Dear performer. I want to show you something.
Did you know, in Farsi my name is written like this:
ROUPNAMIELOS MISSAN si eman yM
From Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour comes an audacious new theatrical experiment. Each night, a different performer joins the playwright on stage, while the script waits unseen in a sealed box … Touchingly autobiographical yet powerfully universal, NASSIM is a striking theatrical demonstration of how language can both divide and unite us. NASSIM follows Soleimanpour’s globally acclaimed White Rabbit Red Rabbit, which has been translated into over 25 different languages and performed over 1,000 times by names including Stephen Fry, Ken Loach, and Whoopi Goldberg.
No rehearsals, no preparation: Just a sealed envelope and a different actor every night reading a script for the first time. The roster of adventurous performers includes NASRA (former Youth Poet Laureate of Edmonton); performer, creator, and Alberta Musical Theatre Company artistic director, Farren Timoteo; piano teacher and social advocate Sarah Chan; Belinda Cornish (Citadel’s A Christmas Carol, Sense and Sensibility); Teatro La Quindicina’s Jeff Haslam (Citadel’s Hello, Dolly!, Little Shop of Horrors); and John Ullyatt (Citadel’s The Drowsy Chaperone, Rocky Horror Picture Show).
WINNER of the Scotsman Fringe First Award at Edinburgh Fringe 2017
Directed by Omar Elerian
Designed by Rhys Jarman
Sound Design by James Swadlo
Lighting Design by Rajiv Pattani
Production Manager Michael Ager
Stage Manager Jenny Eyer
Script Editors Carolina Ortega and Stewart Pringle
A Bush Theatre and Nassim Soleimanpour production
In collaboration with The Cultch (Vancouver, B.C.)
Photo by David Monteith-Hodge
A strikingly gentle, humane and emotive consideration of the experience of an artist living and working in the diaspora.
★★★★ Emotionally charged theatrical experiment.
An unusually vivid celebration of theatre’s liveness.
★★★★ As he heightens the audience’s sense of complicity in his art, Soleimanpour makes a quietly persuasive case for theatre’s special power to foster empathy.
Cast & Creative Team
- Belinda CornishAPRIL 30×Belinda CornishAPRIL 30
Belinda is thrilled to be once again placing her fate in Nassim’s hands, having previously performed his play White Rabbit, Red Rabbit. Recent theatre credits include: An Undiscovered Shakespeare (Stratford Festival Forum, The Grand Theatre); The Comedy of Errors (Freewill Shakespeare Festival); The Exquisite Hour (Teatro La Quindicina); Sense and Sensibility (Citadel Theatre); and Fallen Angels (Bright Young Things). She is a member of Teatro La Quindicina’s acting ensemble, founder of the Bright Young Things theatre company, a two-time Sterling award winning playwright, and core company member of DieNasty; the live improvised soap opera.
- Jeff HaslamMAY 1×Jeff HaslamMAY 1
Jeff has been an actor in Edmonton theatre for 32 years. He has been Artistic Producer at Teatro La Quindicina for the past ten years, but has been performing in the plays of Stewart Lemoine since 1988. Jeff has acted and improvised across the country and as far afield as New York, Los Angeles, Melbourne, and the U.K. He is the programming director at the Varscona Theatre, and will appear there in April in the musical Fun Home. He last performed at the Citadel in 2001.
- NASRAMAY 2×NASRAMAY 2
NASRA is a queer, Muslim, Oromo creator living in Amiskwaciwȃskahikan (Edmonton) on Treaty 6 territory. They were the Youth Poet Laureate of Edmonton 2016/17 and are currently the Director of Sister to Sister, an artistic showcase for femmes and women of colour and Black Arts Matter — Alberta’s interdisciplinary Black arts festival.
- Farren TimoteoMAY 3×Farren TimoteoMAY 3
Farren is an Edmonton-based writer, director and actor. His acting credits include Shakespeare in Love (Citadel/RMTC); Peter and the Starcatcher, Alice Through the Looking-Glass, Spamalot (Citadel Theatre); Made in Italy, The 25th Annual Putnam County SpellingBee (Western Canada Theatre); Forever Plaid, Little Shop of Horrors (Mayfield Dinner Theatre); As You Like It, Coriolanus (Freewill Shakespeare Festival); The Light in the Piazza (Theatre Calgary); and Waiting for Godot (Wishbone Theatre).
Farren is the Artistic Director of Alberta Musical Theatre Company, for which he has created several musical adaptations of classic fairytales for children, including Hansel and Gretel, Pinocchio, and Sleeping Beauty. Farren has been acknowledged by The Sterling Awards on many occasions, most notably for his performance in Spamalot and his direction of Pinocchio. In 2015, Farren was included in Avenue Magazine’s list of Edmonton’s Top 40 Under 40, celebrating the city’s most promising young leaders. Next season, Farren will return to the Shoctor Stage in As You Like It.
- Sarah ChanMAY 4×Sarah ChanMAY 4
Sarah Chan (MA) is a piano teacher, social advocate, and mother of two. She’s the CEO and COO of her private piano studio, but commits to helping build community alongside her partner, Mayor Don Iveson. For the past four years, she has invested her time to support United Way of the Alberta Capital Region. She created and Chairs United Way’s Make Your Mark initiative, and has been United Way’s campaign cabinet as co-chair since 2016. Sarah is a Big Sister with Big Brothers, Big Sisters; on the community giving board at CN; she is an Honourary Patron for YESS; a supporter of Edmonton Public Library; and, a member of the Mentor team at Peter Lougheed Leadership College (UofA)
- John UllyattMAY 5×John UllyattMAY 5
John is no stranger to Citadel audiences - most recently, he was Eamon in Once. In 2019, he'll play Miss Trunchbull in Matilda at Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre (Winnipeg), Citadel Theatre, and Arts Club Theatre Company (Vancouver). Favourite performaces include Cabaret, The Mystery of Irma Vep, Billy Bishop Goes to War, and The Rocky Horror Show. John has worked extensively across the country from Funny Girl at the Segal Centre in Montreal to the Belfry Theatre in Victoria.