Cast Announced For Los Angeles Premiere Of OPERATION AJAX
Little Fish Theatre has announced its cast for the Los Angeles premiere of Operation Ajax opening October 3. This true story about a 1953 CIA covert operation is written by Matthew Spangler and Farshad Farahat, and is directed by LFT Associate Artistic Director Suzanne Dean. The five-person ensemble plays all 13 real and imagined figures surrounding the plan to overthrow the Prime Minister of Iran - Mohammad Mossadegh.
Two members of the cast from the original Bay Area production join three LFT alums in this electrifying account. Returning actor and co-writer and film actor Farahat (Argo, House of Cards) is studying for his PhD in Conflict Resolution at Nova Southeastern, focusing on resolving US-Iran grievances. He recently had a piece published in Newsweek on the price of war, and is developing a TV series on Cyrus the Great, the first King of Iran. Christian Haines is the founding Artistic Director of AmiosNYC, AmiosWest and the Highlighter Reading Series. His acting credits include All the Shah's Men, Value Over Replacement (TBA Award for Featured Actor) and First Time Out of Bounds (Best Short Play NYIT Awards). Haines holds an MFA from The National Theatre Conservatory.
Familiar faces to the LFT stage include Cylan Brown, Rachel Levy, and Andrew Oliveri. Brown recently appeared in the critically-lauded LFT play The Lonesome West and is a frequent director at LFT (Boeing Boeing, The 39 Steps) and Shakespeare by the Sea. Levy is a recent winner of the StageScene LA award for Outstanding Performance in a Production of One Acts. She was last seen on stage this season in Pick of the Vine and The Nerd. Oliveri has appeared on television in Hawaii Five-O and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. At LFT, he appeared in What the Night is For.
Director Dean recently helmed Territories by Betty Shamieh at the Arabian Shakespeare Festival and directed Shakespeare with Prague Shakespeare Festival. She was motivated to bring the play to LFT after meeting Spangler and Farahat at the ASF production. "It struck me as an educational thriller - an international intrigue of real world events operating on a remarkable timeline - the actual coup lasted less than a week with the balance of power ping-ponging. And, the structure of the play really inspired me. It feels cinematic, yet theatrical - quick scene shifts, a multiplicity of locations, an ensemble cast of morphing characters, with an omniscient narrator. I knew I wanted to challenge myself and our intimate space at LFT to convey a story on this scale, stylistically, while investing in the weight of the events - the strategic dismantling of democracy." Dean is the Artistic & Development Director for Little Fish Theatre and Shakespeare by the Sea, and a film producer with multiple film and television credits.
Co-writer Spangler (The Kite Runner) regarding his partnership with Farahat, "From my point of view, Farshad's input on Operation Ajax is absolutely invaluable, the importance of which cannot be overstated. Not only is he an incredibly talented actor and writer, but, because he lived in Tehran as a child, he knows about the coup on an intimate, personal level." He continues, "Farshad is also attuned to the ethics of representation when it comes to putting Iranian characters on American theatre stages, which has extended my own thinking tremendously."
Tickets can be purchased online at www.littlefishtheatre.org. Founded in 2002 as an artists' ensemble, Little Fish Theatre presents classic and contemporary plays in an intimate setting on Centre Street in the Arts District of downtown San Pedro.