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Articles, Reviews, Volume 7

Iranian Theatre as Means of Intervention: The Intercultural Discourse in Hey! Macbeth, only the first dog knows why it is barking!

Iranian Theatre as Means of Intervention: The Intercultural 
Discourse in Hey! Macbeth, only the first dog knows why it 
is barking!
By Sepideh Shokri Poori
Arab Stages, Volume 7 (Fall, 2017)
©2017 by Martin E. Segal Theatre Center Publications

How does theatre intervene in the social and political life of a society that suffers from the existence of a totalitarian regime? How does Iranian society perceive its cultural and local wealth? These are some questions which this article will attempt to answer through the analysis of the play Hey! Macbeth, only the first dog knows why it is barking! (2009) by تی‌تووک  (Titowak) Theatre Group. The Titowak is a black and white bird with a red tip that lives near water. According to legend, the Titowak is the earth’s savior and when everybody is sleeping, it guards the earth.

What most requires interpretation in this play are the intercultural aspects that correspond to the cultural and ethnic diversity of Iran. The work of Titowak is an attempt to achieve its meaning through the aesthetic local forms (such as the Zâr (زار) ritual) obtained from the mixed area of هرمزگان (Hormozgan, province of the Persian Gulf). It is a hybrid image of Iranian, Arab, Indian and even African culture. In Hey! Macbeth, only the first dog knows why it is barking! Ebrahim Poshtekoohi (ابراهیم پشت‌کوهی), the director, remodels a Western text, Shakespeare’s Macbeth, according to Iranian sociopolitical specifics, using performance traditions of Southern Iran to create a different experience for the spectator. It is a theatre that engages the spectator in an artistic event and invites him/her to have a critical look at the current situation of Iran while trying to remove the subjectivity of its director.

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