Angelika Betzold writes on… “The Death of the King”

Peter Farbridge Home, Modern Times In Depth, The Death of the King

TIME TIME! “In the beginning there was no Beginning And in the end, no End …” (Christopher Logue)   It seems to be a prevalent view that theatre is political when a play treats current political problems or when an old play is set in the tedium of, let’s say, a local convenience store. In his play, “The Death of the King”, Bahram Beyza’ie has done neither; the story is set in a mill in the city of Merv in 651 CE and draws on a historical event: The assassination of King Yazdgird III supposedly committed by the miller. And yet, it seems to be an absolute contemporary play and current political reflection. But maybe it is more accurate to say that it is a timeless play and therefore inhabited by a political urgency of a very different kind. In order to explain this statement and why I regard it as important, I want to turn away from Beyza’ie’s play for a moment. When asked about the specific setting of one of his short stories, Jorge Luis Borges once replied that it is not advisable to reveal a specific place or say that a story takes place in the present. Instead he thought that, in order to keep the freedom of imagination, a certain distance in time and space is necessary. It seems to me that with his remark, Borges asked simultaneously for something else: namely for an active reader whom he – who regarded himself, first and foremost as a reader – may have simply assumed as a given. But I think it is worth mentioning more explicitly that such literature needs a reader who dares to follow the imagination and who takes it over like a baton in order to bring it back to his or her lived …

The Death of the King – Toronto Production

Peter Farbridge Home

“The Death of the King”   Written by: Bahram Beyzaie Translated by: Soheil Parsa and Peter Farbridge Directed by: Soheil Parsa   A Modern Times Stage Company / The Theatre Centre co-production

Season 2015-16

Peter Farbridge Home

This year we are in coproduction with the Theatre Centre for our revival of ‘The Death of the King’. Originally produced by Modern Times in 1994, ‘The Death of the King’, by celebrated Iranian playwright, Bahram Beyza’ie (translated by Soheil Parsa and Peter Farbridge), will play at the Theatre Centre from March 29th to April 10, 2016.  In honour of the new production, Soheil and Peter have entirely reworked the 1994 translation (which won a Dora for Best Translation/Adaptation). A first workshop was held in September 2015 to define the style and analyse the text.  

Thank you for a wonderful 25th!

Peter Farbridge 25th Anniversary, Home, Season 2014-15

  We couldn’t have asked for a better 25th anniversary– meeting up with old friends and colleagues at our anniversary party at Buddies in Bad Times; reminiscing about the past with testimonials from collaborators and supporters; doing the work we love to do.    

Blast from the Past… Vahid Evazzedeh

Peter Farbridge 25th Anniversary, Home

Modern Times invited Danish-Iranian artist Vahid Evazzedeh to Toronto in January 2009 to give a workshop in Eugenio Barba’s Pre-expressivity. He was the first link in the chain that would lead in our four-year international collaboration with Denmark on our  ‘Forgiveness’ project.    Theater is a meaningless activity if you think ‘rationally’. I was almost about to begin to think ‘rationally’ after having migrated from Iran to Denmark and after having failed to get any performance projects up and running during the first few years of my stay in Europe. Just before I left Iran a mutual friend gave me Soheil Parsa’s contact details. I did not know anything about Soheil, except that he was a successful Iranian theater director in Toronto. I sent Soheil an email before I left Tehran for Odin Teatret. By the time I received Soheil’s reply, I was in the most difficult situation in my life. Anything that could possibly go wrong had indeed gone wrong; and all my plans, down the drain. Soheil understood my troubles, himself having been stuck in similar if not worse circumstances when he left Iran with his family in the 80s. Soheil and I kept talking over the phone and via email about theater for many years. I was disenchanted, bitter and pessimistic about any possible change of my circumstances. Soheil, in the contrary, was always encouraging, inviting me to be patient and told me about the many years of struggle that he had to go through in order to get himself established in the Canadian cultural landscape. It took us nine years until Soheil and I finally met in person. He was one of the closest friends I had, not seen. On the morning of 21st January 2009 Soheil walked into the cafeteria at the Gladstone Hotel, sat …