by Denmo Ibrahim
Golden Thread Productions is proud to present the world premiere of Ecstasy | a waterfable, a new play commissioned to Bay Area theatre artist Denmo Ibrahim and directed by Evren Odcikin. In Ecstasy, stories are written in water, spells are cast through washing, and to drink either creates your life or rips it from you. In this dangerous water world, three uniquely lost characters struggle to remember and pray to forget. A man devotes his life’s work to a tragically simple task. A young woman is haunted by past images not her own. And an elder, submerged in a flood of old pictures, fights to remember a story that slowly seduces her into it. Inspired by 9th century Sufi fable, “When the Waters Were Changed” and created through a year-long development process with the Water Project ensemble with the generous support of the prestigious New Works Fund Grant, Zellerbach, and Wallace Gerbode Foundation, Ecstasy | a waterfable is visceral, physical storytelling at its best.
July 23, 2009 - August 16, 2009
1695 18th St, San Francisco
Written by Denmo Ibrahim
Directed by Evren Odcikin
Featuring Babak Bakhtiari, Deborah Eliezer, Bora "Max" Koknar, Cec Levinson, Garth Petal, Nora El Samahy*, Alika Spencer, Heidi Wolf
Design Team: Wesley Cabral (scenic & props), Jarrod Fischer (lighting), Sarah Al Kassab (costumes)
Music by Vince Delgado & Roman Kosins
This work was developed with the Water Project Ensemble over two years.
The ancient Sufi story “When the Waters Were Changed”, the inspiration for Ecstasy, recounts a time when Khidr, the teacher of Moses, warned that all water that had not been specially hoarded would disappear. It would be renewed with different water, which would drive men mad. On the appointed date, the world dried up. There was a period of waiting. And when the waters came again, only one man heeded the call, only one remembered the warning. In Ecstasy, the essence of his struggle bleeds through three times of existence –the ancient, the mythic, and the modern.
Weaving elements of text, live music, and ensemble imagery, Ecstasy culminates in an interactive ritual of remembering and forgetting. In an attempt to address omens – personal, communal, and global – this visually stunning, non-linear waterfable unravels through an intensely collaborative, highly stylized performance where three divided worlds discover they are bound irrevocably through lineage.
Denmo Ibrahim (writer) is a playwright and actor based in San Francisco. She is a founder of the award winning performance company, mugwumpin and co-directed it through 2008. Her past commissions include new work for Theatre of Yugen, foolsFURY, Shotgun Players, Golden Thread, Root Division, 111 Minna Gallery, and EXIT Theatre. She is a graduate of Boston University’s Acting Program and holds an M.F.A. in Lecoq-Based: Actor Created Physical Theatre from Naropa University. Her next project GLYLPH, inspired by the myths revealed through the discovery of the Rosetta Stone, and made possible through the generous support of a TBA CA$H Grant, will begin its script development in 2010
Evren Odcikin (director) is a San Francisco-based director, dramaturge, and set designer. His Bay Area directing credits include Machinal (Brava! for Women in the Arts), Blood Wedding (Shotgun Players), The Greek Play (elastic future), 22 Minutes Remaining (Golden Thread Productions), Edge (Phoenix Arts Theatre), Road to Mecca (Secondwind), Death of Yazdgerd (Darvag), and Heavy Days (Shotgun Theatre Lab). He was the dramaturge on Mother Courage and Her Children, Owners, and Quills at Shotgun Players and Blue/Orange at Aurora Theatre Company. He has directed numerous readings and workshops at Magic Theatre, TheatreFirst, Golden Thread Productions, and Bay Area Playwrights Festival and designed sets for mugwumpin, elastic future, Golden Thread Productions, and Shotgun Players. Born and raised in Turkey, he is an associate artist with Golden Thread Productions and is a graduate of Princeton University.
