise questions about claimed eternal truths and so-called realities imposed upon the individual. His primary concern as a playwright is to lighten the shoulders of his audiences of the burden of these forced truths and historically accumulated narrations.