'Life Tree' is co-produced by a young couple from Amol, Mohsen Ardeshir and Ghoncheh Shokouhian. The couple are taking part in the 12th International Street Theater Festival. They have taken part in the festival four times and received the best research award with 'Nava Ritual' and the best audience award for 'Hop'.
Ghoncheh Shokouhian, director of 'Life Tree' had an interview with Iran Theater.
'Life Tree' is different from your previous play, in the field of ritual theater. It is a social play. Why did you change tack?
My husband and I usually work on ritual plays. This is the third time, we produced a social play. It is the result of our relations with Social Welfare Organization. When we worked with the organization, we were noticed that people treat patients with AIDS badly and purge them. Given these social attitudes, we had decided to educate people on the disease and its patients.
What do you focus on in this play whose responsibility is public awareness?
'Life Tree' is about social attitudes towards AIDS patients. We have done studies on cause of the disease, treatment, prevention and etc. We have finally reached the conclusion that isolation and stigma had been the main problems of the patients. I think the society is not well-aware of the ways of transfer of the disease. We are trying to raise public awareness about the patients. We want to make people be kinder and more supportive of them.
How much do you think your play would influence the people?
Street theater is one of the important methods of improving the culture among the public. The stage theater has limited and intellectual audience and ordinary people do not watch them. But we have seen how much Marivan street theater festival has changed the culture of the residents of the city. For instance, hunters decided to break their guns. I believe street theater is one of the effective ways to rectify social woes.