Estentagh is done! Both performances went very well thanks to everyone involved. We had Q&A sessions after each performance and it was really interesting to hear audience member’s questions.
I knew for certain that the gender question would be asked and I had tried to prepare myself for it! During the weeks leading up to the opening night, I had thought about this question a lot and the process itself helped me process my feelings about it. I had performed a male role before, and in fact the very idea for this play, Estentagh, came about as the result of me suing parts of Mirza Reza’s speech as a monologue for an audition. I kept thinking about the fact that I am a woman portraying a man but somehow I could never get worked up about it! It didn’t really matter! I realized that if it wasn’t for constant reminders of others, I would not have been concerned about the cross gender acting at all.
There were other issues that took precedence over the fact that I was portraying a man. For example, this was my first play in Persian. More importantly, it was only the second time I that I was involved in the composition process and was not only performing in the piece. Even when it came to my personal and emotion connection with the character, I couldn’t care less that he is a man and I am a woman. I was not trying to be feminist or gender neutral or anything at all! It was simply how I felt. The history associated with Mirza Reza is much more fascinating that his gender. I was constantly aware, and very much in awe of the fact, that I am stepping into the shoes of this very very important figure, the “kingslayer” as the call his kind in the Game of Thrones! Mirza Reza was a political activist, later a political prisoner and finally an assassin! The fact that he was a man was the least important fact about him!