So excited about these two new publications amplifying the work of Iranian theatre artists!
ISFAHAN BLUES is included in NEW IRANIAN PLAYS (2022). Inspired by Duke Ellington Orchestra’s 1963 tour to Iran, ISFAHAN BLUES imagines an unlikely friendship between an American jazz musician and an Iranian actress. As they travel together to Isfahan, “the most beautiful city in the world,” Jazz inspires them to test the limits of freedom, creativity, and experimentation. Contrary to today’s political stalemate between the US and Iran, this production aims to shed light on a little-known historical moment when a uniquely American art form inspired generations of young Iranian musicians. Written by Torange Yeghiazarian in collaboration with Vida Ghahremani, L. Peter Callender, Nakissa Etemad, Laura Hope, and Marcus Shelby. Premiered by Golden Thread Productions in 2016, directed by Laura Hope.
444 DAYS is featured in PERFORMING IRAN (2021) edited by Babak Rahimi, and MIDDLE EASTERN AMERICAN THEATRE (2021) edited by Michael Malek Najjar. Laleh, an Iranian revolutionary, and Harry, a diplomatic attaché, meet for the first time in 25 years as Laleh’s daughter lies in a coma. The last time they spoke was when she held him hostage for 444 days at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran along with 52 other Americans. International espionage and family secrets mesh in unexpected ways in this love story thriller. Premiered by Golden Thread Productions IN 2012, directed by Bella Warda.
So far, a lot of my writing has focused on Iranian and Iranian-American narratives, particularly women. Because I'm seriously annoyed by preconceived notions of Iranian women as oppressed. Similarly, I find a lot of misunderstanding and sheer ignorance about contemporary Iran. And so I address that in my writing, be it plays, essays, short stories, or translations. But of course, my work is not limited to one group of people or narrow topics and agendas.
“In Golden Thread artistic director Torange Yeghiazarian's CALL ME MEHDI, meanwhile, a young Iranian American woman (Ahou Tabibzadeh) faces a nocturnal interrogation in bed by her culturally insecure Anglo American husband (Butler) who'd like certain Persian jokes explained to him, please. Despite a faint ending, this 10-minute comic exercise in culturally thick description and latent stereotypes has a smart and generous deadpan humor that recalls Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis series (with maybe a touch of Doonesbury). ”Robert Avila
“THE MOST POLITICAL PLAY OF THE festival, Torange Yeghiazarian’s ABAGA, tells a cross-generational story of inter—religious love. The action shifts between Turkey in 1915, during the massacre of Armenian intellectuals, and Jerusalem in 1935, when Jewish migration to Palestine from Russia was underway. Constructed as a simple love story, Abaga gives us a historical insight into the effects of conflict on human relations... Zarin is the voice of reason among the characters caught up in religious difference. She gives voice to the idea that was, for me, the strongest message that came through in the festival: “From the time I remember, I’ve been asked, ‘What are you, Muslim or Christian? Turk or Armenian?’ Look at me: I am human. Why is that not enough?””Shazia Ahmad
ISFAHAN BLUES is included in New Iranian Plays, Aurora Metro Publications, 2022. An Iranian Film Star. An American Jazz Musician. The Rest Is History. Written by Torange Yeghiazarian in collaboration with Vida Ghahremani, L. Peter Callender, Nakissa Etemad, Laura Hope, and Marcus Shelby. Premiered by Golden Thread Productions & African American Shakespeare Company in 2015, directed by Laura Hope.
Commissioned by Berkeley RADICAL (Research And Development Initiative in Creativity, Arts, and Learning), a framework to cultivate public artistic literacy and create cultural access for diverse future audiences.