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The Manual

 

THE MANUAL

Ctrl+Z THEATER GROUP / NIMA DEHGHANI

Photos by: Mani Lotfizadeh

 

In "The Manual" (also known as "The correct way to use the machine"), a performer is trapped inside a vending machine, representing a product for the audience to purchase. The audience has control over the music, scene, language, and lighting, acting as directors or dictators. The original setup includes 15 surveillance cameras to monitor the performance and security to address any suspicious or disturbing behavior (though this is not mandatory).

This site-specific performance explores the use of social measures like violence, security, and a sense of control in totalitarian societies through performative elements and anxiety. It also examines the audience's power to make decisions and take action, even in the face of dominant forces and authority. The play script is an adaptation of Shakespeare's "Hamlet," set in Iran and addresses the troubled relationship between the government's power and the people.

"The Manual" connects two complex situations - Iran from 2010 to 2018 and Denmark in 1599 - and encourages global reflection on the performer trapped in the vending machine. It combines technology and theater, updating classic narratives to address contemporary socio-political issues through a process of subtraction, displacement, emphasis, and replacement.

 

 

THE MANUAL

-First performed on July 8, 2012

-“Shahr Theater”, Tehran, Iran  

It-Also performed at “Tehran East Gallery”, Tehran, Iran

It-Also shown as a video presentation at Carnegie Mello University, Pittsburgh, USA

 

Performed 40 times in 2012

Ctrl+Z THEATER GROUP / NIMA DEHGHANI

(Performers) Alireza Keymanesh, Ehsan Badakhshan, Mahdi Salamani, Mahdi Shahedi, Amir Ebadi asl, Mahan Hirbod, Mahdi Gharachedaghi, Aliasghar Kouzegar, Maryam Gorji, Delaram Hashemi ; (Music) Bamdad Afshar ; (Photography) Mani Lotfizadeh; (Video) Amin Kaffashzadeh; (Light Design) Aliasghar Kouzegar; (Graphic design) Pejman Takdehghan; (Production Manager) Mohammad Safarpour.

 

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