Plays that pleasantly surprise

Last Friday I saw five plays in one night, more than I’ve seen in all of the previous year. These were short plays and the evening ran no longer than two hours but within this time frame, I saw such variety of stories that I felt like I had been on a world tour, one that I recommend to everyone. Something else that was different about these plays was that they were all about the Middle East. Maybe everyone in San Francisco knows about Golden Thread Productions and the ReOrient Festival but this was my first encounter with this theatre company which is led by an Iranian theatre artist and only produces plays about the Middle East. When I first saw the festival poster at a storefront on College Avenue in Berkeley, I assumed the worst. But what I saw Friday night pleasantly surprised me and made me feel proud to be Iranian.

The first play of the night, A Marriage Proposal, was a boisterous comedy that involved a lot of really funny physical movement. It’s basically the story of a khastegari set in an Egyptian family but it might as well have been happening in any Iranian home. The father was warm and charming, the girl obstinate (something my father accuses me of all the time) and the damad as nerdy as could be. It reminded me of those old Arham Sadr comedies I used to watch as a kid. The highlight of the night for me was seeing Vida Ghahremani on stage. I thought she lived in Los Angeles but there she was in flesh and blood less than ten-feet away from me looking as beautiful as ever playing the part of an Armenian mother in the play Abaga. The story is about a Turkish and Armenian couple whose family is against their marriage. The play is written in a very poetic way and it really touched my heart especially because the acting was so sincere and strong. This play is written by Torange Yeghiazarian, the founding artistic director of Golden Thread Productions. I did not get a chance to speak to her after the plays but based on her last name, my guess is the story of Abaga is somewhat autobiographical.  

Another favorite of mine from Friday night’s show is the last play, The Monologist Suffers her Monologue. This ten-minute play is presented like a stand up comedy act and is about how it feels to be Palestinian. But again, to me it was as if some one was taking the words right out of my mouth. How many times have I had to explain to people where Iran is and that I did not grow up in the dessert riding a camel. I was so moved by this play and the acting was just excellent. I was convinced the actor had written the play herself because she seemed so committed but it turned out that not only did she not write the play, she wasn’t even Palestinian. The actor, Sara Razavi, is Iranian. I was amazed and again felt very proud to be Iranian and to live in San Francisco where we have such a theatre group and these talented actors and artists.  

I really recommend these plays to everyone. Buy your tickets online from Golden Thread’s website or you will end up paying $5 more at the theatre box office. The performances continue through December 13th.

Meet Iranian Singles

Iranian Singles

Recipient Of The Serena Shim Award

Serena Shim Award
Meet your Persian Love Today!
Meet your Persian Love Today!