Back Back to Artword Productions 2000

Women's stories for survival
A new collaborative play by Modern Times Stage Company
conceived and directed by Soheil Parsa

October 17 to November 5, 2000

previews Oct. 17-19, opens Oct. 20, runs to Nov. 5,
Previews $10 • Ts to Th, 8 pm $18 • Fri & Sat 8 pm $20 • Sun 2:30 pm pwyc
Students/Seniors/Under employed $2 off ticket price

Modern Times Stage Company in association with Artword Theatre
The Daughters of Sheherzad
conceived and directed by Soheil Parsa

Featuring Beatriz Pizano, Michelle Polak, Yashoda Ranganathan, Gail Roberts and Dragana Varagic
Choreography by Norma Araiza • Sound Design by Richard Feren • Set & Lighting Design by Stephan Droege • Costume Design by Karen Krupa and Soheil Parsa • Stage Management by Andrew Dollar • Production Management by Mark Ryder

Inspired by the heroine of A Thousand and One Nights, who escapes death by telling stories. A powerful celebration of the creativity, strength and friendship of women.

For Shaherzad, the heroine of A Thousand and One Nights, storytelling was a strategy for survival. In this play, a group of five women from five different cultural backgrounds, imprisoned in an asylum, tell their tales of struggle against abuse, in a rich mix of theatrical imagery, text, choreography and sound design.

"one of the most emotionally intense and physical companies in Toronto." eye Weekly


75 Portland Street, east of Bathurst, south of King
Box Office: (416) 408-2783

*Donations for the DECEMBER 6 FUND will be accepted at the door*
*Benefit performance Saturday, October 21, 8pm, $20 for THE ACTORS' FUND OF CANADA*

Modern Times Stage Company, the award-winning producers of Aurash and The Death of the King, are pleased to present their first original script, THE DAUGHTERS OF SHEHERZAD. Inspired by the heroine of A Thousand and One Nights who escapes death by telling stories through the night, THE DAUGHTERS OF SHEHERZAD is a powerful celebration of the creativity, strength and friendship women often must use to survive.

The setting is an otherworldly asylum. Five incarcerated women find solace in playing out the stories literally written on the walls by women from diverse times and cultures-the 19th century Persian woman executed for unveiling herself, the Jewish girl who escaped from the Nazis to a whorehouse, the 14 women gunned down in Montreal by Marc Lepine... The characters, "daughters of Sheherzad," learn that if they can tell their own stories, they will live and thrive.

Artistic Director/playwright Soheil Parsa directs a formidable cast which includes one of the former Yugoslavia's foremost actors of stage and screen, Dragana Varagic (The Witch of Edmonton-Equity Showcase, Happiness Channel-Fringe '00), notable up-and-comer Michelle Polak (Prime Time-Fringe '00, Two Words-'99 Summerworks Jury Winner, Raging Dreams: Into the Visceral), enthusiastic storyteller Gail Roberts (SICK Project Collective with Judith Thompson and Sandi Ross, Falling in Love, Again-Summerworks '99), the physically phenomenal Yashoda Ranganathan (The Prince and the Pauper-Young People's Theatre, Twelfth Night-Queere Shakespeare) and film-friendly Colombian native Beatriz Pizano (recurring role in Street Legal, upcoming Focus with William H. Macy). Top Toronto sound designer Richard Feren weaves a rich tapestry of voices, rhythms and sound environments to enhance Stephan Droege's evocative sets and lighting, and Norma Araiza's visceral, instinctive choreography.

Critical Praise for Modern Times Stage Company

"highly theatrical" -The Toronto Sun
"visually arresting" -The Toronto Star

"**** wrings contemporary resonance from a story that sounds as old as time itself" -The Toronto Star
"...choreographed brilliantly and to striking effect" -eye Weekly

"one of the most inventively staged Shakespearean productions I have ever seen" -The Globe & Mail
"NNNN Macbeth director creates intensity with a bare space, simple costumes and a sense of ritual" -NOW Magazine

Modern Times Stage Company has become known for productions which fuse traditional Middle Eastern and European aesthetics in order to explore the relationship between movement and text. Since their beginnings in 1989, they have produced translations of Persian works and adaptations of western classics, have been awarded four Dora Mavor Moore Awards (one for The Death of the King, two for Aurash, and one for Hamlet), and have received ten nominations.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: to November 5, 2000
MEDIA CONTACT: Clarissa DeYoung @ STAF
PH. 416.703.2773 FX. 416.703.6601