Vince Delgado (musical composer) is a master percussionist and composer who has played music for over fifty years. He is a jazz and Middle Eastern musician who has studied classical North Indian music. He was the executive director of the Ali Akbar College of Music in 1968 under the guidance of the great sarodist Ali Akbar Khan. Some of his recent notable performances: Saman Yolu Television in Istanbul with renowned oud player Necati Celik and kanunist Mimi Spencer; in Paris with Zakir Hussain, Vikku Vinayakaram, Selva Ganesh and Shivamani; on the United States East Coast and in Canada with Zakir Hussain and the Rhythm Experience; in the San Francisco Bay Area with jazz pianist Larry Vuckovich, and with the Murasaki ensemble. Vince has his own group, Jazayer, which performs classical and traditional Arabic and Turkish music. He has his own music company, Chente Publications, producing compact discs in the Middle Eastern genre. Vince’s percussion work may be heard on numerous CDs, including Diga with Mickey Hart, Remembrances (and other recordings) with Jazayer; Zakir Hussain and the Rhythm Experience; Closer To Me with Bronislav Bubalo; Magenta with the Murasaki Ensemble; and on many other recordings as a guest artist and studio musician
Wesley Cabral (set designer) is a set designer and video artist based in San Francisco. Recent projects include: Futre Me with Theatre First, mugwumpin’s super:anti:reluctnat, which performed at the Cairo International Festival of Experimental Theater, Wreckage with Crowded Fire and Just Theater’s Current Nobody. His work as a production designer for short film has been featured at the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival and the Telluride Film Festival. He’s a company member of elastic future and a proud member of the Magic Theater’s Artistic Lab. Wesley would like to thank Golden Thread for the opportunity to work on this inspiring project. To see more of Wesley’s work in design and fine art visit www.wesleycabral.com
Bobak Cyrus Bakhtiari is pleased to make his Goldenthread debut with this production. Most recent Bay area credits include Adnan in Betrayed at Aurora Theater, Tom Smith and Ancestor with Word For Word Performing Arts, , Conversation Storm with Second Wind, Albert in A Thousand Clowns at Hillbarn, Mohammad in Approaching The Quran and Ali in Outsourcing Torture with Mosaic Theater Group. Bakhtiari can be seen in the upcoming docudrama I ran Iran with Liverwurst Films. Bakhtiari holds a Performance Studies and Religious studies degree from Bowdoin College and a summer intensive at A.C.T. www.bobak.us
Deborah Eliezer (ensemble) is delighted to be working with Golden Thread again, last seen in Karima’s City (SF and Cairo) Other recent ensemble performances include Run if You Care About Dying (FURY Factory,) with foolsFURY : POSH (SF/NYC,) All You Can Eat, Monster in the Dark (SF/NYC) and The Devil on All Sides (SF/NYC). In recent years she’s also worked with Woman’s Will, Marin Theater Co, Abydos, and Antenna Theater. As a voiceover, you may have heard her voice in Leapfrog Toys, The Sims video games or radio ads. She coaches adults and kids all over the Bay Area and is the Education Director of foolsFURY Theater. She holds a B.A. Cum Laude in Drama from SFSU.
Bora "Max" Koknar
Bora "Max" Koknar
Bora “Max” Koknar (ensemble) holds a B.A. in Theatre from the Ohio State University. His training includes Mime with Jeanine Thompson, and Gregg Goldston, students of Marcel Marceau; as well as intensives in Viewpoints, Suzuki and Composition with members of the SITI Company. He has created and performed several shows with his company Scarlett Family Circus, including the vaudevillian pyrobatic comedy act, En Flambe, winner of best new act at the Great Lakes Medieval Faire. He is thrilled to finish out his first year in the Bay Area as an ensemble member of Ecstasy. His Bay Area credits since his arrival last August include Mr. Deltoid in A Clockwork Orange with RTE, Ron in Breaking the Code with Bus Barn, Gratiano in Merchant of Venice with Subterranian Shakespeare, and Garry in the workshop production of Sheila Callaghan’s new Port out, Starboard Home with FoolsFury at the Fury Factory.
