Green Light Arts Presents The World Premiere of IZAD ETEMADI: LET ME EXPLAIN

Iranian-Canadian Artist Izad Etemadi returns to his adoring fans in Kitchener with a brand-new comedy show, May 25-June 4, 2023.

By: May. 16, 2023
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Green Light Arts Presents The World Premiere of IZAD ETEMADI: LET ME EXPLAIN

Pre-COVID you may have been lucky enough to attend one of Green Light Arts' theatrical productions starring Leila, the alter-ego character created by Izad Etemadi (Buddy the Elf in Elf: The Musical, Grand Theatre; Orphan Black: Echoes (AMC), who became an unexpected KW cult following phenomenon. Well, your favourite Persian Prince is back sharing his own stories about being a gay Iranian-Canadian whose name no one can pronounce and whose professional life pushes him to play terrorists!

Developed over Zoom during COVID with GLA's Artistic Director, Matt White (This Is How We Got Here), Izad Etemadi: Let Me Explain is the next NetFlix (or CBC Gem) comedy special we all desperately need.

"Immigrants have to explain themselves all the time," Izad shares when asked about the title of the show, "their name, their ethnicity, their reasons for being in Canada; immigrants have to explain their entire existence while Lane from London just gets to be Lane." Izad continues, "With this show, I'm going to explain everything there is to know about me so I never have to do it again! Four shows a week for two weeks, maybe more when we tour."

Through songs, stories, a few re-enactments, and playful audience interaction, Izad takes us on a journey through his world: born in a refugee camp in Germany, moving to Victoria, having his first boy crush, venturing off to Musical Theatre School looking for a gay fantasia, eventually coming out to his parents, and making it in show biz.

Izad also touches on the reality in Iran right now: "I had to talk about it somehow, I mean, right now the people in Iran are fighting so hard against the same regime that forced my parents to escape. They didn't want to leave. No one wants to leave their lives and family but they had two small kids and felt they didn't have a choice. Now I have the chance to explain some of that".

Matt points out one of the key intentions Izad set out when approaching him about working on the project: "It has to be funny". While some of the stories are sad or frustrating to hear, "especially when you realize this lovable human was on the other side of so many of these really challenging circumstances, the important thing is he survived; he's here to tell these stories. For so much of his life Izad has been told who the world thinks he should be, this show is his way of taking back the narrative and being who he wants to be. Laughter becomes a celebration of that unique human that is Izad. "

Izad Etemadi: Let Me Explain takes over the Conrad Centre for the Performing Arts in downtown Kitchener for eight (8) performances, from May 25 to June 4, 2023.

This is the first time GLA is working with Set Designer, Helen Yung (Love You Wrong Time, Nightwood Theatre / Bad Muse Collective), and Stage Manager Alex Jodi Verge (CREDITS). GLA is thrilled to welcome back Lighting Designer Paul Cegys (Janice Jo Lee's Will You Be My Friend) and Nadia Ursacki as Production Manager.

AUDIENCE ADVISORY: This play discusses racism, homophobia, terrorism, religion, and features a fair share of swearing. Viewers may experience therapeutic laughter and should not start the show with a full bladder. Recommended age 13+ years.

Founded in 2014 by Matt White and Carin Lowerison, Green Light Arts is a producing theatre company based in Waterloo Region. We deliver well-crafted, provocative theatrical projects and pairs artistic programming with purposeful outreach events to deepen community conversations about the ideas we put on stage. Through rigorous professional practice we uphold and further the artform of theatre. Through the artform of theatre, we enrich the social fabric of our community.

Project highlights: This is How We Got Here, WE COULD BE (2021 WR Arts Award), A Very Leila Christmas, Guarded Girls (2020 WR Arts Award, 2019 Dora Mavor Moore award for Outstanding New Play, Governor General's Literary Award drama finalist), Will You Be My Friend. Upcoming: Green Light Arts is celebrating its 10th Anniversary in 2023-24.

Izad Etemadi: Let Me Explain

May 25 - June 4, 2023

Thur-Sat 8PM, Sun 4PM

Conrad Centre for the Performing Arts, 36 King Street W, Kitchener, ON N2G 1A3

Tickets: General $15-$30 +HST (sliding scale pricing), Sunday "pay-what-you-can"

SHOW SCHEDULE (8 performances)
Thur. May 25, 2023, 8:00PM Preview Performance

Fri. May 26, 2023, 8:00PM General Performance (OPENING NIGHT)

Sat. May 27, 2023, 8:00PM General Performance

Sun. May 28, 2023, 4:00PM General Performance (pay-what-you-can)

Thur. June 1, 2023, 8:00PM General Performance

Fri. June 2, 2023, 8:00PM General Performance

Sat. June 3, 2023, 8:00PM General Performance

Sun. June 4, 2023, 4:00PM General Performance (pay-what-you-can)



  • BOX OFFICE: Purchase tickets in-person one hour before each performance (Debit, Credit, Cash)

  • THEATRE ADDRESS: Conrad Centre for the Performing Arts, 36 King St W, Kitchener, ON N2G 1A3


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