Theatrical troupes from five countries will stage their traditional theater performances at Iran’s International Festival of Ritual and Traditional Plays. The festival will host eight performances by troupes from Turkey, Italy, Uzbekistan, Japan and South Korea. “The Magic Tree” by Cengiz Özek (Turkey), “Patriotic Ladies” by Faber Teater (Italy), “New Theater and Japanese Flute” by Reijiro Tsumura (Japan), and “Raksu Samo” by Ovliakuli Khodjakuli (Uzbekistan) are among the lineup. The secretary of the festival Hamidreza Ardalan gave some details about the event during a press conference on Monday morning. Ten traditional artists who are active in the field of traditional and ritual plays, and naqqali (a style of storytelling dedicated to epic stories from Shahnameh) will also be honored at the event, he said. Morshed (mentor) Mohammad Ahadi, Rahmat Eskandari, Mohammad Bakhshnia, Majid Jafari, Zeinolabedin Khaleqi, Mostafa Rahimpur, Hassan Azimi, Abbas Gorgani, and Rajabali Salehi are the artists who will be commemorated at the festival, he mentioned. He also talked about the importance of ritual and traditional plays in modern Iranian theater saying, “One can not find someone versed in rituals to produce ritual theater in the contemporary world so they could be considered from a modern point of view.” He talked about the foreign lecturers at the festival saying that the organizers try to choose those scholars who have novel ideas about ritual theater to propound new aspects of this tradition. “We also invited scholars from different regions of Iran including Ali Azizi, Amir Sohrabi, Jahanshir Yarahamadi, Ramtin Shahbazi, and Ashraf Soltani to discuss Iranian ritual plays at the festival,” he added. The festival will be held from July 14 to 23 in Tehran.