The play unfolds an action-packed magical tale of star-crossed lovers from the 10th-century Persian epic Shahnameh (‘The Book of Kings’), – Zaul and Rudabeh, who triumph at the end against all odds. Rahmanian's graphics, derived from the visual tradition of the region, are rendered as puppets, costumes, masks, scenography and digital animation, all of which come to life in a “live animation” shadow casting technique perfected by shadow master Larry Reed on a cinema-size screen. The play also features an original score by the acclaimed musical team, Loga Ramin Torkian & Azam Ali. Feathers of Fire had its world premiere at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 2016.

Mina's Dream

Mina’s Dream is a specially commissioned performance by the Onassis Foundation.  This 15-minute shadow play tells the story of a young girl whose dreams are bigger than her community’s social pressures and decrees. A young actor performs behind a screen that displays animated characters and objects, representing those who try to keep her from pursuing her dreams. A soundscape of live music, voices and effects create a tension and struggle that the young protagonist must fight against. (2016)

A shadow play by Hamid Rahmanian
Performed by Maire Vigliotta
Animation: Naghmeh Farzaneh
Music: Nima Farzaneh
Sound Design: David Wilson
Storyboards: Syd FiniVoice overs: Elmira Rahim, Sedate Threatt, Danielle Larson and Tarah Pollack Assistant Directors: Anita Maghduri and Neda Kazemifar


Zahhak: The Legend of the Serpent King

Persian legend comes to life with live musical accompaniment and intricate shadow puppetry. From the Shahnameh or Book of Kings - an epic narrative penned in the 10th century by Persian poet Ferdowsi—this shadow play tells the story of a misguided prince who becomes the villainous Serpent King.