Join us and The Braid for a virtual storytelling salon, featuring hilarious and heartbreaking stories that explore the Iranian-American experience as a second generation defines itself. Directed by Susan Morgenstern and produced by Ora Yashar and Ronda Spinak, the artistic director of The Braid (formerly Jewish Women’s Theatre), the event is the culmination of a workshop NuRoots and the Federation’s Nazarian Initiative hosted in February to learn how to craft and share Iranian stories.
Stories will be performed by Nima Jafari, Niloo Khodadadeh, and Ava Lalezarzadeh, and the show will feature musical performances by Pontea Banayan.
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Sitting at the intersection of storytelling and theater, in which true stories are brought to life by skilled actors and presented onstage or digitally, the show’s creators hope that this work will resonate not only within the Iranian community but with the larger world as well. “The Braid is informing and sensitizing viewers to what it’s like to come from the Persian culture and at the same time be raised in the United States,” says contributing writer Esther Amini. “It’s an honor to have my story included in this show.”
Nine years ago, The Braid was the first theater company to put stories of Iranian Jewish women onstage in a show called “Saffron and Rosewater,” which included powerful tales of fleeing the Revolution in 1979. The show’s wildly successful run included a performance for more than 800 people at the 92nd Street Y in New York City, and sparked a desperately needed conversation in the American Jewish community about how the experiences of Jewish Persians had too often been overlooked. “Persian Sunrise, American Sunset” expands and continues that narrative, including stories from all genders and looking at the identity journeys unique to second-generation Iranian Americans—navigating new teenage rituals, hiding signs of otherness, bridging cultural gaps, and more.
NuRoots, from L.A.’s Jewish Federation helps young adults find and make community across Los Angeles. Our Y&S Nazarian Iranian Young Leadership Initiative honors and celebrates Iranian heritage and culture, and connects with community members to build a future where Iranian Jewish young adults are fully engaged as participants and as leaders throughout the Jewish community at large. We’d love to grab coffee with you! Reach out to Donna Maher here.