Torange Yeghiazarian



Establishing the First American Theatre Comapny Focused on the Middle East

Torange Yeghiazarian founded Golden Thread Productions in 1996 and served as its Executive Artistic Director for the next twenty-five years, nurturing generations of Middle Eastern American talent through visionary programs such as ReOrient Festival and Forum, New Threads staged reading series, Fairytale Players youth outreach program, and What do the Women Say? showcasing the work of Middle Eastern women artists.

A tireless advocate for generative artists

Torange launched timely initiatives such as KIMIA to facilitate collaborative and devised play development; Islam 101 to create dynamic new work celebrating Islamic art and philosophy, and Middle East America - A National New Plays Initiative in partnership with Silk Road Rising and The Lark. To circumvent travel and visa restrictions of artists in the Middle East, in 2014 Torange devised Project Alo? teaming up US-based artists of Middle Eastern heritage with artists based in the Middle East to engage in a series of video dialogues created on their smartphones.

Building A Community

In her capacity as artistic director, Torange co-authored the seminal papers, “Middle Eastern Theatre Artists’ Bill of Rights” and “Dear Producers,” and helped launch the Middle East North African Theater Makers Alliance, the first national organization advocating for the MENA theater community.

Playwriting & Directing

A playwright, director, and translator, Torange received a Gerbode-Hewlett Playwright Commission Award for ISFAHAN BLUES, a co-production with African American Shakespeare Company, and a commission from the Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California to write and direct THE FIFTH STRING - ZIRYAB’S PASSAGE TO CORDOBA. Other plays include 444 DAYS, WAVES, BEHIND GLASS WINDOWS, DAWN AT MIDNIGHT, ABAGA, THANKSGIVING AT KHODABAKHSHIAN’S, PUBLICLY RESTING, and CALL ME MEHDI, included in the anthology “Salaam. Peace - An Anthology of Middle Eastern-American Drama,” TCG, 2009. At Golden Thread, Torange directed OH MY SWEET LAND by Amir Nizar Zuabi, and the premieres of OUR ENEMIES - LIVELY SCENES OF LOVE AND COMBAT and SCENIC ROUTES by Yussef El Guindi, THE MYTH OF CREATION by Sadegh Hedayat, TAMAM by Betty Shamieh, STUCK by Amir Al-Azraki, VOICE ROOM by Reza Soroor, and adapted the poem, I SELL SOULS by Simin Behbehani for the stage.

Theatre for Young Audiences

At Golden Thread, Torange launched Golden Thread Fairytale Players creating and touring original plays inspired by Middle Eastern folktales and children's stories. Torange wrote and directed LEYLA’S QUEST FOR FLIGHT, NASRUDIN’S MAGNIFICENT JOURNEY TO SAMARQAND, and 21 DAYS THAT CHANGE THE YEAR.

Translations and Essays

Torange has translated a number of contemporary plays from Iran, including A MOMENT OF SILENCE by Mohammad Yaghoubi (winner of Best Play at Toronto Fringe), VOICE ROOM by Reza Soroor, and THE LANAGUE OF WILD BERRIES by Naghmeh Samini. Her translation and stage adaptation of Nizami’s LEYLA & MAJNUN is published on Torange has written about contemporary theatre in Iran and published in The Drama Review, American Theatre Magazine, AmerAsia Journal, and contributed to the Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures and the Cambridge World Encyclopedia of Stage Actors. Torange contributed a chapter to “Casting a Movement” Routledge, 2019, and “Performing Iran - Culture, Performance, Theatre” Bloomsbury, 2021.

Awards & Recognitions

Torange has been recognized by Theatre Bay Area and is one of Theatre Communication Group’s Legacy Leaders of Color. She was honored by the Cairo International Theatre Festival and the Symposium on Equity in the Entertainment Industry at Stanford University. Born in Iran and of Armenian heritage, Torange holds a Master’s degree in Theatre Arts from San Francisco State University.