World Premiere


by Motti Lerner

An Iran, Israel, U.S. Artistic Collaboration


Two childhood friends, one Jewish and one Muslim, find themselves estranged and on opposing sides after the 1979 Revolution. Propelled by world events and against a backdrop of an imminent US invasion of Iran , they agree to a secret meeting in a Benedictine monastery in Rome to negotiate a price for safety and freedom.

Benedictus explores how the relationship among Iran, Israel, and United States is impacting the world. The work began in the summer of 2005 as the Iran/Israel/US Project, with a two-week residency at Siena College in upstate New York and has continued over the past two years. Given the impossibility of meeting in Iran and the complexities of meeting in Israel, these artists are working in the US to create collaborative theatre in the midst of escalating political conflict amongst their home countries. The piece created offers an opportunity to engage non-violently and creatively with the historical, social, religious and aesthetic dimensions of this crucial inter-relationship.

After its world premiere in San Francisco, this production of Benedictus will be remounted at The Los Angeles Theater Center, Jose Luis Valenzuela artistic director.

September 28, 2007 - October 22, 2007

Thick House

1695 18th Street, San Francisco

Written by Motti Lerner

Directed by Mahmood Karimi-Hakak

Featuring Ali Pourtash*, Al Faris*, Earll Kingston*

Created by Mahmood Karimi-Hakak, Motti Lerner, Roberta Levitow, Daniel Michaelson, Torange Yeghiazarian

“…helps to clarify and humanize the multifaceted issues that are drawing our nations into an avoidable conflict” -SF Weekly

“…able and purposeful” -SF Bay Guardian

“…tight… engaging” -SF Chronicle

Radio Interviews

Interviews with Radio Farda in Farsi.

→ Listen Here

Cast & Crew

Mahmood Karimi-Hakak

→ Bio

Motti Lerner

→ Bio

Roberta Levitow

→ Bio

Daniel Michaelson

→ Bio

Torange Yeghiazarian

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Al Faris*

→ Bio

Ali Pourtash

→ Bio

• • •

We are grateful for the support of the following institutions:

Walter & Elise Haas Fund, Tournesol Project, Theatre Communications group, Sienna College Creative Arts Department.

Golden Thread Productions

1695 18th Street, #C101
San Francisco, CA 94107
The ancestral lands of the Ramaytush Ohlone

Phone: 415.626.4061


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