Two leading theater figures in Iran have been arrested over a trailer for Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” featuring men and women dancing together, a government official said Monday.
Prominent director Maryam Kazemi and venue manager Saeed Asadi were detained on Sunday on the orders of the judiciary, said Shahram Karami of the ministry of culture and Islamic guidance, according to the semi-official news agency ISNA.
Karami who is the head the ministry’s performing arts department, said the “type of music played” and the actors’ “movements” were the main problem with the trailer, the video was also shared widely on social media platforms.
In Iran, men and woman are banned from dancing together.
Asadi and Kazemi had to post bail of three billion rials (roughly $23,000 at the current unofficial rate) each and were due to be released from detention on Tuesday, according to state news agency IRNA.
The play had already been shown for seven nights at City Theatre, one of Tehran’s most famous venue. When the pair was arrested only one night was left.
“The issue was with the trailer they released and not the play’s content,” Karami added.