Atefeh Zargarzadeh

Atefeh Zargarzadeh
Program: PhD Theatre History

BA University of Isfahan, MA Islamic Azad University

Atefeh, also known as Aati, is currently doing her PhD in Theatre Studies with the concentration of Theatre History at University of Victoria, Canada. Prior to pursuit of her PhD, she had been a literature enthusiast doing her Master’s in English Literature at Azad University of Tehran, Iran. Although her fascination with drama was first kindled during those years, it was while working on her MA thesis- a Feminist reading of Sarah Kane’s last three plays from Hélène Cixous’ perspective- when she began to fully develop a keen interest in theatre and its close connection with complex dynamics of sociopolitical contexts. Studying Theatre History at UVic opened up new doors of research methodologies to her and encouraged her to work on more global traditions of performance that are often underrepresented in arts scholarship. In this respect, she has since pursued multiple research on politics of theatre production/reception in certain contemporary Iranian performances such as adaptations of Chekhov’s Ivanov and Martin McDonagh’s The Beauty Queen of Leenane, on Ric Knowles’ materialist semiotics of theatre, and on the potential of certain theatre productions as sites of resonance and resistance against totalitarian political structures.

For the past ten years, Atefeh has been working as a freelance translator; some of her publications include English translations of three plays, The Hidden Shadow, So, What Do You Want?, and The Ant and the Grasshopper written by the Iranian playwright, Simin Amirian (published by Mah Par Publications in 2015 and 2019, Iran) as well as Persian translation of critical views on Amir Reza Koohestani’s Timeloss, Romeo Castellucci’s Tragedia Endogonidia, and Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard.

Her current research project concerns the representation and commodification of Middle Eastern identity within international theatre festivals, and she hopes that her future research projects will be part of contemporary conversations about the impact of performance on intercultural understanding.

Supervisor: Dr. Allana Lindgren