Schermafbeelding 2023 04 25 om 15 26 09

Amir Reza Koohestani / Mehr Theatre Group

Amir Reza Koohestani was born in 1978 in Shiraz, Iran. At the age of 16, he began publis­hing short sto­ries in local news­pa­pers. Attracted to cine­ma, he took cour­ses in direc­ting and cine­ma­to­grap­hy and cre­a­ted two unfi­nis­hed films. After a brief expe­rien­ce as a per­for­mer, he devo­t­ed his time to wri­ting his first plays for the Mehr Theatre Group: And the Day Never Came (1999) and The Murmuring Tales (2000).

With his third play, Dance on Glasses (2001), Amir Reza Koohestani gai­ned inter­na­ti­o­nal noto­ri­e­ty and found the sup­port of seve­r­al European the­a­tri­cal artis­tic direc­tors and fes­ti­vals. This was fol­lo­wed by the plays Recent Experiences (from the ori­gi­nal text by Canadian wri­ters Nadia Ross and Jacob Wren, 2003); Amid the Clouds (2005); Dry Blood & Fresh Vegetables (2007); Quartet: A Journey North (2008); Where Were You on January 8th? (2009); Ivanov (2011); The Fourth Wall (from the ori­gi­nal play England by Tim Crouch, 2012) which was pre­sen­ted one hund­red times in an art gal­lery in Tehran.

In 2012, the movie Modest Reception, which was co-writ­ten by Koohestani and Mani Haghighi – actor and film direc­tor – won the Netpac Award at the Berlin International Film Festival. In 2013, the Festival acto­ral in Marseille (France) com­mis­si­o­ned Koohestani to wri­te and sta­ge a new play, Timeloss (based on his pre­vious play Dance on Glasses). From October 2014 to March 2015, during a resi­d­en­cy at the Akademie Schloss Solitude, in Stuttgart, Amir Reza Koohestani wro­te the play Hearing, which pre­mie­red at the City Hall of Tehran on July 2015, and pre­sen­ted at the Festival d’Avignon, in 2016.

Since 2006, Koohestani has wor­ked fre­quent­ly in Germany whe­re he has cre­a­ted more than 10 productions.

In September 2018, he was invi­ted along with other direc­tors (Tiago Rodrigues, Pascal Rambert, tg Stan, Luk Perceval, Christiane Jatahy) – for the ope­ning of La Comédie de Genève (Switzerland) – and he cre­a­ted a short play in French based on Miss Julie by August Strindberg.

Summerless pre­mie­red in May 2018 at the Kunstenfestivaldesarts in Brussels and pre­sen­ted at the Festival d’Avignon in 2018 – is the third part of a tri­lo­gy about time and memo­ry (Timeloss, Hearing, Summerless), which was pre­sen­ted at the Festival TNB, in Rennes (France) in November 2018.

In May 2023, Koohestani pre­sents his most recent play with his com­pa­ny which will have its pre­mie­re at Kunstenfestivaldesarts.

© Laetitia Vancon