RUMIx7 = Tales from the Masnavi
directed by Hafiz Karmali

March 10 at 7:30 pm
Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California

International artist, Hafiz Karmali will direct this original play in his signature lyrical style fusing western circus arts and commedia dell arte with Middle Eastern dance and poetry. Hafiz Karmali is joining Golden Thread as resident director where over the next three years he will develop original performances inspired by Islamic history and literature. Titled Islam 101, the series kicks off with this US premiere of Rumi x 7 = Tales from the Masnavi.

The fables are selected from Rumi's Masnavi and include familiar tales such as The Elephant in the Dark and The Grammarian and the Boatman, as well as lesser known gems.

Just in time for the traditional Persian New Year, Norouz, this enchanting performance with live music will perform at the Islamic Cultural Center on Sat. March 10 at 7:30 PM.

General Admission $20,  Children 12 and under $10, Studens and Seniors $10
Tickets will be sold at the door or online at www.brownpapertickets.com

Islamic Cultural Center
1433 Madison St., Oakland, CA 94612
Phone: 510-832-7600


Featuring: Jamie Coventry, Aylin Guvenc, Rachel L. Jacobs, Mahsa Matin, Aliah Najmabadi, Maruf Noyoft, Wiley Naman Strasser.

Production Team: Jim Cave, Taylor Gonzalez, Jameyla Kiswani, Wan-Yin Tang, Junelle-Johannah Taguas, Ninva Warda, Daniel Yelen


Fresh from his highly praised direction of Night Over Erzinga by Adriana Sevahn Nichols, Karmali turns his attention to staging Rumi's poetry as fun-filled vignettes that are entertaining and inspiring. The fables are selected from Rumi's Masnavi and include familiar tales such as The Elephant in Darkness and The Grammarian and Boatman, as well as lesser-known gems. Just in time for the holidays, this enchanting performance with live music will premiere at the Islamic Cultural Center in Oakland in preparation for touring in 2012.

Rumi x 7 is the first play in a new series, Islam 101, designed to educate the public about Islam through theatre. Director Hafiz Karmali has undertaken the development of this series which will first and foremost explain the emergence of Islam as an Abrahamic faith that is the third dimension of what until now has been exclusively known as the Judeo-Christian tradition. Karmali has a special interest in cross-cultural performances with a view to showcasing indigenous performing arts of the Islamic world.  Prior to Night Over Erzinga, Karmali directed three new plays at the ReOrient Festival 2009 and the US premiere of Island of Animals based on encyclopedic writings by Ikhwan al-Safa (Brethren of Purity, a group of  Muslim scholars) at Golden Thread Productions.

RUMI'S MASNAVI is widely recognized as one of the greatest collections of Sufi poetry ever written and is revered throughout the Middle East and around the world as the Quran in Persian. The thirteenth-century Sufi poet Jalal al-din Rumi composed this edifying work for the benefit of his students in the order named after him, popularly known as the whirling dervishes. In order to convey his message of divine love and unity he threaded together entertaining stories and allegorical homilies. Drawing from folk tales as well as sacred history, Rumi's poetry is often comic as well as spiritually profound. The Masnavi was composed during the final years of Rumi’s life. He began dictating the first book around the age of 54 circa 1258 and continued composing verses until his death in 1273. The sixth and final book would remain incomplete.


Touring Packet

Review from Berkeley Daily Planet




Torange Yeghiazarian, Artistic Director / Serge Bakalian, Managing Director
450 Florida Street, San Francisco, CA 94110 / 415.626.4061 / information@goldenthread.org