A One-Woman Play of Iranian Identity and Migration

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Ana Bayat in 'Mimi's Suitcase.'

When Ana Bayat returned with her family to Tehran in the 1980s, after a childhood spent in Barcelona, she found herself in a country drastically different than the Iran she remembered from the early 1970s. In her one-woman show Mimi's Suitcase, Bayat tells the story of those teenage years in post-revolutionary Iran: a time of new cultural rules and the quiet resistance to them. Throughout, she weaves together themes of resilience and identity, playing 27 different characters and performing in English, Spanish, French and Farsi (with English subtitles).

Mimi's Suitcase was originally developed in a 2007 workshop hosted by W. Kamau Bell, and recently won "Pick of the Fringe" at the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. As tensions mount between the United States and Iran, and as the United States detains Iranian travelers at its borders, the play provides a window into Iranian history and migration. Bayat, now living in the Bay Area, performs Mimi's Suitcase for just four performances, on Jan. 23–25, at Theater of Yugen in San Francisco. Details here.