Founding Artistic Director
is the Founding Artistic Director of Golden Thread Productions, where she has devoted her professional life to exploring Middle Eastern culture and identity through theatre arts. Her articles on contemporary theatre in Iran have been published in The Drama Review (2012), American Theatre Magazine (2010) and Theatre Bay Area (2010). Torange’s latest play, 444 DAYS will premiere at Golden Thread in 2013. Her play Call Me Mehdi is included in “Salaam.Peace: An Anthology of Middle Eastern- American Drama” TCG, 2009. Other plays include WAVES, DAWN AT MIDNIGHT, BEHIND GLASS WINDOWS, ABAGA, and PUBLICLY RESTING. With Golden Thread’s Fairytale Players, Torange has developed a repertory of new plays for children based on fables and characters from the Middle East. Torange collaborated with playwright Hal Gelb and puppeteer, Janaki Ranpura to create the musical comedy, LOVE MISSILE (2003). She was one in the collaborative team of Iranian, Israeli and American artists responsible for BENEDICTUS (2007). She adapted the poetry of Simin Behbehani to the stage in I SELL SOULS (2008) Other directing credits include A GIRL’S WAR by Joyce Van Dyke, NINE ARMENIANS by Leslie Ayvasian, TAMAM by Betty Shamieh, THREE STOPS and SCENIC ROUTES by Yussef el Guindi. As a teaching artist, Torange has taught playwriting to at-risk youth and led acting and play development workshops for youth and adults at Golden Thread. Born in Iran and of Armenian heritage, Torange holds a Master’s degree in Theatre Arts from San Francisco State University.
has spent over 7 years working in non-profit theater, providing administrative support for music, theater, dance, film, and fundraising events. She has managed ticket operations for Theater Artaud, Beach Blanket Babylon, Brava Theater, and the Commonwealth Club of California. She also has experience in development and office management from her work with two environmental organizations, The Coral Reef Alliance and Forests Forever. When she is not in the office, she is designing costumes for Bay Area theaters and creating custom clothing for private clients.
|Navid Ghaem Maghami|
Literary Artistic Associate
is a director based in San Francisco and currently is the literary artistic associate with Golden Thread Productions and a company artist with Brava Theater.
For Golden Thread Productions, he is helping produce the 2012 ReOrient Festival and the annual new play reading series New Threads. His directing credits for Golden Thread include the West Coast premiere of Yussef El Guindi’s Language Rooms(coproduced with Asian American Theater Company), the world premiere of Denmo Ibrahim’s physical theater piece ECSTASY | a waterfable, Ignacio Zulueta’s 22 Minutes Remaining, and numerous new play readings, including works by Mona Mansour, Sinan Unel, and Torange Yeghiazarian.
has a special interest in cross-cultural performances with a view to showcasing indigenous performing arts of the Islamic world. With theatre productions of esoteric/mystical fables such as Attar’s CONFERENCE OF THE BIRDS (Ismaili Centre, London) Hafiz seeks to promote a better understanding of the arts and ideas of the Muslim world. For Golden Thread he recently directed: Rumi X 7: Seven Tales from the Masnavi, a poetic circus extravagnza slated to tour in 2012; at the ReOrient Festival in 2009: ABAGA by Torange Yeghiazarian; A MARRIAGE PROPOSAL (Egyptian Chekhov) and THE REVIEW (via “skype”) both by Yussef El-Guindi; as well as in 2006, the Ikhwan al-Safa’s fable ISLAND OF ANIMALS. After pursuing his MFA in Directing at Carnegie-Mellon University School of Drama, Hafiz served an apprenticeship at the American Repertory Theatre where he assisted internationally renowned directors Robert Wilson and Andrei Serban.
began acting as a teenager in Iran, where she established the standards of stardom. She has worked with Golden Thread Productions since its first production, Operation No Penetration, Lysistrata 97! Other performances include, Love Missile, ABAGA and Nine Armenians with Golden Thread productions and The Beginning of a Cold Season with Darvag Theatre Company. Ms. Ghahremani is a member of the Screen Actors Guild and has performed in numerous Iranian and American films including, The Guests of Hotel Astoria, The Rock, Dark Holiday and most recently, The Assassination of Richard Nixon.
