ITDP: Today I Live
Workshop production of a new play written by Susan-Jane Harrison
Directed by Jessa Brie Berkner
Today I Live explores the trauma of displacement and the struggle of an artist grappling with her past. In a flat in London, a Persian woman isolates herself from her husband and children. In the same flat in 1821, an Irish mapmaker’s peace is disturbed when his estranged son discovers his whereabouts. Influencing each other through time and space, the Irish mapmaker and the Persian artist awaken each other’s desires and nightmares.
This play holds at its heart modern themes of the alienation and communion. Exploring unlikely bonds between immigrants from different countries, migration and trauma emerge as integral to human experience. Audiences are given the opportunity to resonate with the characters of Niaz and Farhad, an Iranian couple struggling to negotiate their way through their marriage.
“We come to this country from many places. Assimilation is a task of self-forgetting. What does it mean to live? Whenever and wherever we are? Our identity, like old maps must be resurrected, the original footsteps of our begetting threaded back into the paths we walk today.” – Susan-Jane Harrison
The play draws from Ferdowsi’s epic poem Shahnameh as well as legends of the Irish hero Cúchulainn. The play is primarily in English with some Farsi and Irish Gaelic.
Today I Live has been performed in London, in collaboration with The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in the form of rehearsed readings before a public audience. The UC Davis production will also be a staged reading.Summer 2012 development of the play was funded by Susan-Jane Harrison’s recent Margrit Modavi Fellowship. The playwright will explore the role of Niaz in this iteration. The process will be directed and facilitated by Jessa Brie Berkner.
Today I Live plays one night only on Friday, October 5 at 8 p.m. in Wyatt Pavilion Theatre. This production is open to the public with suggested donations at the door.