White Rabbit Red Rabbit, Produced by Et Alia Theater and Theater for the New City

February 27, 2022

NEW YORK – Theater for the New City, Executive Director Crystal Field, and Et Alia Theater in association with Aurora Nova, present White Rabbit Red Rabbit by Nassim Soleimanpour, produced by Luísa Galatti and Ana Moioli, performed by Maria Müller, on Sunday, March 13, 8 PM, at the Theater for the New City, 155 First Avenue in Manhattan.

Will you participate? Will you be manipulated? Will you listen? Will you really listen?

With no rehearsals, no director, a different actor each night, and a script waiting in a sealed envelope on stage, internationally acclaimed White Rabbit Red Rabbit by Iranian writer Nassim Soleimanpour is an audacious theatrical experiment and a potent reminder of the transgressive and transformative power of theatre.

Forbidden to leave his native Iran, Soleimanpour wrote a play which traveled the world in his place. The audience joins each different performer on a journey into the unknown; stumbling upon the personal and profound, the limits of liberty and ultimately where theatre can take you. Since its joint premiere in 2011, the play has been translated into over 25 different languages and has been performed over 1000 times by some of the biggest names in theatre and film, including actors Whoopi Goldberg, Nathan Lane, John Hurt, Dominic West, Simon McBurney, Stephen Fry, Sinead Cusack, Stephen Rea, Marcus Brigstocke, and filmmaker Ken Loach.

White Rabbit, Red Rabbit, produced by Et Alia Theater and Theater for the New City in association with Aurora Nova on March 13. Photo: Courtesy of Et Alia Theater

Note: This play is NOT overtly political, and should not be portrayed as such. It operates on a deeper, metaphoric level, and very expressly avoids overt political comment.

Visionary playwright Nassim Soleimanpour was denied a passport in his native Iran because of his status as a conscientious objector. Unable to travel, he decided to write a play which could travel the world in his place. White Rabbit Red Rabbit requires no director or set, and a different actor must play the single role at every performance. This makes for a unique, thrilling experience for all. The audience joins a different performer each night on a journey into the unknown; stumbling upon the “personal and profound, riffing on the limits of liberty and exploring where theatre can take you, with or without a passport.”

On an otherwise bare stage there is a ladder, a table, and a chair. On the table, there are two glasses of water, a spoon, and an envelope containing the script. Told in the author’s voice and using allegorical animals to make its points about power and society, the play is described as intense, comic, and unnerving. Despite the lack of director or rehearsals, White Rabbit Red Rabbit is a powerful and audacious theatrical experiment that has been celebrated worldwide as one of the most astonishing evenings in theatre. Through audience participation as you’ve never seen it before, both audience and actor create a heartwarming, genuinely original piece that defies national boundaries, censorship, and a longer description.

As an invitation from Aurora Nova, this performance will be part of Let There Be Theatre – A Call to Action on March 13.

“Friday, the 13th of March 2020 was the day most theatres in the world had to shut down,” Aurora Nova Director Wolfgang Hoffmann said. “Initially it was thought that the closure would last just one month or maybe two or until July at the very last. It soon became (…) the longest theatre shutdown in modern history.”

Hoffmann continued: “We want to mark the anniversary of that day by creating an extraordinary global event that celebrates live theatre and the resilience of our sector. An event that generates much needed income as well as hope and inspiration in this time of uncertainty and isolation. On the 13th of March 2021 in all countries in the world, we want a play to be staged. A play which is living proof that creativity can overcome adversity. At 8 PM in every time zone there will be a multitude of shows starting at the same time for 24 hours, thus creating a massive theatrical community. Hundreds of performers will face the daring task to read a text they have not seen before to a live audience and everybody will be present at the same moment.”

In 2021, 92 theatres in 33 countries took part in this initiative and performed the play on the same day. Needless to say, the event will happen again in 2022, with the hope that even more theaters will take part.

The in-person performance will happen on March 13, tickets available online: https://bit.ly/33PBMDw.

The trailer for the play is available on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/83678397.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/etaliatheater/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EtAliaTheater

Website: https://www.etaliatheater.com.

#WRRR #lettherebetheatre #artivism #whiterabbitredrabbit #nassimsoleimanpour #livetheatre #auroranova


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