Cec Levinson (Picture Lady) is thrilled to return to Golden Thread after too long an absence. Since playing Jamilah in Gangrene here, she has run the gamut from 16-year-old Kimberly in Kimberly Akimbo to 80-year-old Frieda in Tale of the Allergist’s Wife, both at Sacramento’s “B” Street Theatre. Somewhere between these two were wonderfully nutty Doris in Lil’Darlin' and Nanny in Uncle Vanya at San Jose Stage Company; Bubbie in Crossing Delancey and E.M. Ashford in Wit at Townhall Theatre, Lafayette. She had great fun being Toad and multiple others in the Oakland Public Theatre’s several productions of Wind in the Willows, Emma in Over the River and Through the Woods at California Conservatory, San Leandro, Ethel in On Golden Pond at Woodland Opera, June in Just Theatre’s The Maror the Merrier, winner of S.F. Best of Fringe, 2005. She dedicates this performance to her son, Andrew, whose dancing brought so much joy and beauty to his family and his international audiences.
Garth Petal (Pipeman) has performed extensively in theater throughout the Bay Area, as well as in film and voiceover. Ecstasy marks his return to the Golden Thread stage after having appeared in two plays in last year’s ReOrient Festival. He was last seen as Henry in Maria Fornes’ Mud at Cutting Ball. Other recent engagements include Father in Kobo Abe’s Friends for the Brava Theater’s inaugural production of its second stage directed by Raelle Myrick-Hodges, preceded by a turn as Vinnie Black in the original cast of the San Francisco reprise of Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding. Notable past roles include Macbeth in Cutting Ball’s 2005 San Francisco production, Vladimir in Waiting for Godot, Edmund in King Lear, Feste in Twelfth Night, Nagg in Endgame and the diabolical Dr. Schadenfreude in the cult film, The Hypnotist.
Nora el Samahy*
Nora el Samahy*
Nora el Samahy* (Mona) This is Nora’s first full production with Golden Thread. Since living in the Bay Area she has worked with: Aurora Theatre, Magic Theatre, foolsFURY, Traveling Jewish Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Exit Theater, Theatre Rhinoceros, Woman’s Will, Shotgun Players, African American Shakespeare Company, and the San Francisco Shakespeare Company. Nora is a certified Pilates instructor and co-owner of Studio 74 Pilates with business partner Jennifer Moulton. Love and respect to family, friends, and P.
Heidi A. Wolff
Heidi A. Wolff
Heidi A. Wolff (ensemble) is making her first appearance with Golden Thread. She has worked with various Bay Area theater companies, including: Brava, New Conservatory Theatre, Last Planet Theatre, il Teatro 450, Thrillpeddlers, California Conservatory Theatre, and Chameleon Theatre. Major roles include: Marlene in The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant and Beppi in Farmyard, both with Last Planet Theatre.
Garth Petal has performed extensively in theater throughout the Bay Area, as well as in film and voiceover. Ecstasy marks his return to the Golden Thread stage after having appeared in two plays in last year’s ReOrient Festival. He was last seen as Henry in Maria Fornes’ Mud at Cutting Ball. Other recent engagements include Father in Kobo Abe’s Friends for the Brava Theater’s inaugural production of its second stage directed by Raelle Myrick-Hodges, preceded by a turn as Vinnie Black in the original cast of the San Francisco reprise of Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding. Notable past roles include Macbeth in Cutting Ball’s 2005 San Francisco production, Vladimir in Waiting for Godot, Edmund in King Lear, Feste in Twelfth Night, Nagg in Endgame and the diabolical Dr. Schadenfreude in the cult film, The Hypnotist.
Debórah Eliezer is delighted to be working with Golden Thread again, last seen in Karima’s City (SF and Cairo.) Other recent ensemble performances include Run if You Care About Dying (FURY Factory,) with foolsFURY : POSH (SF/NYC,) All You Can Eat, Monster in the Dark (SF/NYC) and The Devil on All Sides (SF/NYC). In recent years she’s also worked with Woman’s Will, Marin Theater Co, Abydos, and Antenna Theater.
As a voiceover, you may have heard her voice in Leapfrog Toys, The Sims video games or radio ads. She coaches adults and kids all over the Bay Area and is the Education Dir. of foolsFURY Theater. She holds a B.A. Cum Laude in Drama from SFSU.