GOLDEN THREAD FAIRYTALE PLAYERS PRESENT
by Torange Yeghiazarian drawn from Palestinian folktales
When the optometrist shatters little Leila’s dream of becoming a pilot, a menagerie of mythic birds gather to help her accomplish her goal. Drawn from beloved Palestinian folktales, Leila’s Quest for Flight incorporates music, dance, and physical comedy. These dynamic shows are entertaining for all ages, connecting diverse cultural traditions to contemporary themes.
Various Bay Area locations
See below for information on upcoming performances.
Written by Torange Yeghiazarian drawn from Palestinian folktales
Directed by Torange Yeghiazarian
Creative team: Mokhtar Paki (Production Designer), Lisa Tateosian (Choreographer), Sarah Al-Kassab (Stage Manager)
Golden Thread Fairytale Players offer a dynamic repertoire of performances for young audiences, with plays based on traditions and folklore from across the Middle East.
San Leandro Community Library
“Golden Thread has quickly become a favorite presenter of family programs at San Francisco Public Library.” —Family Engagement Services, San Francisco Public Library
“The program was excellent. It definitely broadened their perception of cultures. The students enjoyed the ingenious way the actors changed their parts. The kids went around mimicking the actors for days.” —Teacher, Hawes Elementary
“I’m so happy these kids are getting such wonderful exposure to Middle Eastern culture, and especially getting to hear the Palestinian voice. And to end it with one of my family’s favorite Fairuz songs was the cherry on top!” —Parent, Berkwood Hedge School
“[As an educator, I valued] an opportunity for students to experience art especially made by people of color and performers. —Teacher, Cesar Chavez Elementary School
“Inspirational. It would be wonderful to bring it to all elementary schools.” —President, Berkeley PTA Council
“I so appreciated how this performance gave my students some understanding of Palestine, Arabic, and even the simple geography of the Middle East. I especially appreciated the lesson plan that was available to us before the performance.” —Teacher, Berkwood Hedge School
Player 2 / Leila
Simone Bloch is a French-American performer, who has danced and acted in numerous shows in the Bay Area since 2001. She is a cofounder of Inferno Theatre and was part of street performances of Sun and Moon Ensemble for years. She was last been seen on stage with Marzipanik for the Fury Factory 2018. In France, she worked in various experimental dance-theatre companies, including the Théâ̂tre du Temps in Paris with the Kyogen and Noh master Jungi Fuseya. In her early twenties, she went on two theatrical tours in Algeria that opened her heart and mind to a new world to which she has stayed connected. She is also a mother, a certified Somatic Movement Educator, and teaches French and German. She is thrilled to have joined Golden Thread Fairytale Players on this adventure!
Player 1 / Mother
Maya Nazzal is a San Francisco-based actor. She is first-generation Palestinian-American and is a fluent Arabic speaker. She received her BA in Theatre Arts from San Francisco State University and recently trained at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting in New York. Her SFSU stage credits include Top Girls, The Laramie Project, The Baltimore Waltz, Five Women Wearing the Same Dress, and Forever Chasing Smarts. When she is not on-stage, Maya loves to spend her time solo-backpacking around the world! She is beyond excited to be joining the Golden Thread Fairytale Players and is grateful for this opportunity.
Playwright & Director
Torange Yeghiazarian is a playwright, director, and translator. She is the Founding Artistic Director of Golden Thread Productions, the first American theatre company devoted to the Middle East. Her play, Call Me Mehdi, is included in “Salaam. Peace: An Anthology of Middle Eastern-American Drama,” published by TCG.Torange has contributed to HowlRound, The Drama Review, Theatre Bay Area Magazine, the Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures, and Cambridge World Encyclopedia of Stage Actors. For Golden Thread Fairytale Players, she writes and directs original short plays based on children’s stories and fables from the Middle East. Born in Iran and of Armenian heritage, Torange holds a Master’s degree in Theatre Arts from San Francisco State University.
Mokhtar Paki is a Bay Area visual artist, art teacher, and sometimes architectural designer. Mokhtar was the production designer on The Fifth String: Ziryab’s Passage to Cordoba on Golden Thread mainstage as well as numerous Golden Thread Fairytale Players shows. In 2012, Mokhtar designed the puppets for the shadow-play, Jana and Baladoor, written and directed by Bahram Beyzaie. His visual art has been shown at the Persian Center, Canessa Gallery, Intersection for The Arts, and Oliver Gallery. His caricatures and illustrations have appeared in local as well as European publications. Mokhtar has an M.A. in Creative Writing, and has published two novels, several short stories, and numerous articles.
Sarah Al-Kassab is a first generation Jordanian-American powerhouse of production and performance. Sarah has spent the last 12 years as a self-producing Bay Area interactive performance artist. She has more than 15 years of experience in wardrobe styling and costume construction for both large and independent theatre houses, commercials, and events. She is thrilled to have been a core member of the Fairytale Players since its inception in 2007, and is honored to be returning for her fourth show with Leila’s Quest for Flight!
Lisa Tateosian is Golden Thread resident artist. She has worked with Golden Thread as a performer (Nasrudin’s Magnificent Journey to Samarqand, Benedictus, ReOrient 2004 Festival) and as a choreographer (Love Missile, Learn to Be Latina, 21 Days That Change the Year, and Princess Tamar Rescues Nazar the Brave). She has used her diverse dance, music, and theatre background in her work as a Teaching Artist at Bay Area schools and studios for over nine years. Other choreography credits include She Loves Me (CTA/ Crossroads), Hansel and Gretel (Golden Gate Opera,) School House Rock and Oliver! (California Theatre Arts). Lisa earned an M.A. in Educational Theatre at New York University.