How Peydah Was "Peydah'd"
The members of Peydah Theatre Company found each other almost by accident. In August of 2019, Shadi Ghaheri pulled together a cast of Iranian-American actors, most of whom had never worked together before, for a one-night staged reading of her play “Tosca Tehran” at the Atlantic Theater Company. The power of filling the stage with Iranian-American actors telling their own story, directed by a female Iranian director to a room full of New Yorkers from all backgrounds and ethnicities was resounding. The electrifying reception of the work was felt by all. A week later, Shadi invited the cast to dinner, where she shared her desire to capture the energy by creating an all Iranian and Iranian-American theatre company together. Every single person was on board. The company remained untitled for weeks, as they worked to establish a mission statement, discuss social and artistic goals, and handle the logistical process of creating a new theatre company. Then, just as they found themselves, the name “Peydah” came to them. In Farsi, “peydah” means “to be found or discovered; to become visible of manifest; to arise, spring up, originate.” And just like that, Peydah found, founded, and found each other.
Peydah Theatre Company is a celebration of Iranian and Iranian-American culture and art. The company is made up of professional Iranian and Iranian-American actors and theatre makers who have gathered with the shared goal of creating work that tells our stores without apology, reservation, or limitations. Peydah is committed to voicing stories from all aspects of Iranian life, particularly those of women and marginalized communities. Peydah seeks to create and manifest theatre realted to the rich and nuanced experience of Iranian-Americans, drawing upon classic and contemporary works from Iran and the diaspora community.