Entertainment > Iranian Play > MANSOUR TAEED AND JAVANE THEATER COMPANY BY SHABNAM REZAEI
Putting on the Infamous Shaparak Khanoom
An inspiring community leader and activist, Mansour Taeed has given Iranian youth in Berkeley a place to shine and grow. As the director of the Javane Theater Company, Mansour oversees the operations of this ambitious art venture. With children ranging in age from 8-20, the Javane Theater Company has put on Bijan Mofid’s famous play “Shaparak Khanoom” with great success in Berkeley. The cast and crew include second generation Iranian-Americans who have shown a great enthusiasm for the art and genre of theatre and have embraced this classic Persian play of the butterfly with an attitude.
I had a chance to talk to Mansour recently:
Shabnam Rezaei: Tell us a little about your childhood and your background.
Mansour Taeed: I was born in Tehran, Iran and I came to US when I was 16 years old. I studied Physics and I went to UC Berkeley and I got my Masters.
SR: Tell us about Javane Theatre Company and your role there.
MT: I founded Darvag Theater group in 1985 with Farhad Ayeesh and few other friends and we wrote, directed, acted and produced more than 50 plays since then. In 2005 through many years of working with Iranian/American children in the local Farsi school (Nima) I realized that these kids are extremely talented and can do plays in Farsi in a professional way. We started Javane Theater, The Young Iranian/American Theater Company from some of these kids who were between 8-20 years old and they were all born in US.
My role is the director of Javane.
SR: When did you become interested in theatre and what prompted your interest?
MT: I got interested in theater probably when I was only 10 or 11. My Mom took us to see “Shahre Gheseh” by Bijan Mofid. We saw that play 2 times and I learned all the lines from that beautiful play.
SR: Tell us about your audience.
MT: Our audience is great and very supportive. We need to have more audience. Plays performed by young Iranian/American actors is a new concept for people.
SR: What’s it like working in this field?
MT: Very satisfying but not easy. Theater or performance in general has all the elements of other art form. It needs script, stage, lights, costumes, props, audience, actors, director, producer and…I some times wished I was a painter or a poet!
SR: What is the most common misconception you face about Iran and Iranians?
MT: That we are all bunch of terrorist, and we are barbarians and we don’t have art, culture or humanity.
SR: What do you hope to achieve with Javane and what are your next projects?
MT: I hope not only we can energize the Iranian/American youth but to show our humanity to the rest of the world. Our next project I hope is to take “Shaparak Khanoom” by Bijan Mofid which we did last year to the places that are less fortunate like Afghanistan and perform for kids over there in Farsi.
SR: Desert Island. Three things. What will you take?
MT: Food/water, my glasses, my Setar
Favorite Color: Blue
Favorite City: Berkeley, CA
Favorite Dish: Ghorme Sabzi
Favorite Drink: Dough
Languages: Farsi, English
Currently Reading: “Afsoonegan” by Bahram Bayzaee
For more information on Mansour Taeed, the Javane Theater Company and their classic play “Shaparak Khanoom” with tour dates and ticket information, visit www.javane.org.