عنوان مقاله [English]
In the history of modern Iranian theatre, the establishment of official and academic institutions responsible for teaching theatre is noteworthy. How such institutions were founded, and what sort of functions they were supposed fulfill and other societal factors, is a historical perspective which has not undergone a rigorous study. The present paper will focus on the history of Iranian theatre, employing a sociological approach. The theoretical framework used for this study, is that of French sociologist and theorist of the 1970’s and 1980’s, Pierre Bourdieu. His most well-known book Distinction, gives us a model for analyzing different "social capitals”. In his opinion, cultural activity requires a specific legitimacy to flourish. In other words, without a specific purpose, cultural activity becomes small and meaningless. The fledgling theatre of the Reza Shah's era was not an exception. Although theatre was introduced in Iran in the late 19th century and the first major Iranian plays were written during that time, the essential and substantial growth of this art took place during Reza Shah Pahlavi's reign during which the first academic institutions were established to expand and maintain the art of theatre in the country. In this specific period, one of the major tactics in the organization of cultural activities was the establishment of an official and bureaucratic institution for the supervising and guiding artistic endeavors. After Reza Shah's coronation as a king, modernization was based on a nationalistic and central power, which took its basis from the army and bureaucratic organizations. The newly established field of Iranian theatre was also under strict supervision of the governmental organization named Sazman e Parvaresh e Afkar (Organization for the Growth of Thoughts) in order to gain the legitimacy it required for the new cultural situation of the country. This organization paved the way for the foundation of the theatre schools in order to train educated theatrical artists. These artists were not simply trained, but were actually driven towards issues which were of interest for the central government, thus referring back to Bourdieu’s “social capitals”. That is why we see plenty of nationalistic plays and performances in that specific time scope, fulfilling the visions of the societal modernization in the eyes of the reigning king. The present study deals with this issue by considering the cultural grounds of the early 20th century in Iran, and studies the process of the establishment of theatrical schools, which provided educational capital for the cultural capital of the people active in theatre of that time. The article shows the efforts on the part of the central government to control non-central theatrical groups which were believed to be a resisting margin against the government. The other factor that is considered, is the development of a new generation of theatre artists who behaved differently in comparison to their predecessors, and aimed to drive their artistic productions towards aesthetic values. This created a change within a change. As a reaction to all of these changes, the cultural capital led to the emergence of artists who were ultimately driven away from politics towards aesthetics in their theatrical productions.