by Torange Yeghiazarian
Everyone thought the strangest thing Behrooz had ever done was to fall in love with a mannequin. But that was just the beginning! Adapted from The Doll Behind the Curtain by Sadegh Hedayat, Behind Glass Windows is a shattering love story that questions our perception of love and reality.
The overpowering presence of self-inflicted exile dominates Hedayat’s writing. The protagonist in The Doll Behind the Curtain, much like Hedayat himself feels isolated from his society. The protagonist reacts by creating an alternative reality. This contemporary stage adaptation focuses on the illusory nature of love and relationships from the perspective of second generation Iranians growing up with dual traditions. Divided between the culture of their society and that of their home, they yearn for the comfort of the familiar while seeking the excitement of the new. Within this context, the play explores the true meaning of love, freedom, and independence.
October 16, 1998 - November 9, 1998
Adeline St. Theatre
3201 Adeline St. Berkeley, CA 94703
Written by Torange Yeghiazarian
Directed by Torange Yeghiazarian
Featuring (in order of appearance) Dan Sherman, Linda Ayers, Kiran Patel, Colin A. Grube, Tom Cooper, Momo Casablanca, Esther Feuerstein, Sanaz Mozafarian
Design Team: Jim Anderson (scenic), Harry John Rubeck (lighting), Firoozeh Farah (costume & makeup)
Presented by Darvag Art Foundation
Behrooz, an Iranian young man raised in the United States must now settle down. Will he choose the comforts of tradition or the excitement of the new? Overpowered by the demands surrounding him, Behrooz creates an alternative reality, one in which a man can have a perfectly normal and emotionally satisfying relationship with a mannequin.
Born to an aristocratic family in 1903 in Iran, Hedayat was among those distinguished students sent to Europe by Reza Shah to earn an education with the expectation that they would facilitate the nation’s progress towards modernization. Upon his return, Hedayat refused to pursue his study of the sciences and began to study literature. His first collection of short stories, Zendeh be-gur was published in Tehran in 1930. Soon there after Hedayat co-instituted the Rab’a (The Foursome) a group consisting of young returnees whose progressive ideas antagonized both the literati and the government. The group met in a cafe called Zhaleh and discussed affairs of government, the future of Iran and the role of Islam in it. Sayeh Roshan, the collection of short stories that includes The Doll Behind the Curtain, was published in 1933 and is focused on issues surrounding modernization. In 1936 Reza Shah outlawed the Rab’a and incarcerated some of its members. Hedayat left for India where his thoughts on his masterpiece The Blind Owl crystallized. After his return to Iran, Hedayat published another collection of short stories, The Stray Dog. While alienation is the predominant theme in this collection, a number of stories are concerned with issues of political consciousness and sharply criticize the Iran of early 1940s. In 1947, Hedayat wrote The Pearl Cannon, where he criticizes the meddling of superpowers in the affairs of smaller nations like Iran, at the same time condemning the Iranian government for allowing its people to suffer. Hedayat’s last published work, The Message of Kafka, bespeaks melancholy and desperation. Crystallized in his work is an overwhelming sense of oppression, lack of trust and denial of freedom of choice. Hedayat committed suicide in 1951, in Paris. - “Hedayat, S. The Pearl Cannon, edited by Iraj Bashiri, Lexington, KY: Mazda Publishers, 1986.”
California Art Council, Zellerbach Family Fund
Golden Thread is a fiscally sponsored project of The Intersection for the Arts.