Theater Department Production Honors Iranian Tradition

Ta’zieh – Between Two Rivers poster

With live music and an outdoor procession, the theater department’s final production of the 2016-17 season, “Ta’zieh–Between Two Rivers,” honors an Iranian tradition in an unusual show running from April 27-30.

In an unprecedented outdoor performance, “Ta’zieh” will begin as a procession from the Fine Arts Center entrance through campus with trumpets and drums to the performance site outside the Campus Center.

A Ta’zieh is a centuries-old event. Members of a community come together in a procession, then join together to act, sing, dance and play music as they tell a story central to their shared experience. The end result is not just beautiful, vibrant live art, it’s a cathartic experience that brings people together to work through social and community struggles in search of healing.

This production, with a new script based on ancient stories, uses this mythic practice to address tragedy and conflict in our own time. By offering entry to a culture that is not well understood by many Americans, this production also provides a rare opportunity to find elements of common experience.

At a time when building bridges is more important than ever, “Ta’zieh – Between Two Rivers” offers a connection to a different time, place, and people.

The project was conceived by Nikoo Mamdoohi, Ifa Bayeza, and Q-Mars Haeri, and adapted and written by Ifa Bayeza. It was directed by Nikoo Mamdoohi.

The procession begins outside the main entrance to the Fine Arts Center; the performance is at the Campus Center plinth, the large flat concrete area accessed by climbing the stepped area outside the Campus Center or via the Hotel UMass Lobby.

Performances are Thursday, April 27 at 5:30 p.m.; Friday, April 28 at 5:30 p.m.; Saturday, April 29 at 2 p.m. and Sunday, April 30 at 2 p.m.

In case of rain, performances will be in the Curtain Theater. The procession will still proceed from the Fine Arts Center entrance.

Tickets are available at  or 413/545-2511.

The theater department is planning free events related to this production. Visit the website or like the department on Facebook to receive updates.

This production is made possible in part by the UMass Arts Council.