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One Light Theatre's The Veil

One Light Theatre is proud to announce we are nearing the completion of a two-year (20 month) project, The Veil, comprised of the development and production of an original play based on Iranian writer
Masoud Behnoud’s epic tale, Khanoom (The Lady), and the development of an original staging design, The Veil, as the center piece of the production. To achieve the goals of these projects and as a means to incorporate both diverse and expert perspectives into the work, we have formed associations with Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia (Windsor, Nova Scotia) and Neptune Theatre here in Halifax. OneLight Theatre will follow the guided, disciplined collaborative working style which is the core of the company, and work with our partners not as external advisors, but as active members of the production team working with OneLight throughout the development and production of The Veil.

The Veil
will run 3 weeks here in Halifax and 2 weeks in Toronto. We are happy to announce The Veil will be staged in Halifax at the
Neptune Studio as a part of their 2007/2008 season, and in Toronto at The Harbourfront Centre. We are presently looking at a national and international tour of the show after closing in Toronto.

About the Script:

Khanoom is a fictionalized biography of a Persian woman who, through twists of fate and her perseverance, came to witness, from a unique perspective, many of the political and social changes that shaped the 20th century.

The story begins in the segregated palaces of the Persian Shah Ghajar; Khanoom was a princess whose life was ruled by traditional class and gender expectations. Women of her status, while well-educated, and well-kept, were expected to live a life of seclusion, marry upon arrangement, and obey the property and civil laws that left them second class citizens. Her ‘traditional’ life was supplemented by tutelage in feminist ideology by a rebel aunt; her closest friend. Compellingly, Khanoom and her aunt, despite their opposition to the status quo, are also the Shah’s favorites within the extended household of wives, mistresses and children.

During the Persian Constitutional Revolution, although Khanoom and her aunt secretly supported the anti-monarchist constitutionalists, Khanoom is forced to flee to Russia along with the rest of the royal family. Thus begins a life of upheaval that sees Khanoom move to Turkey, Italy, France and Germany, has her wed twice, lose her fortune, become disowned by the royal family, and experience the political strife that marked 20th century Europe- revolutions, fascism, and war. In the end, believing that she has been widowed, she returns to her homeland, now Iran, and moves into a house that belongs to her childhood servants. The story of Khanoom, is both an epic tale which sweeps through modern history, and an intimate portrait of one woman’s journey from an insulated childhood, to a rebellious youth, to a grown woman who must make a place for herself in a world that is entirely different from her own and which is, itself, in constant flux. What is fascinating about Khanoom’s story is not only that she survives, but that she is able to find peace both with her adopted, Western home, and her abandoned Eastern birthplace. In the end, despite taking on many of the political and social philosophies of the West, it is Iran that she returns to live.

We have completed a plot outline and timeline, which the Veil team used to facilitate our first workshop in April, 2006. We are exited to announce that Shahin has been invited to the Playwrights' Workshop Montreal Tadoussac retreat to complete the translation and first draft of the script!

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