Golden Thread to Present the Season of International Women
Golden Thread Productions celebrates the centennial of U.S. Women's Right to Vote with a women-led lineup of international women playwrights in 2020. The Season of International Women extends the multifaceted discourse and unique stories of the evolving agency of Middle East women. Golden Thread expands its legacy of launching the voices of countless Middle Eastern American theatre artists by introducing three contemporary Middle Eastern voices to the American stage."It's a season of translated works because our fractured world urgently needs cultural bridging between the U.S. and the Middle East," Artistic Director Torange Yeghiazarian said. "Theatre is uniquely able to bring living cultures to the stage and invite audiences of all backgrounds to see themselves in someone else' story. This is exactly what we need right now." The 2020 mainstage season begins with the U.S. premiere of Turkish playwright Sedef Ecer's international success On the Periphery (Feb 23-April 5, 2020). Ecer paints a tender portrayal of the lives of social outcasts in Istanbul's urban slums mirroring the displacement, migration, and gentrification in the Bay Area. On the Periphery marks both Golden Thread's first co-production with Crowded Fire Theater Company as well as the reunion between Golden Thread resident artist Evren Odcikin (translator & cultural consultant) and Erin Gilley (director), who last collaborated in ReOrient 2017. Performed in Arabic with English supertitles, Jogging (May 2, 2020) is written and performed by celebrated Lebanese artist Hanane Hajj Ali. The play follows Hajj Ali as she jogs through Beirut, revisiting dreams, desires, hopes, and disillusionments. In her riveting 80-minute solo performance, Hajj Ali's story intertwines with the city's tumultuous history. The season's second show arrives at the Brava Theater Center for one night only, following an international tour including stops at the Kennedy Center and the Guthrie Theater. The 2020 season concludes with award-winning Iranian playwright Naghmeh Samini's The Language of Wild Berries (October 16-November 15, 2020). In this U.S. premiere, the past, present, and future collide in a touching story of a couple's annual road trips to the Caspian Sea. Translated from the Persian and directed by artistic director Torange Yeghiazarian, the play is a rare glimpse into the lives of contemporary Iranians. In addition, Golden Thread will once again celebrate International Women's Day with What Do the Women Say? (March 8, 2020), a curated evening featuring the work of leading women artists of Middle Eastern heritage. Hosted by Brava Theater Center, this year's theme is Power, Privilege, and Agency-an artistic exploration of the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing and protecting [white] women's constitutional right to vote in the U.S. Also at Brava is audience-favorite New Threads 2019 (Tuesdays in August, 2020), Golden Thread's annual staged reading series, introduces the best theatrical writing from or about the Middle East to Bay Area audiences. Golden Thread Productions is the first American theatre company devoted to the Middle East and its global diaspora. For more than 20 years, Golden Thread has produced plays and events that represent excellence, defy stereotypes, and celebrate the multiplicity of perspectives and identities from the Middle East. The company has become an essential hub for artistic activism, supports challenging conversations, and champions representation and inclusion locally and nationally. In its 24 years, Golden Thread has premiered more than 100 new plays from or about the Middle East, including seven original plays for young audiences based on Middle Eastern folktales, and has employed more than 1,000 artists, many from underrepresented communities. Golden Thread has served nearly 50,000 audience members, with more than 40% self-identifying as Middle Eastern. Golden Thread has been recognized twice by American Theatre Wing, the producers of the Tony Awards, by the City of San Francisco in honor of our 20th anniversary, and was featured in the ABC 7 Bay Area's Profiles of Excellence. Artistic Director Torange Yeghiazarian has been recognized by Theatre Bay Area and is one of Theatre Communication Group's Legacy Leaders of Color. She was honored by the Cairo International Theatre Festival (2016) and the Symposium on Equity in the Entertainment Industry at Stanford University (2017). Find out more about Golden Thread and its 2020 Season at goldenthread.org/season.