Golden Thread Productions, a feisty San Francisco theatre company that focuses on plays about the Middle East, is offering discounts to two irreverent shows from Toronto that challenge expectations of Middle Eastern art and artists – Mahmoud by Tara Grammy and Dear Armen by Kamee Abrahamian and Lee Williams Boudakian. The general admission tickets are $25 each, but you can get $5 off if you enter the discount code “woman” when you order tickets online. The theatre is also offering a two-play pass for $35.
Mahmoud is a one-woman show that explores three Toronto immigrants whose lives intersect – a talkative Iranian engineer who works as a cab-driver because Canadians would not accept his engineering credentials, a flamboyantly gay Spaniard who is in love with Mahmoud’s nephew, and a young Iranian-Canadian girl struggling to separate her identity from the stereotypes about Iranian women.
Winner of the New York and Toronto Fringe Festivals in 2012, Mahmoud is both hysterically funny and poignant. The Iranian-born playwright/performer, Tara Grammy, engages the audience with light-hearted opening scenes, and then gradually deepens each character and skillfully explores the pain of exile, the challenges of homophobia in immigrant communities, and the communication gaps between different generations of immigrants.
Dear Armen by Kamee Abrahamian and Lee Williams Boudakian follows the story of a genderqueer writer and student, Garo, who studies the life and work of Armen Ohanian, an enigmatic Armenian performer and survivor of the early 20th-century anti-Armenian pogroms in Baku. Garo grapples with the discrepancies between Ohanian’s biography and memoirs, confronting memories from the past and unraveling experiences around gender, sexuality, ethnicity, family, and the role of the artist.
The creators of Dear Armen add, “In bringing Armen Ohanian to our protagonist Garo’s story, we give a young transgender Armenian a mentor and heroine to project their own pain of exile and exclusion onto. Armen becomes a literary friend and figure absent from the young Garo’s life, and together their poetic search for self-expression, artistic innovation, and cultural connection blends into a poetry of words, movement, and music. Our hope is to connect these stories with both Armenian and non-Armenian audiences, and in particular, to reach those who see themselves on the fringes, and who are searching for representations of themselves on the stage and in stories.”
Dear Armen integrates traditional Armenian dance, erotic performance, live music, spoken word, and live music by Haig Ashod Beylerian.
To order your tickets, please visit: www.goldenthread.org/tickets/. General admission tickets are $25. You can get $5 off any single tickets by entering the discount code “woman.” The theatre is also offering a two-play pass for $35.
Mahmoud and Dear Armen are each one hour-long, and will run for two weeks only. Mahmoud runs from October 16 through 26. Dear Armen runs from October 30 through November 9, 2014 at the Thick House (1695 18th Street, San Francisco, CA).