World AIDS Day Screening: REZA ABDOH

REZA ABDOH, Theatre Visionary
A documentary film by Adam Soch (2015)

On the eve of World AIDS Day 2018 we are screening Reza Abdoh, Theatre Visionary, a documentary film about the seminal Iranian-American theatre director who died of AIDS in 1995. Despite international acclaim Abdoh never showed his work in the UK. This screening is the first opportunity for UK audiences to see this full length film.

Following the screening there will be a discussion with the film’s director Adam Soch and director and academic Alyson Campbell who was assistant director to Reza Abdoh on his work Bogeyman at Los Angeles Theatre Centre and worked on his film The Blind Owl.

We will be collecting donations on the night for Positive East.

LADA holds the only complete collection of Reza Abdoh’s work in the UK as part of its Study Room. These materials can be viewed at our space in Bethnal Green, London. More information.

About the Film

Reza Abdoh (1963 – 95) was an Iranian-born American theatre director and playwright known for his large scale groundbreaking, experimental productions. Abdoh died of AIDS in 1995 at the age of 32 having created an impressive body of stage spectacles known for their sensory overload, ferocious energy and hallucinatory dreamscapes. Abdoh was an enigmatic and prolific creative force and with his company, Dar A Luz, formed in 1991, he created productions that have made a major impact on experimental theatre worldwide and whose influences are still being felt and talked of to this day.

The Los Angeles Times called his work “Puzzling, fragmented, hard-edged and brilliant as a diamond.” the Village Voice called it “Astonishing.” Prominent theatre artists were also fervent admirers; Richard Foreman, for example, has said, “The aesthetic shock of encountering Abdoh’s turbulent work sent me reeling.”

Abdoh’s productions were rule-breaking, game-changing, irreverent, explosive and razor sharp expressions; their poetic in-breathing and out-breathing rhythm, full of raw and nightmarish imagery were hell-bent on exposing hypocrisy and injustice in a frenetic, disarming collaging of sound, video, dance and words at breakneck speed and volume to create extreme theatrical visions yielding ultimate impact. His company was made up of the most generous, fierce and fearless performers one could ever hope to see; his productions the most confronting and perception-altering of their generation.

Reza Abdoh; Theatre Visionary, directed by Adam Soch, Abdoh’s long-time collaborator and video archivist, is an intimate portrait of the world and work of Abdoh and his company. It features excerpts from Abdoh’s most important productions alongside interviews with Abdoh himself, his collaborators, critics, friends and family. These elements combine to illuminate his legacy; his groundbreaking work and his visionary, theatrical genius.

If you don’t know anything about Reza Abdoh and his productions, that’s good. This film has been made with you in mind.

“It is time; the world needs to know what Abdoh made possible!”


Created by
Adam Soch

Sandy Cleary

​Executive producers
Alan Mandell
Diane White
Marta Holen
Anita Durst
John Mcduffie

Associate producers
Daniel Mufson
Sid Montz
Sarah and Peter Mandell


Watch the documentation of the screening of Reza Abdoh’s Theatre Visionary followed by a discussion with the film’s director Adam Soch and director and academic Alyson Campbell who was assistant director to Reza Abdoh on his work Bogeyman at Los Angeles Theatre Centre and worked on his film The Blind Owl.

00:00 /

Latest events

[CANCELLED] Intersect with: Imani Mason Jordan

17 May 2022

Join us for a hybrid gathering with interdisciplinary artist and writer Imani Mason Jordan, as part of LADA’s Intersect series.

Read more

Intersect with: Madinah Farhannah Thompson

19 Apr 2022

The first event of LADA’s Intersect series, an online gathering with the artist Madinah Farhannah Thompson. 

Read more

Live Art Sector Research Launch

08 Oct 2021

An online launch of the Live Art Sector Research – A Report Mapping the UK Live Art Sector.

Read more

Final Transmission: Performance Art and AIDS in Los Angeles

01 May 2021

An online book launch and discussion marking the publication of the 6th issue of NS*, “Final Transmission: Performance Art and AIDS in Los Angeles”.

Read more

‘Playing With Fire’ Live Reading

24 Apr 2021

A live reading of peer to peer survivor writing organised by the artist Jet Moon.

Read more

2nd Annual Live Art Lecture by Morgan Quaintance

21 Apr 2021

The Live Art Development Agency and Queen Mary University of London are pleased to announce that the 2nd Annual Live Art Lecture 2021 will be presented online by the critic and artist Morgan Quaintance.

Read more

You Have A Date: Book Launch of A Good Love Story

14 Feb 2021

An online Valentine’s Day launch of A Good Love Story by Sibylle Peters

Read more

LADA Screens: Alisa Oleva – Online Screening

01 Feb 2021 - 31 Mar 2021

LADA is delighted to present the online screening of Walking Home, Alisa Oleva’s first film, created in the context of Performistanbul’s residency programme for performance artists on theme of ‘home’.

Read more