Washington – A small group of Iranian performers has been traveling the United States for nearly two weeks, speaking little and hearing less but learning and teaching their craft.
The performers are deaf or hearing-impaired members of the Mehr-Ayeen troupe from Tehran. And in performances adapted from the Persian epic The Shahnameh, they brought a piece of their cultural heritage to American stages.
Troupe director Fatemeh Fakhri said she had been planning the trip for three years since learning about QuestFest, a two-week international festival for visual theater: dance, mime, gesture, sign language, puppetry and other types of movement that don’t depend primarily on spoken words to convey meaning. The festival was staged at Gallaudet University in Washington, the top U.S. school for deaf students.