Golden Thread Fairytale Players Present
by Torange Yeghiazarian
Our 2023 Theater for Young Audiences production is a new interpretation of Nasrudin’s Magnificent Journey to Samarkand, a play from the Golden Thread Fairytale Players repertoire, written by Torange Yeghiazarian and directed by Sarah Al-Kassab.
Will Nasrudin and his faithful donkey ever make it to Samarkand, the center of arts and crafts on the ancient Silk Road? There is only one way to find out!
Various Bay Area schools & libraries
Written by Torange Yeghiazarian
Directed by Sarah Al-Kassab
Featuring Bidalia Albanese, Sarah Al Kassab
Design Team: Scenic & Prop Design by Mokhtar Paki; Donkey Puppet Design by Shoresh Alaudini
Dance choreography by Lisa Tateosian
This production runs approximately 30-minutes followed by 20-min Q & A session
Appropriate for families and children, ages 5-15
Adapted from several folk tales from the Middle East and Central Asia, this performance is centered around the comedic personage, Mulla Nasrudin or Nasrudin Hoja, a renowned wise fool. Nasrudin’s clever wisdom and propensity for exposing hypocrisy frequently get him into trouble. In this performance, we follow Nasrudin’s adventures as he travels through caravansaries in Konya and Damascus before he arrives at his destination on the ancient Silk Route.
Director & Player 2/Nasrudin
Sarah Al-Kassab (she/her) is a first generation Jordanian-American actor, producer and costumer. Sarah has spent the last fifteen years as a self-producing Bay Area interactive performance artist. With over 20 years of experience in wardrobe styling and costume design and construction for both large and independent theatre houses, commercials, music videos, circus and live events, she enjoys being able to share Middle Eastern culture through costume and storytelling. She is thrilled to have been a core member of the Fairytale Players since 2007.
Bidalia Albanese (she/her) is a Bay-Area based native New Yorker who graduated from The Guildford School of Acting in England and an alumnus of The School of American Ballet, NYC. She has performed in the UK, NYC, and is currently a teaching artist for SF Shakespeare education workgroup. She is also a choreographer, movement director, director, and a proud co-founder of 23 Elephants Theatre Company with her husband Steven Hess, also an actor/writer. They were awarded The Best of SF Fringe for their original show Unspeakable Acts.
Torange Yeghiazarian (she/her) is a playwright, director, and translator. Born in Iran and of Armenian heritage, she is the Founding Artistic Director Emeritus of Golden Thread Productions where she developed seven original plays for young audiences with Golden Thread Fairytale Players. Her work has been published in “New Iranian Plays,” “Middle Eastern American Theatre,” “Performing Iran,” “Salaam. Peace: An Anthology of Middle Eastern-American Drama,” “Casting A Movement,” as well as articles in The Drama Review, HowlRound, and American Theatre Magazine.
Natasia Schibinger (she/her) is a San Francisco Bay Area artist and award-winning filmmaker. She is a children’s entertainer and is passionate about making theatre accessible for kids. Natasia was born in Riverside, CA before moving to Santa Cruz to study Film and Digital Media at UC Santa Cruz. She continues to pass on her knowledge to youth in fun and engaging ways, and teaches film and video workshops where she lives, in Oakland, CA with her dog, Regina George.
Jenna Stein-Corman (she/her) grew up immersed in the SF Bay Area theatre community. After graduating from Sarah Lawrence College, she has gone on to work as a teaching artist, stage manager, and director in theaters all over the Bay. Currently, she works with Town Hall Theatre, SF Playground, and the San Francisco Mime Troupe. Jenna is passionate about creating space for stories that center around the experiences of historically marginalized communities and that uplift artists of color. She is so excited to help facilitate this as the stage manager for this season’s Fairytale Players.
Scenic and Props Design
Mokhtar Paki (he/him), San Francisco Bay Area visual artist and art teacher. Mokhtar was the production designer for The Fifth String: Ziryab’s Passage to Cordoba on Golden Thread mainstage, as well as numerous Golden Thread Fairytale Players shows. His shadow puppet designs brought to life Jana and Baladoor, a mythological text by legendary Bahram Beyzaie at Stanford University. Mokhtar’s visual art has been shown at the Strut Gallery, Persian Center, Canessa Gallery, Intersection for The Arts, and Oliver Gallery. He has shared daily sketches over social media since 2016.
Lisa Tateosian (she/her) has been working with Golden Thread Productions since 2003 as an actor, stage manager, choreographer, and more, in productions including Love Missile, Learn to Be Latina, Benedictus, ReOrient, and several Fairytale Players productions. She was a Teaching Artist in numerous schools in the Bay Area, and toured school productions throughout California. She has enjoyed choreographing for student shows and professional theatre. Lisa holds a B.A. in Fine Arts from Mills College and an M.A. in Educational Theatre from New York University.
Shoresh Alaudini (he/him) is a Resident Artist with Golden Thread. Shoresh is a maven cut from the storytelling fabric, weaving his passions for sculpture, collage, acting, M.C. rap poetry, graphic novels, illustration, and the myriad of digital audio video media mix mastering alchemy textures, proudly serving and sowing seeds with the Golden Thread since 2010.