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Jerzy Grotowski
TANTALOS, Theatre Group in Iran

Editor: (Owen Daly) An e-mail came to me in April, 2007, from a second theatre group in Iran. Again, I know little of the specifics of this group, like the Black Narcissus theatre group, they note the parallels between the social and political climate on Poland in the late 50's and 60's and Iran today. I am publishing it here because it appears to be another example of a company following in the path of Grotowski's work..

Excerpts and summaries from their email:

Dear Mr. Owen Daly,

     We are so interested in Grotowski's method and we are working on this method to explore new things and new ways of expression in theater.

     Here's a short introduction of our Experimental Theater Group ( TANTALOS ) in Iran.

      [They using Experimental Theatre to explore artistic freedom and they recognize that the political climate in Iran has similarities to Grotowski's in the late 50's and  60's.]

     Our Experimental Theater Group ( TANTALOS ) [was founded] about 2 years ago and also found it's different way of thinking...

     [Their first production was "TEHRAN,THE CAPITAL OF IRAN" (performed in the lobby of tehran university). "TANTALOS" next began a year's work on "MEDEA" (a new interpretation based on our social condition without words and dialog ) in private settings outside of the limitations of the formal university.]

     "TANTALOS" started a year secret rehearsing period working on "MEDEA"(a new interpretation based on our social condition without words and dialog ).

Tantalos Rehearsal 1 Tantalos Rehearsal 2
Tantalos Rehearsal 3
Tantalos rehearsal 4
Tantalos Reherasal 5 Tantalos Rehearsal 6

     We rehearsed a year for one presentation.

     In our production "MEDEA", we experienced these things:

  • .Theatrical performance in a desert.
  • presence and combination of 3 kind of play:
    • TAZIYEE (an iranian traditional play)
    • BALLET
  • Confrontation with the audiences during our peformance and even after that.
  • Desert exploration with the audiences.

     [They chose venue in the desert for a single performance of this work, far away from Tehran, bringing their threatre into the liberating openness of nature. The performance was for a select audience. They were aware of risk.].

Here's some pictures of this adventure:

Medea 1
Medea 5
Medea 6
Medea 7
Medea 9
Medea 10
Medea 3
Medea 7
Medea 8

     We should stay underground in our country but we wish to be visible to you and to the free people in the world.  Th[ose are] some of our difficulties in the path of working on Experimental theater in Iran.

     [Unlike Black Narcissus, Tantalos is an Experimantal Theater Group working 'underground' without any state support.] We work intensively on physical and vocal approach to expression in the theater.

     Now we are working on our next production.

     We have the film's of our works (-TEHRAN,THE CAPITAL OF IRAN,   -MEDEA.) and more pictures of our 2 years advanture in Experimental Theater,we can send them to you if you like to see these Experiences.

     As we are developing our knowledge in the Experimental Theater ,we would appreciate any kind of help.

"I observe that new generation has already advanced in respect to the preceding one"


"TANTALOS" representative.


Additional Information on Grotowski


E-Mail:Owen Daly
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