Ali Raffi

Ali Raffi

Ali Raffi was born on January 13, 1958 in Isfahan. He is a director, actor, designer of the stage and theatre, cinema costume. He holds a BSc and an MSc in Sociology, a BA, an MA and a doctorate in Theatre Studies from Sorbonne in Paris, an MA in directing from the International University of Theatre in France and an Acting Diploma from the Charles Dolen School in France.

After returning to Iran from France in 1974, his plays of “Antigone”, “Crying and Begging at the Great Wall of the City”, “Memoirs and Nightmares of the Life and Murder of Mirzataghi Khan Farahani” and “Crime and Rewards” took the stage from 1975 to 1976. 

Raffi left for France again after the revolution in 1980 and returned to Iran in 1990. He resumed his theatre performance in Iran in 1992 with the “Yadegar-e Shen-e-Shen” play. 

Raffi has a teaching background at the University of Tehran, the dean of the Faculty of Dramatic Arts and the dean of the City Theatre on his resume. 

“A Memorable Day for the Great Scientist Wu”, “Blood Wedding”, “Romeo and Juliet”, “Prince of Ehtejab”, “Thieves”, “It Does Not Snow in Egypt”, “Fox Hunting”, “Yerma”, “Memories and Nightmares from the Life and Murder of Mirzataghi Khan Farahani” and “The House of Bernarda Alba” are other pieces he staged after the revolution. 

Ali Raffi’s other roles include writing and directing the movies “The Fish Fall in Love” and “Agha Yousef” and directing the TV show “Stingy”.

Course Content

01۱ Ali Raffi biography and introduction of the course

We get to know more about Ali Raffi who is a director, writer, theater and cinema set designer, and about the course that he has designed. He has a doctorate in theater from Sorbonne University, a diploma in directing from the International Theater University of France, and an acting diploma from the Charles Dolan School in France. Directing and stage design of the theaters “Blood Wedding”, “Romeo and Juliet”, “It Doesn’t Snow in Egypt”, “Fox Hunting”, “Memories and Nightmares of a Dressed Man from the Life and Murder of Mirza Taghi Khan Farahani” and “The House of Bernarda Alba” etc. and also directing the movies “Fishes Fall in Love” and “Aghayoussef” are only part of Raffi’s artistic experiences. In Ali Raffi’s New Page, we learn about theater directing and its most important art, that is, the art of mise-en-scène.

02۲ The path I have taken

In this episode, while reviewing his childhood path, Dr. Raffi considers what he achieved in adulthood to be the result of ambition and infatuation with beauty. In this lesson, we will hear about his childhood, adolescence, and youth, exposure to theater, and the continuation of his professional path in Iran.

03۳ The emergence of the director and the appearance of mise-en-scène art

In this lesson, we will learn the reasons for the emergence of the director and its effect on the theater and the emergence of the art of mise-en-scène, which Raffi considers the main art of the director.

04۴ What a director should know

Who is the director? What are the roles and responsibilities? What effect does familiarity with the world’s old theatrical traditions have on the director’s work? Ali Raffi believes that using pure theatrical sources helps the director’s aesthetics to talk about the issues and events of today’s world.

05۵ Director and dramaturgy

In this lesson, Raffi discusses the importance of paying attention to the subtext of the work and the role of dramaturgy in the theater. He explains the emphasis on values within the work by examining his performance of the play “The House of Bernarda Alba”.

06۶ Director and script

Dr. Ali Raffi tells about how to deal with dramatic text and how he deals with it, as well as his personal experiences in writing. By reviewing the theater “Memories and Nightmares of a Dressed Man from the Life and Murder of Mirza Taghi Khan Farahani”, Raffi shares his view of fidelity to the text and history with the audience.

07۷ Actor

The difference between Stanislavski’s system and Meyerhold’s method in the “Conscious Contract” theater, how the actor occupies the stage space, and the importance of the actor in the theater are some of the topics discussed on this page. Raffi considers the most important art of the actor to occupy the space on the stage.

08۸ Actor, creative artist, and author

In this lesson, Ali Raffi explains the characteristics of a creative actor, and then talks about the stages of excellence in acting, becoming an actor, remaining an actor and being an actor, and the relationship between an actor and a partner. Ali Raffi considers the actor an eternal beginner.

09۹ Director and actor

What are the duties of the director towards the actor? Should the actor play the role or the script? What are the criteria for choosing an actor? Follow this page to find answers to these questions.

10۱۰ Improvisation

Raffi considers improvisation to be effective for training the actor, understanding the role and atmosphere of the play, as well as the relationships between the actors. The conditions of improvisation to foster creativity and the use of a neutral mask in improvisation are other educational topics of this course.

11۱۱ Director and stage designer

“The stage designer is the architect of our dreams.” Raffi says this to express the importance of stage design and shares his experience of stage design for the theaters “Antigone” and “Fox Hunting” with us. The use of the concept of space instead of location, the characteristics of the appropriate scene, and the use of mock-ups for scene design are also taught in this course.

12۱۲ Personal experiences as a stage designer

Raffi raises a question: “How can we show daily life issues in the theater in such a way that we remove routine from it?” He believes that “what to say” is not important and “how to say” is the essence. In this lesson, we will hear the inspiration from the images of everyday life by examining the stage design of the theater “The Maids” and the importance of personal standards in stage design by expressing the experience of designing the stage for Hamid Samandarian in the Caucasian Chalk Circle show.

13۱۳ Director and theater group

“Formation in any country guarantees the training of first-class actors and creative directors,” says Raffi. What will be covered in this chapter are the characteristics of a theater group, group creativity (by examining the 1789 theater performance by Soli group directed by Arian Moshkin), group management, and Raffi’s personal experience in group formation.

14۱۴ Director and audience

The role of the audience as one of the creative factors in the theater, the relationship between the audience and the performance group, and Raffi’s personal experience with the audience will be discussed in this part of the course.

15۱۵ Director and the other theater elements

Different arts are used for theater performance. In this chapter, the role and capabilities of light in theater, make-up, and costume design are discussed.

16۱۶ Director and influence from other arts

What distinguishes Dr. Ali Raffi’s work in the theater is his artistic knowledge and unique aesthetics. He has been called a stage painter. In the last lesson, Dr. Raffi talks about how a director can get influenced by other arts, especially painting, and poetry.