Vintage Videos from Golden Thread's Vault

Golden Classics Streaming Exclusive

Celebrating 25 Years of Centering Middle Eastern Narratives

Golden Classics Streaming Exclusive

As part of our 25th Anniversary celebration, we are thrilled to screen three productions from Golden Thread’s vintage collection.

June 7, 2021 - June 27, 2021

Tickets are $20 for Individuals or $50 for the Household. Click the Buy Ticket link to purchase tickets today!

The three plays in Golden Classics Streaming Exclusive offer a glimpse into the early years of Golden Thread. They embody our hopes and ambitions for a world where our common humanity supersedes political differences.

Operation No Penetration, Lysistrata 97! was our founder, Torange Yeghiazarian’s Master’s Thesis at San Francisco State University and became Golden Thread’s inaugural production. The adaptation reflects Yeghiazarian’s global perspective and predilection for political content told through a comedic lens. The production and design team are almost entirely made up of SFSU students and the cast features Bella Warda, a Golden Thread resident artist who continues to act and direct at Golden Thread to this day.

Nine Armenians by Leslie Ayvazian was our largest, most expensive production at the time. For many years it was our biggest box office hit, thanks to the Bay Area Armenian community’s enthusiastic response to the play. The cast and production team steeped themselves in Armenian history and culture, gathering at Torange’s house and pouring over picture books, maps, music, and videos that everyone had gathered. Some also attended the annual Armenian church bazaar and other community events. This was our first production that involved extensive community outreach both locally and nationally. We worked with Carol Kazarian’s dance troupe and thanks to Sarine Balian, a Bay Area musician, connected with Datevik Hovanessian whose album, Listen to My Heart became the soundtrack for the play.

Love Missile was Golden Thread’s first commissioned play and our first musical. We understood that if we were going to change the narrative about the Middle East, we needed to invest in telling our own stories and developing our artistic voices. The three playwrights on the project split their work along character lines, Hal Gelb focused on the president, Torange focused on Sharifa and her mother, and Janaki focused on the shadow puppetry scenes. Norman Gee joined the project in the nick of time to put it all together and layer Lisa Tateosian’s dance choreography and Johaness Mager’s music. As the US invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan raged on, producing Love Missile was a crucial coping mechanism, along with other numerous short plays produced in the ReOrient Festival in the 2000s that presented untold perspectives regarding the impact of US’ Middle East policy on the everyday lives of people in the Middle East.

Golden Classics: Vintage Videos from Golden Thread's Vault

June 7-13, 2021

Operation No Penetration, Lysistrata 97!

An outrageous comedy about sex and war adapted and directed by Torange Yeghiazarian from Kenneth Mc Liesh’s translation of Aristophanes’ Lysistrata

In 1997, a year after the Oslo Accords, this adaptation of the classic Greek comedy unites Israeli and Palestinian women, supported by a global movement, to launch a sex strike to force men to sign a peace treaty. Staged at NEXT Stage in San Francisco, Operation No Penetration is Golden Thread’s inaugural production.

Featuring: (in order of appearance) Pamela Beitz, Bella Warda, Reema Bahnasy, Jennifer Darya Maghsoudi, Janet Acio, Maria Zamroud, Dylin Redling, Siamak Mirnezami, Clarence A Mitchell, Ali Dadgar, Greg Denzler, Von Scott Bair, Peter Mc Carron, Koorosh Angali.

Design Team: Veronica Arana (scenic), Vida Ghahremani (costumes), Jodie Feguson (lighting). Dance choreography by Shahrzad Khorsandi. Fight choreography by Paul Sherman.

Content Advisory: Satirical depictions of misogyny, sexual coercion, and harassment. References to gendered violence and oppression.

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Learn More about the original production.

Closed captioning is available.

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June 14-20, 2021

Nine Armenians

by Leslie Ayvazian, directed by Torange Yeghiazarian

Winner of Roger L. Stevens and the Susan Smith Blackburn Award

An Armenian-American family’s journey towards accepting the past and embracing the future.

Nine Armenians is the story of three generations of Armenian-Americans embracing the future by connecting with their history. In this award-wining play, Leslie Ayvazian beautifully depicts the reality of facing a horrific past without shame or fear. Made possible by tremendous support from the Bay Area’s Armenian community, Golden Thread’s production was originally staged at the Magic Theater in 2002.

Featuring: Atosa Babaoff*, Toby Brooks, Valerie de Jose*, Vida Ghahremani, Behzad Golemohammadi, Joe Higgins*, Earll Kingston*, Lara Palanjian, Ruby Unger*

*Appeared courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association

Design Team: Zara Houshmand (scenic), Rebecca Feller (costumes), Robert Ted Anderson (lighting), Saeed Ganji (sound), Homayoun Makui (graphic). Dramaturgy by Hal Gelb. Dance choreography by Carol Kazarian and Nadine Takvorian. Music consultant: Sarine Balian. Original music, Listen to My Heart, by Datevik Hovanessian.

Content Advisory: Realistic depictions of memory loss, aging, and loss/grief. References to Armenian genocide, intergenerational trauma, poverty and oppression.

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Learn More about the original production.

Closed captioning is available.

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June 21-27, 2021

Love Missile

An Anti-war comedy musical with puppets by Hal Gelb, Janaki Ranpura, Torange Yeghiazarian, and directed by Norman Gee

When a Godzilla attack interrupts the source of Shappa-Imageanna’s addiction to consumer goods, the prominent scientist, Dr Z and his newly arrived assistant Sharifa, a legal immigrant from Distancia, work feverishly to find alternatives. The dictator of Distancia rejects the generous offers made by Shappa-Imageanna’s President leaving him no alternative but to attack – with Love, a drug developed by Dr. Z and Sharifa that induces universal love. But is Love really all we need?

An artistic response to the US invasion of Iraq in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, Love Missile is Golden Thread’s first commissioned play, originally staged in June 2003 at the New Langton Arts in San Francisco. The production, a fusion of a traditional American musical with Middle Eastern undertones and fantastical shadow puppetry, was made possible by the generous contribution of Judith Wilber and Bob Miller.

Featuring: Sofia Ahmad*, Vida Ghahremani, Lenny Moors*, Andoni Panici, Carmen Elena Sosa*, William Todd Tressler*, Kris Welch

*Appeared courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association

Design Team: Oran Bumroongchart (Scenic and costume), Paul Meason (Lighting), Janaki Ranpura (Puppets and graphic art). Original music composed by Johaness Mager. Dance choreography by Lisa Tateosian.

Content Advisory: Satirical depictions of war and addiction. References to deportation, displacement, family separation, crude language and bathroom humor.

Read More content information.

Learn More about the original production.

Closed captioning is available.

→ Buy Tickets

June 27, 2021 11am PDT

Wrap Party!

We’re wrapping up our Golden Classics Streaming Exclusive: Vintage Videos from the Vault with a virtual party and community celebration!

Join us for a look back at our formative years and meet some of the seminal artists who have enabled Golden Thread’s successful 25-year legacy!

Admission is free, but space is limited. Please register in advance to attend.

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San Francisco, CA 94107
The ancestral lands of the Ramaytush Ohlone

Phone: 415.626.4061


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