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Playwright and director Bijan Mofid is one of the very few serious modern Iranian artists whose writing has reached beyond the intelligentsia to a broad general audience. He was born in Tehran in 1935. After teaching for several years at the University of Tehran, he founded the theatre workshop, where many of Iran's finest actors received their training. The workshop's major production was Bijan's own City of Tales (Shahr-e-Ghesseh), a profound satire that weaves social comment through adaptations of traditional music and folk tales. It toured for three years, was made into an awardwinning film, and is recognized as a classic of Iranian literature. Mofid's work as playwright and director has had a continuous and controversial presence in Iranian theatre, both on the popular stage and in experimental productions. Nine of his plays have been produced and published and their songs recorded. He directed over fifty productions for radio and television in addition to his stage work; his rare appearances as an actor included the lead role in Arbie Ovanesian's acclaimed production of Suddenly . . . at the 1992 Nancey International Theatre Festival.
The wide popular audiences drawn by Mofid's work earned him an unprecedented degree of immunity from censorship. But his relationship with the Shah's regime consisted of a balancing act between continuous harassment from the secret police and the embarrassment of official recognition and reinterpretation of his work
During and after the revolution, political groups across the entire spectrum attempted to claim his work as representative of their ideals, but he remained independent and withdrew his plays from production when their integrity was threatened. As the resistance to the Islamic regime grew, recordings of songs from his plays were played on the rooftops of Tehran, identifying Mofid with the opposition. As a result, he lived underground for several months and eventually escaped.
After coming to the U.S. in 1982 until his untimely death in 1984, Bijan directed several productions in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York as well as the first production of his own work in translation: DRAGONFLY. He took these opportunities to rewrite some of his work that had suffered most heavily from censorship in Iran.
Bijan Mofid's Works
The City of Tales (Shahr-e-Ghesseh) , 1967
The Moon and the Leopard, (Mah-o-Palang) 1968
Hold On Kid, Spring is Coming (Bozak Namir, Bahar Miad), 1972
Your Humble Servant (Jan-Nesar), 1975
Dragonfly (Sohrab-o-asb-o-sanjaghak), 1975
The Butterfly (Shaparak Khanoom), 1974
Plays For Children
The Radish (Torobche), 1972
Kutie and Mutie, 1976
Eagle and the Fox, 1977