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.
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!”
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.
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