Amir Reza Koohestani was born in 1978 in Shiraz, Iran. At the age of 16, he began publishing short stories in local newspapers. Attracted to cinema, he took courses in directing and cinematography and created two unfinished films. After a brief experience as a performer, he devoted his time to writing his first plays for the Mehr Theatre Group: And the Day Never Came (1999) and The Murmuring Tales (2000).
With his third play, Dance on Glasses (2001), Amir Reza Koohestani gained international notoriety and found the support of several European theatrical artistic directors and festivals. This was followed by the plays Recent Experiences (from the original text by Canadian writers Nadia Ross and Jacob Wren, 2003); Amid the Clouds (2005); Dry Blood & Fresh Vegetables (2007); Quartet: A Journey North (2008); Where Were You on January 8th? (2009); Ivanov (2011); The Fourth Wall (from the original play England by Tim Crouch, 2012) which was presented one hundred times in an art gallery in Tehran.
In 2012, the movie Modest Reception, which was co-written by Koohestani and Mani Haghighi – actor and film director – won the Netpac Award at the Berlin International Film Festival. In 2013, the Festival actoral in Marseille (France) commissioned Koohestani to write and stage a new play, Timeloss (based on his previous play Dance on Glasses). From October 2014 to March 2015, during a residency at the Akademie Schloss Solitude, in Stuttgart, Amir Reza Koohestani wrote the play Hearing, which premiered at the City Hall of Tehran on July 2015, and presented at the Festival d’Avignon, in 2016.
Since 2006, Koohestani has worked frequently in Germany where he has created more than 10 productions.*
In September 2018, he was invited along with other directors (Tiago Rodrigues, Pascal Rambert, tg Stan, Luk Perceval, Christiane Jatahy) – for the opening of La Comédie de Genève (Switzerland) – and he created a short play in French based on Miss Julie by August Strindberg.
Summerless – his latest production with the Mehr Theatre Group, premiered in May 2018 at the Kunstenfestivaldesarts in Brussels and presented at the Festival d’Avignon in 2018 – is the third part of a trilogy about time and memory (Timeloss, Hearing, Summerless), which was presented at the Festival TNB, in Rennes (France) in November 2018.
In 2020 and 2021, tours of the company were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In May 2023, after almost 2 years without touring, Koohestani will create a new play with his company which will be premiered in Europe.
* Productions outside the company:
Einzelzimmer (2006) – Schauspiel Köln (DE)
Des Utopies ? (2009) – Centre dramatique national de Besançon (FR)
Taxigeschichten (2015) – Theater Oberhausen (DE)
Der Fall Meursault (2016) – Münchner Kammerspiele (DE)
Tannhaüser (2017) – Staatstheater Darmstadt (DE)
Der Kirschgarten (2017) – Theater Freiburg (DE)
Die Attentäterin (2018) – Münchner Kammerspiele (DE)
Miss Julie (2018) – Comédie de Genève (CH)
Macbeth (2018) – Münchner Kammerspiele (DE)
Die Küche (2019) – Theater Freiburg (DE)
Philoktet (2019) – Deutsches Theater (DE)
Woyzcek Interrupted (2020) – Deutsches Theater (DE)
Transit (2021) – Thalia Theater (DE)
Die Seuche (2021) – Theater Freiburg (DE)
En transit (2022) – La Comédie de Genève (CH)
Professor Bernhardi (2022) – Theater Freiburg (DE)
Schöne neue Welt (2023) – Thalia Theater (DE)