Resident Producer Fay Nass makes theatre in the dark. She uses her experience as a theatre artist, film scholar and Iranian Canadian who grew up in Iran during the Iran Iraq war to make plays that challenge audiences to look at things they rarely see. Using darkness and Sound. Associate Artistic Director Chelsea Haberlin spoke with Fay about the work she makes and her upcoming project, Unveiled.
CH: So tell me about this upcoming project. Tell me about Unveiled.
FN: So this new project Unveiled is something I was thinking about this idea of othering like we always focus on ‘that shit happens in Iran, that shit happens in other places’ and kind of in relation to the fear that is happening in France and Donald Trump in America and what’s happening in Turkey and is totally following our history just like 50 years behind. They flourished, they were doing so well the world was respecting them and now they’re going downhill with their fundamentalism. One of the reasons that these things happen politically is because we constantly think that that’s the other. That’s not us.
Click below for full audio of Chelsea and Fay’s interview.
FN (Continued): And again going back to the idea of darkness, the idea of taking that otherness out through darkness so we can not see the faces of these people. I was thinking of focusing on this part of history in Iran that I think is often forgotten because the way that the media shows Iran is this Islamic country and everyone is wearing birka but the history is so complex. So I really wanted to focus on actually not long ago in 1936 the Shah of Iran was unveiling women on the streets and shaming them if they wear hijab. 30 years later the response was to beat them up if they were unveiled. How these things happen and repeat and all of these women were powerful people and were basically the victim of the games that the men on top were playing. And so the project for me is very important because I have forgotten how it feels to be really invested in a project and loving it from the discourse and conversation. So I started this group a month ago every Friday meeting with Iranian that just want to talk about these things. None of them are actors again. But it’s just fun. You know drinking wine, recording these discussions. How we all come from very different backgrounds and like building this script purely from these recordings and these conversations. And yeah it’s called Unveiled and it’s going to be again a theatre in the dark but this time very specifically focusing on three generations and women and the third one is during the green movement and focusing on the underground queer relationships. This time I’m hoping to bring in more of those elements of magic. We’re perhaps going to have a band the entire band that is going to be there, for example, and then they suddenly appear. Darkness with moments of light that are going to conceptually shed light on moments that we need to be aware of. That kind of conscious awareness.