Darvag presents the Iranian master playwright Bahram Beyzaie's Death of Yazdgerd, a poetic and political work exploring the cruel and tragic dynamics of a class-based society. The text is translated by Manuchehr Anvar, and will be directed by Evren Odcikin: War is raging. King Yazdgerd's body is discovered in a run-down mill in the Iranian desert. Charged with murder, the miller, his wife and his sickly daughter must tell their story to the commanders to escape torture and death. Who killed the King? Was Yazdgerd indeed the revered God-King, or a puny, immoral man caught in the destructive whirlwind of his times? Echoes of Greek tragedy haunt this drama of a family exposing its dark secrets in a time of war and poverty, weaving a web of mystery tied to the fate of a nation under attack facing an unknown future.
Despite ongoing battles with censorship, Death of Yazdgerd is considered a cornerstone of modern Iranian dramatic arts. It is a household name in Iran. Taking its inspiration from the real life Yazdgerd III, the last Shah of the Sassanid Empire, whose body was rumored to have been found in a mill. The most controversial theme in Beyzaie's work is his portrayal of women not as victims of society but as challengers who reject tradition and are empowered by their independence, their will and their invincible love, as mothers, lovers, sisters and wives.
Beyzaie, born in 1938, is one of the most enigmatic figures of the contemporary Iranian cultural scene. A leading scholar of dramatic arts and one of the most respected writers for both stage and film, he has focused on the exploration of Iranian myths and their resonance for contemporary society. His many award-winning films include Bashu, The Little Stranger. Director Evren Odcikin has worked extensively with Shotgun Players as well as TheatreFirst and the Magic Theatre. The cast features Ali Dadgar, D. Anthony Harper, Richard Louis James, Nicholas Olivero, Sara Razavi, and Bella Warda.