May 20th Mon, 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM | Central


    Sahar Rezaei HAPPY BIRTHDAY


    “Woman, life, freedom!” This revolutionary slogan, which has been roaring across Iran, also flashes through the journey of the theatre artist and filmmaker Sahar from Tehran to Frankfurt, culminating in the appealing epilogue of the Flora Theatre Festival: the a priori condition for a dignified existence is freedom, for which we must constantly fight. In German with Czech subtitles. discussion follows

    Ticket price: 240 / 120 Kč

    The way Rezaei sovereignly plays with the wide and largely empty stage space, controlling it with just a few gestures, the way she draws on family images and stories, and almost imperceptibly broadens their perspective, gradually introducing the theme of memory into the play, is absolutely brilliantly executed.
    Christoph Schütte, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

    Happy Birthday was created in 2020 while the artist was still studying directing at the Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts, but due to the pandemic it was not premiered until the summer of 2022. It was originally intended to be purely autobiographical: the artist, who grew up in Iran, talks about her childhood and school years, her first theatre experiences, her first crush at the age of 15, and the beginning of her studies. Through her personal story, we witness her journey from Tehran to Prague to Frankfurt over the last thirty years. Sahar Rezaei does so both through her memory and the images stored in it, and through photographs from family albums and snapshots that transcend this private sphere and become visual captures of very specific historical moments.
    That the private plane in her work ultimately overlaps directly with the political one is evidenced by the fact that Sahar Rezaei has fundamentally reworked her production due to the current sociopolitical developments in Iran (involving hundreds of thousands of people protesting against the regime, people accused of “waging war against God” and subsequently executed). Then, in the current updated version of December 2022, when in the second half of the show she turns one photograph after another in front of the audience or projects a multitude of television footage, as demonstrations in Iran, South America and the United States, in Asian countries, Ukraine, Germany and elsewhere around the world appear on the big screen, this “journey through space and time” naturally becomes a journey of memories and visual memory for us all. It also directly reflects the artist’s political statement, questioning not only what these situated framed images evoke in us, but also the possibilities of our emergence from them towards freedom and liberty.


    text, video, direction Sahar Rezaei

    acting coach and video Samuel Simon
    dramaturgy Björn Fischer 
    music Sara Trawöger
    video technology Dana Maxim 

    performance Sahar Rezaei


    Theatre and film director Sahar Rezaei was born and raised in Iran. After studying engineering at the Polytechnic University of Tehran, she studied directing at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Frankfurt am Main (HfMDK). She has been living in Germany since 2016, prior to which she studied sound design under Jan Burian at the DAMU in Prague and continued her studies in composition in Heiner Goebbels’ courses at the Institute of Applied Theatre Science in Giessen. In 2018, she received the DAAD Prize for outstanding achievements of international students at the HfMDK, and in 2022, she received the Kölner Förderpreis für junge Literatur (Cologne advancement prize for young literature). She has presented her artistic projects in Frankfurt, Hannover, Marburg, Tehran, and Prague, where she also taught in the master’s programme at the DAMU.

    Happy Birthday has received a very positive response, especially in Hesse (including an invitation to the F°LAB Festival 2022 in Frankfurt), where Sahar Rezaei lives and works as an artist. We, however, consider it to be an undiscovered gem of the contemporary independent performance scene, which has all the prerequisites to captivate our festival audience. 


    Interview with Sahar Rezaei

    Sahar Rezaei’s official webside


    photo Christian Schuller