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Golden Thread Productions Presents the U.S. Premiere Of THE LANGUAGE OF WILD BERRIES

Performances run October 14 to November 6, 2022.

Golden Thread Productions Presents the U.S. Premiere Of THE LANGUAGE OF WILD BERRIES

Golden Thread Productions, the first American theatre company devoted to the Middle East, launches the long-awaited U.S. premiere of The Language of Wild Berries, originally scheduled for a full production and released instead as an audio play in 2020. Donya and Davood celebrate their wedding anniversary by traveling to the same seaside town where they spent their honeymoon. But on this trip, their 10th anniversary, a mysterious young man is following them. Who is he? What does he want? Trying to solve the mystery of the young man throws Donya and Davood into a time warp recalling their past nine anniversary trips. They remember what they have forgotten. But will that be enough to save their marriage?

The Language of Wild Berries by celebrated Iranian playwright Naghmeh Samini is translated and directed by Founding Artistic Director Emeritus Torange Yeghiazarian. It runs from October 14 to November 6, 2022, at Potrero Stage (1695 18th Street, San Francisco, CA) and performs Thursdays-Saturdays at 8 PM, and Sundays at 3 PM. (No performance on Thursday, October 20th.) Opening Night is Monday, October 17 at 8 PM. For tickets ($15-100) and more information on the production, please visit goldenthread.org.

Naghmeh Samini is an accomplished playwright whose work has been produced across the Middle East, Europe, and Asia. She is also the recipient of multiple awards for her screenplays, most notably by Yass Festival in 2016 for her work on the popular Iranian television series, Shahrzad. The Language of Wild Berries, which premiered at Tamashakhaneh Payiz in Tehran in 2017, offers a contemporary story about love, marriage, and the languages in-between. The play is a prime example of the contemporary work of leading MENA women playwrights that directly contradicts the simplistic narratives and the dominant tropes and stereotypes of Iran in the U.S. The characters we meet in The Language of Wild Berries are complex, layered, and extremely relatable, but rarely seen on U.S. stages.

Executive Artistic Director Sahar Assaf says, "When I first listened to the audio version of The Language of Wild Berries, I was captivated by the inventiveness of the language and the surprising dramatic structure of the play. I love how the play presents a simple story about love and marriage in a completely twisted and original way. I also love how it delicately obscures the lines between the personal and the political by using recent Iranian political events as a backdrop." Assaf adds, "I am thrilled to be producing the staged version of this play in my first season as Golden Thread's new Artistic Director. Naghmeh is a brilliant playwright and to have Torange come back to the company to direct the play is an absolute honor. Our audiences are in for a treat!"

Founding Artistic Director Emeritus Torange Yeghiazarian, who translated the play in 2020 and is back at Golden Thread to direct it, says, "I'm excited to return to my artistic home to bring Samini's exquisite play to life. This deceivingly simple story, filled with theatrical magic and mystery, offers our cast and designers a beautiful opportunity to shine. I look forward to playing and to watching the audience's response to our collaboration!"

The Language of Wild Berries cast features Zaya Kolia (Danial), Damien Seperi (Davood) and Dina Zarif (Donya). The creative team includes Cassie Barnes (lighting designer), Kate Boyd (scenic designer), Derek Schmidt (sound designer), Brooke Jennings (costume designer), Samantha Alexa (props designer), Carla Pantoja (fight choreographer), Lynne Soffer (dialect coach), Heather Rastovac Akbarzadeh (production dramaturg), Camille La'akea Wong (stage manager), Atusa Assadi (assistant stage manager), Megan Hillard (technical director) and Dan Holland (production manager).

Golden Thread Productions, founded in 1996, is the first American theatre company devoted to the Middle East. We produce passionate and provocative plays from or about the Middle East that celebrate the multiplicity of its perspectives and identities. We are a developmental catalyst and vibrant artistic home to artists at various stages of their career. We bring the Middle East to the American stage, creating treasured cultural experiences for audiences of all ages and backgrounds.

Golden Thread thanks The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Sam Mazza Foundation for their support. Golden Thread is a resident company of Potrero Stage, operated by PlayGround. This production is made possible in part through the Potrero Stage Presenting Program.

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