Golden Thread Productions presents NO SUMMARY: Meet the Cast of The Language of Wild Berries by Naghmeh Samini livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Thursday 1 September 2022 at 11 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 1 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 2 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).
Golden Thread‘s Marketing & Engagement Manager Sheila Devitt introduces and interviews cast members of The Language of Wild Berries, a U.S. premiere by Naghmeh Samini, a leading Iranian woman playwright. Come meet performers Zaya Kolia, Damien Seperi, and Dina Zarif and learn about their theatre journeys as BIPOC artists of Middle Eastern descent and what excites them about making space for MENA stories with this production coming up in October 2022 at Golden Thread.
Zaya Kolia is an Assyrian Bay Area native. He received his Bachelor in Fine Arts in Acting from the Academy of Art University where his credits include Flan in Six Degrees of Separation, Joshua and Martin in Cloud Nine, Barnett in Crimes of the Heart, Aldolpho in The Drowsy Chaperone, and Kevin Rosario in In the Heights. Other credits include Frank Jr. in Saturday Night Fever at Broadway by the Bay, The Wizard of Oz at Berkeley Playhouse, Khadim in The North Pool at Bread & Butter, The Captain in Anything Goes at Hillbarn Theatre, Ludovic and Augenti in Passion, Harry and Martin in Cloud Nine both at The Custom Made Theatre Company, Azad in On the Periphery with Golden Thread and Crowded Fire Theatre, Tiny Beautiful Things at Los Altos Stage Company, and most recently Guys and Dolls at Peninsula Ballet Theater as Sky Masterson. He just participated in the Hollywood Fringe Festival and a tour of Romeo and Juliet! Zaya is very excited to share this very important story with you all!
Damien Seperi is a local actor with over a dozen theatre credits. He was last seen with Golden Thread as Saïd in Autobiography of a Terrorist. Damien has also performed with SF Shakespeare, Marin Shakespeare, and off Broadway West. He would like to give a big thanks to the cast and crew of this quaint production and to all supporters of the arts.
Born and raised in Iran, Dina Zarif is a San Francisco based multidisciplinary performing artist, designer, curator and art activist. As an actress, Zarif has worked and trained under Bahram Beyzai, the critically acclaimed Master at Stanford Iranian Studies Department and appeared in Ardaviraf’s Report, as the role of Dancer/Singer in Tarabnameh musical, and the Nurse in Crossroads. She is proud to play the title role Marjan in the current Beyzai production, Dash Akol According to Marjan. She performed as Leyla with Golden Thread Productions in the Leyla & Majnun staged reading, opening for the world premiere of the Mark Morris Dance Group and Silk Road Ensemble collaboration at Cal Performances. She is the title role of the full length feature film MITRA 2021, which was premiered in International Film Festival Rotterdam in February 2021. She was the shadow actress, Princess Roudabeh, as well as costume designer in the Cinematic shadow play Feathers of Fire, a Persian Epic. This received the 2019 UNIMA award for excellence in live performance and design which had more than 100 performances nationally and internationally. As a singer she combines western classical singing with Middle Eastern styles inspired from her Persian roots to develop her unique sound. Some of her vocal credits include Brava Theatre, Yerba Buena Gardens Festival, SF International Arts Festival, Palace of Fine Art, and Asian Art Museum.
Dina is the artistic and managing director at Red Poppy Art House which is an incubator for artists of multiple disciplines in San Francisco. Dina received her MA in Landscape Architecture from the University Of Tehran, College Of Fine Arts.
Sheila Devitt is a San Francisco-based performer, educator, director and producer. She is a graduate of the University of New Mexico, with a focus on bilingual performances of Federico Garcia Lorca’s pastoral trilogy, and was a founding member of Tricklock Theatre Company. She has trained with Augosto Boal in Theatre of the Oppressed; Moscow Art Theatre School in Stanislavsky technique and Chekhov; Viewpoints with Mary Overlie; Lunatique Fantastique in found-object puppetry; Theatre of Yugen and Theatre Nohgaku in classical Japanese Noh drama and Kyogen comedy. She has performed nationally and internationally, including the GALA Choruses Festival, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and the Hosho Noh Theatre, Tokyo. She has collaborated with playwrights Erik Ehn, Chiori Miyagawa, and Katie Pearl, among others. Some favorite roles include Hippolyta / Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Gertrude in Hamlet, Nurse in Romeo and Juliet, Hermione in A Winter’s Tale, La Luna in Blood Wedding, Elizabeth Proctor in The Crucible, Estelle Rigault in No Exit, Cecily Pigeon in The Odd Couple, and Brother of Woman with Tragic Hair in the world premier of This Lingering Life. As a teaching artist, she has instructed students from pre-school through college. She has served on the Board of Directors at the Vortex Theatre, ABQ; produced Reading the Kilroys List; served as founding member and Managing Director of Bacchus Players, summer Shakespeare at Coppola Winery; Assistant Managing Director at Theatre of Yugen; Communications Manager for the Bay Area Consortium of Ensemble Theatres; a co-producer of the 2020 Bay Area Women’s Theatre Festival; regional coordinator of the StateraArts mentorship program. She is equally excited by classical, new and devised plays, and joyously collaborates with living writers, with a special emphasis on female playwrights. She is a member of Theatre Bay Area since 2003 and Theatre Communications Group since 1997.