|Yussef El Guindi|
Yussef El Guindi
is an award-winning and nationally recognized playwright with his early start at Golden Thread in 1999. His most recent work, LANGUAGE ROOMS awarded the Edgerton Foundation’s Best New American Play, received its west coast premiere in San Francisco in 2011. Other productions: THE REVIEW, a short internet play performed via Skype with actors in Cairo and San Francisco, produced by Golden Thread Productions. JIHAD JONES AND THE KALASHNIKOV BABES, produced at Golden Thread Productions in San Francisco, at InterAct Theater in Philadelphia, and at Kitchen Dog Theater in Dallas, as part of the National New Play Network. BACK OF THE THROAT, first staged by San Francisco’s Thick Description and Golden Thread, won the 2004 Northwest Playwright’s Competition and LA Weekly’s award for Best New Play. It was also nominated for the 2006 America
’s poems and essays have been published in various national journals, including Brooklyn Review, Phoebe, Chain, Faultline, FO A RM, ZZYZYVA, and Fourteen Hills. Her work is also featured in anthologies, including Let Me Tell You Where I’ve Been: New Writing from Women in the Iranian Diaspora (University of Arkansas Press) and Bay Poetics (Faux Press). Her translations of Iranian-born poet Yadollah Royai appear in The Kenyon Review, in 26, and in Strange Times, My Dear: The PEN Anthology of Contemporary Iranian Literature. She received her MFA in Creative Writing (Poetry) at San Francisco State University where she was awarded both the CPIC Life Poetry Award and of the Ann Fields Poetry Award judged by Gillian Conoley. She earned degrees in Political Science and Middle Eastern Studies from University of California Berkeley and a graduate degree in History from the University of Chicago. She has taught poetry at both San Francisco State and Mills College in Oakland and through the California College of Arts as part of a community project for the Center for Art in Public Life.
is the Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts and Dance at Loyola University. She served as the Resident Dramaturg at the California Shakespeare Theatre, and for over six seasons, worked at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco as Literary Manager and Festival Director. As an Associate Artist with Golden Thread Productions, she directed and helped select scripts for the ReOrient Festival, focusing on plays from or concerning the Middle East. Laura co-founded the award-winning Shee Theatre Company in San Francisco, devoted to developing women artists for the theatre, and has worked with the Bay Area Playwrights Foundation as an actor, literary manager, associate producer, and dramaturg. She performed with numerous companies throughout the San Francisco Bay Area including Magic Theatre, The Shee Theatre Company, Crowded Fire, A Traveling Jewish Theatre, TheatreWorks, and the San Francisco Playhouse, and received a Dean Goodman Choice Award as Best Actress for her performance in the title role of Augustine (Big Hysteria) by Anna Furse, directed by Virginia Reed, produced by The Shee Theatre Company.
joined Golden Thread in 2007. She has directed over 50 productions nationally, with a particular emphasis on developing original writing and new American work. She is cofounder of Theatre Without Borders, an informal group supporting international theatre exchange at www.theatrewithoutborders.com With Golden Thread, Roberta initiated the Iran-Israel-US project which evolved into the play, BENEDICTUS (2007); presented Iraqi and Pakistani artists at the TCG Conference 2011; and participated in the planning and implementation of ReOrient Forum (2009). She was the American Honoree at the 15th Cairo International Festival, 2003; the recipient of TCG’s Alan Schneider Award for directorial excellence in 1992. Roberta is a Fulbright Ambassador and an Artistic Associate at the Sundance Institute East Africa.
Board of Trustees
Shaudy Danaye-Elmi, President
Bob Miller, Treasurer
Farah Jahan Siddiqi Bullara, Secretary
Samer Ali – Associate Professor, Arabic Studies, UT Austin
Marvin Carlson – Chair, City University of New York Graduate Center
Hamid Dabashi – Chair, Iranian Studies, Columbia University
Hussein M. Elkhafaifi, Ph.D. – Associate Professor of Arabic, University of Washington
Philip Kan Gotanda – playwright
Jim Lucas – Marketing Consultant and Past President
Suniana Maira – Associate Professor, Asian American Studies, UC Davis
John Potocki – Financial Analyst
Ella Shohat – Professor, Art and Public Policy, New York University
Naomi Wallace – Playwright and MacArthur Fellow