Marina Nemat’s Memoir “Prisoner of Tehran” Now on Stage

Just as Marina Nemat and director Maja Ardal had to be selective when adapting Nemat’s astonishing memoir Prisoner of Tehran for the stage, so did I have to be selective in adapting a half-hour interview with the author and human rights activist to a brief online Q&A format.

One point I wasn’t able to include was part of Nemat’s response to my question about how she can balance addressing the wrongs committed in Iran against the misconceptions and general negativity many North Americans may harbour about Iran. She said,

“The world is talking about Iran having a nuclear bomb? …The people of Iran have not been losing their children to the nuclear program; they have been losing their children to the terrible disregard for human rights in that country. …the problem of Iran is the struggle for human rights, and it is hurting the Iranian people more than it is hurting anybody.”

She also spoke about the role of the arts in addressing human rights issues. She spoke of how theatre, painting, and so on, shed light on the shades between black and white that are see in the media. “CNN and the news fail to introduce the human side of the story. And this play and [my] books and talks try to put a human face to this very difficult situation.”

Please read what did make it into the published interview here:

Marina Nemat,  Prisoner of Tehran

Marina Nemat, human rights activist and author of Prisoner of Tehran



Filed under interviews, politics, theatre, writing

2 responses to “Marina Nemat’s Memoir “Prisoner of Tehran” Now on Stage

  1. I saw this when it was in workshop for educators back in the fall – brilliant! Marina was actually sitting right in front of us during the performance and I was honoured to be able to tell her how moving it was… It was extremely uncomfortable, and incredibly moving. Nice interview! 🙂

    • Thank you for your comment, Emily. What grade(s) do you teach? Marina said that when she was arrested at the beginning of the revolution 90% of the inmates at Evin were teenagers. She explained that if you control the teenagers, you control their families as well. Teenagers need to see this play and know this staggering story. The story is not over.

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