by Naghmeh Samini, translated by Torange Yeghiazarian
The past, present, and future collide in the touching story of a couple’s annual road trips to the Caspian Sea and the mysterious stranger following them. Naghmeh Samini’s play is a rare glimpse into the lives of contemporary Iranians, as well as her first English production in the United States.
Donya and Davood celebrate their wedding anniversary by traveling to the same sea side town where they spent their honeymoon. But on this trip, their 10th anniversary, a mysterious young man is following them. Who is he? What does he want? Trying to solve the mystery of the young man throws Donya and Davood into a time warp recalling their past nine anniversary trips. They remember what they have forgotten. But will that be enough to save their marriage? The U.S. Premiere of The Language of Wild Berries is Samini’s first production in English in the United States.
Naghmeh Samini is an award-winning playwright, scriptwriter and Assistant Professor in Dramatic Literature at the Faculty of Music and Performing Arts, University of Tehran. Her plays including Sleeping in an Empty Cup, Sky Horses Rain Ashes, Making Faces, and The Home (Best Playwright, 2008) have been staged in Iran, France, India, Canada, and the United States, among others. She is the recipient of several awards for her screenplays, notably by Yass Festival in 2016 for the popular television series, Shahrzad. UNESCO selected Samini’s play The King and the Mathematician: A Legend (2012), inspired by a story in the One Thousand and One Nights, as one of the cultural achievements of the year. Samini’s research into Iranian mythology has yielded several publications, notably The Theatre of Myths selected as Best Book of the Year in Iran in 2010, and Battles and Bodies (Tehran: Ney, forthcoming 2019) an examination of the semiotics of human body in post-war Japanese cinema. Naghmeh was born in Iran and holds a BA in Drama and a Masters of Arts in Cinema from the University of Tehran. Her PhD thesis at the University of Tarbiat Modarres in Tehran focused on Drama and Mythology.
Director / Translator
Torange Yeghiazarian is the Founding Artistic Director of Golden Thread Productions, the first American theatre company focused on the Middle East where she launched such visionary programs as ReOrient Festival, New Threads, Fairytale Players, and What do the Women Say?, and timely initiatives such as Islam 101 and Project Alo? Torange has been recognized by Theatre Bay Area and is one of Theatre Communication Group’s Legacy Leaders of Color. She was honored by the Cairo International Theatre Festival and the Symposium on Equity in the Entertainment Industry at Stanford University. A playwright, director, and translator, Torange contributed a case study chapter to “Casting a Movement”, forthcoming from Routledge, 2019. Her translation and stage adaptation of Nizami’s “Leyla & Majnun” is published on Gleeditions.com. She has been published in The Drama Review, American Theatre Magazine, AmerAsia Journal, and contributed to Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures and Cambridge World Encyclopedia of Stage Actors. At Golden Thread, Torange directed OH MY SWEET LAND by Amir Nizar Zuabi, and the premieres of OUR ENEMIES: LIVELY SCENES OF LOVE AND COMBAT and SCENIC ROUTES by Yussef El Guindi, THE MYTH OF CREATION by Sadegh Hedayat, TAMAM by Betty Shamieh, STUCK by Amir Al-Azraki, VOICE ROOM by Reza Soroor, and adapted the poem, I SELL SOULS by Simin Behbehani for the stage. Torange was a member of the artistic team that developed BENEDICTUS, a collaboration among Iranian, Israeli, and American artists. She received a Gerbode-Hewlett Playwright Commission Award for ISFAHAN BLUES, a co-production with African American Shakespeare Company, and a commission from the Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California to write THE FIFTH STRING: ZIRYAB’S PASSAGE TO CORDOBA. Other plays include 444 DAYS, WAVES, and CALL ME MEHDI, included in the anthology “Salaam. Peace: An Anthology of Middle Eastern-American Drama,” TCG, 2009. Born in Iran and of Armenian heritage, Torange holds a Master’s degree in Theatre Arts from San Francisco State University.