Written by Camyar Chai / Directed by Camyar Chai and Chelsea Haberlin / Scenic Design by Parjad Sharifi / Costume Design by Farnaz Khaki-Sadigh / Music by Soleyman Vaseghi / Performed by Samuel Bob, Sofia Bunding Newman, Elijah Chai, Frances Kitson, Maya Lee, Richard Newman, Nadeem Phillip, Luc Roderique, Delara Tiv, Keyvan Tiv, Vajieh Tiv, Jada with Soleyman Vaseghi, Hamin Honari, Ali Razmi, Amir Eslami, Zion Fyah, Brandon Walker

Our friend Camyar Chai founded Neworld Theatre in 1995 with a vision of creating an artist-driven company that created work that reflected the actual diversity of the community it belonged to; that explored and deconstructed borders, be they artistic, political, or personal. In 2005, Camyar left the company in Marcus’ hands. 11 years later, Camyar returns to us as the creator and co-director of Doost (Friend), along with new Associate Artistic Director Chelsea Haberlin. Doost (Friend) emerges from Camyar’s desire to merge his practice as a theatre artist with his spiritual practice as a Sufi. Doost (Friend) brings together members of the Vancouver Sufi Centre and professionals from the theatre community – they’ll perform the show together. The Canadian Memorial United Church has come on board too, with an interest in inter-faith dialogue about the role of spirituality in a secular society.

Doost (Friend) is a story about heritage, compassion, and community. Through dance, poetry, and music, we explore the borders between the secular and the spiritual, between professionals and community members, and – in the context of a world that is too often hostile and ignorant of Eastern practices – the difference between our understanding of ‘us’ and ‘them’. For this, we are so glad to have Camyar return to Neworld. And by the way – Doost means ‘friend’.

March 22 – 26, 2016, presented by The Cultch.
Photos by Lisa Wu and Hamed Yaghoubi Shahir.