White Rabbit

Elbow Theatre’s production of 30 year old Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour’s acclaimed White Rabbit, Red Rabbit is coming to The Cultch from September 19 to 30. This arresting work which dissects the experience of an entire Iranian generation is performed by a different acclaimed Canadian actor each evening. Entering the stage, the actors are handed a sealed envelope containing a script and instructions, with neither actor nor audience knowing what lies ahead.
“I had the opportunity to see White Rabbit, Red Rabbit at the Edinburgh Fringe last summer and it is a very powerful piece,” says Cultch Executive Director Heather Redfern. “Unable to leave his country, Nassim has written a play that allows actors across the world to speak his words. The resulting experience between audience, actor, and voice of the Tehran-based playwright is a provocative political statement and an absorbing theatrical experience that pushes the very definitions of the art form.”
The staging originated in February 2011, when members of Aurora Nova Productions (Berlin) and Volcano Theatre (Toronto) travelled to the Fadjr International Theatre Festival in Tehran and met the young writer, Nassim Soleimanpour. They attended a run-through of his play, White Rabbit, Red Rabbit, and were fascinated by its depiction of Nassim’s generation. Born during the incredible hardship of the Iran-Iraq war, Nassim’s is a generation that have never known an Iran other than the Islamic Republic, yet are computer literate and well informed.
Forbidden to leave his native Iran, Nassim turned his isolation into his own advantage by developing an unusual play without the need for a director or set, with a different actor for each performance. Recognizing the ingenuity of this approach and the profoundly moving message of White Rabbit, Red Rabbit, Aurora Nova, Volcano, and Necessary Angel Theatre (Toronto) became partners in mounting the innovative and thrilling work at festivals and theatres around the globe.
The Cultch has enlisted some of Vancouver’s most luminary theatre artists for this ground-breaking piece, including Kathryn Shaw, Jonathon Young, Alessandro Juliani, Meg Roe, Marcus Youssef, Peter Anderson, Maiko Yamamoto, James Long, Kevin Loring, Carmen Aguirre, Ryan Beil and Donna Soares.
Each artist will spend a single performance discovering Nassim’s words, following his instructions, telling his story, and participating in this thought-provoking, inimitable experience.
White Rabbit, Red Rabbit
Dates: September 19 to 30
September 19, 8 pm: Opening Night
September 20 to 22, and 25 to 30, 8 pm; September 23 and 30, 2 pm
Venue: The Cultch, 1895 Venables Street, Vancouver
Tickets: From $26; Reserve online, by phoning 604.251.1363, or in person at the above address

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