The most important and prevalent form of Iranian theater is the Ta ziyeh(passion play), which means “mourning for the dead” , and actually predates the introduction of Islam into Iran. These plays are staged in every Iranian city, town and village during Ashura, the anniversary of the battle in AD 680 in which Imam Hossein, the grandson of the Prophet, was murdered at karbala.
The arrival of European theater, with its reliance on a written text and normative rather than improvisatory acting, was part of the modernization process in Iran. European theater was introduced to the country in 1878, enjoyed a hey-day in the early years of the twentieth century, and has experienced many ups-and-downs since then. Today , it once again enjoys great popularity.