My newest project, Documented cIRCA 86: Immigration Reform Turns Thirty (cIRCA '86) is an oral history and multimedia public engagement project that celebrates the lives and accomplishments of immigrants who were legalized through the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986.
Standing on the foundation created by the wonderful readings in London this past December, I am pleased to report that my play, Tree of Seeds, will have a reading in NYC next week!! Please come out to hear it, I’d love to connect with people interested in producing new voices, new stories, and non-traditional formats. Please come out to hear it, I’d love to connect with people interested in producing new voices, new stories, and non-traditional formats.
Happy Spring! — Nowrouz Mubarak! For those of you who have been thrashed around by the waves of winter, do not despair! The shore is near. This winter, my experience of being in the world has felt like one of a sea lamprey attached to the fin of some great whale. Yes, I get food, great soul-enriching sustenance from doing what I was born to do, but the ride is not an easy one.
Tonight, we will pass through the longest night of the year. We will regain a tiny bit of light, with each new day. The end of 2013 seems to have opened a thousand little doors of terror inside me. This is the first time I am “properly” developing a play. That means I’m not jumping right into a production process but taking time to write, re-write, show it to others, share my thoughts, and hear the words read aloud. It’s brought me face to face with many of my feelings of inadequacy, superiority, futility, and desperation. It’s been a long night in the life of this artist.
“I give you my Yellow … Give me your Red! I give you my Yellow … Give me your Red!” Tonight, I was shouting this out loud as I jumped, back and forth, over a bonfire. It is Chahar Shanbe Suri – the Wednesday before Persian New Year – and jumping over the fire is an important part of the celebrations. You are speaking to the fire; having an exchange, and as you vocalize those words you remember that connection to Mother earth. We are on the earth and of the earth.
I am back in New York City, feeling energized and refreshed, after my month-long residency at the Blue Mountain Center in the gorgeous Adirondack Mountains. I took full advantage of an entire month of serenity and wide open space and have started a new play which deals with themes of national borders, identity and cultural repression, and family history in modern-day Iran. I will keep you up to date as it unfolds and develops. Here are some things I am working on during the month of October. I hope to see you around!