Ali Nassirian (b. 1935), now a celebrity in Iranian cinema, was preoccupied, during the 1950s to the 1970s, with the idea of creating a theatre, and supplying it with a repertoire, which would be rooted in Iranian folklore and indigenous theatrical forms. His oeuvre includes thirteen plays, most of which draw, partly or extensively, on Iranian popular improvisatory forms. This article discusses the context, possibilities, and limitations of Nassirian’s one-man crusade to launch a “national” theatre based on indigenous roots, especially at a historical moment when Iran—at the brink of entering a new socioeconomic phase which we may call the “South” social formation—was forced to adopt a hurried, hence “lopsided,” version of North Atlantic modernity in the form of statist modernization programs.