Arad Entezar

(The following is an interview with Arad Entezar, one of the members of  the performance group MokhTalafat, which will stage a play in Yerevan later this month.)

Q: Please introduce yourself.

A: My name is Arad Entezar and I’m an actor as well as one of the main members of the MokhTalafat Art Group. We are an Iranian international multi-art-production company hoping to raise the standards of Iran’s theater scene.

Q: What were your motives for wanting to stage a play in Armenia?

A: A couple of months ago we performed in Armenia’s main international performing arts festival called High Fest with our play called “MokhTalafim” (meaning “we’ve lost our minds”) and there I got to meet my now dear friend, the play’s producer, Lilit Movsisyan. We talked and decided to arrange an Iranian-Armenian performance here in Yerevan, Armenia.

Q: Can you tell us about the play?

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A: Well, this play is the third part of the MokhTalafim trilogy and it is called “The Big Head.” It’s about a patient in a psychiatric hospital who thinks his head has become very big. It is because he hasn’t thought and analyzed anything he has been told from a young age, so in reality it’s all inside his head and imagination. The first part of this trilogy was “MokhTalafim,” which by the time it came on the stage of Shahrzad Theater of Tehran became the best-selling and most viewed performance of Iran in 2020. Also, the second part, “Oodo” [someone who runs], was performed in Iran’s Fajr International Theater Festival.

Poster for “The Big Head” Yerevan performance December 5, 2022

Q: Who is the director and what can you tell us about the cast?

A: Arman Shirali Nejad, the well-known Iranian-Armenian director who just won the New World Award of the Tirana International Film Festival of Albania for his short movie, “The Messenger,” is the director behind this Iranian-Armenian performance. The assistant director is Elza Mamunts and Hasti Jabbari, the young and talented Iranian entrepreneur, is the costume designer of the play. The producer is Lilit Movsisyan and the Yerevan State Institute of Theater and Cinematography (YSITC). In the cast of actors there are two Iranians, Arad Entezar and Shokoofeh Ahmadi, and four Armenians, Armen Jrbashyan, Mariam Zaqaryan, Karen Harutyunyan and Mariam Meliqyan.

During rehearsals for “The Big Head” performance by MokhTalafat Art Group

Q: Tell us about “MokhTalafat.”

A: MokhTalafat Art Group is an international multi-art production company based in Tehran, Iran. The name MokhTalafat is consisted of two words: “Mokh [Mind]” and “Talafat [Wasted],” meaning “Wasted-Minds”

Its main members are three people. Arman Shirali Nejad is the CEO of the group who established it in 2020, Arad Entezar, born on September 27, 2000 in Karaj, Iran, is the youngest member of the group and the brains behind organizing and managing the company’s activities. He joined the group in March 2021 and has been acting in it since then. Among his notable plays we can name “Oodo” at the Fajr International Theater Festival and “MokhTalafim” at the Highfest Theater Festival. And finally, Sobhan Babaiee, is the only original member of the original cast of MokhTalafim 2020 still in the group. The group’s sole purpose is to raise the standards of Iran’s theater scene and it has proven this with each new production.

Arman Shirali Nejad

Q: What difficulties do you face during creating a performance?

A: Since we are an independent art group and not supported by big companies or governments we usually have to struggle with financial problems for the play, yet we have always found a way to make things go on.


Q: When is this performance going on the stage and what are your plans for the future?

A: The play will be performed on December 6, 2022 in the Hamazgayin State Theater of Yerevan, Armenia, and we are planning to take this play to Iran and perform it also in Iran’s International Theater Festival of Fajr in the international part.


Q: How have things been going so far?

A: To be honest, we are amazed by the amount of effort put into this from all of the cast and all the people supporting this project and at the end I hope we be able to perform a great play for the people of both countries.

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