A Moment of Silence (2016)

About A Moment of Silence

“an unexpected contemporary play from a culture we do not meet every day, A Moment of Silence…charts the recent history of the country of which we hear plenty on the news but about which we do not know that much.” Michaela Příkopová “

A Moment of Silence is an award-winning play by celebrated Iranian playwright and director, Mohammad Yaghoubi. Nowadays Theatre staged the English premiere of  this surreal, poetic, and surprisingly comic meditation on Iran’s turbulent history for the 2016 SummerWorks Performance Festival in Toronto at Factory Theatre Mainspace from August 6-14.

Among its many awards are Toronto Fringe Festival’s 2015 New Play contest and the Playwrights’ Society of Iran’s Best Play prize. It has been translated into English, French, Czech, Turkish and Kurdish and performed in Washington and California, USA, Brussels(Belgium by Théâtre de Poche in 2014) and in Prague (The Czech Republic) in January 2016.

Shiva wakes up to find she has been asleep for three years. In that time, the world around her has changed drastically. Her friends and family seem different. Strangers act oddly. It’s Iran in 1980 and she has just slept through the Islamic Revolution. For the next ten years, Shiva continues to fall asleep for years at a time. Each time she wakes up there’s a new change she has to try to grasp: the war with Iraq, a series of murders of dissident artists  as well as transformations in her own family. Meanwhile, the playwright creating Shiva’s story begins to receive phone calls threatening her life.

The English Premiere of A Moment of Silence directed by Mohammad Yaghoubi was presented as a part of Sum- merWorks Performance Festival at the Factory Theatre, Mainspace, Toronto, Canada frome 6th to 14th of August 2016. The sets were designed by Saeed Hasanlou, light by Dave Degrew, Costume by Setareh Delzendeh, and music by Pedran Khavarzamini. The cast was as follows:
SHIVA Sarah Marchand
JIMMY Maxime Robin
SHIRIN Parmida Kakavand
SHEIDA Melanie Pyne
HASTI Lara Arabian
SOHRAB Paul Van Dyck
MEN VOICES Artibald Babayants

History of the play

  • August 6th – 14th 2016, directed by Mohammad Yaghoubi, at Factory Theatre, Toronto, Canada.
  • January 15th 2016, directed by Azadeh Mohammadi, Prague, Czech Republic.
  • November 6th 2015, directed by Azadeh Mohammadi, Prague, Czech Republic.
  • June 14th, 15th & 16th 2015, directed by Azadeh Mohammadi, Prague, Czech Republic.
  • March 6th to 8th 2015, directed by Bella Warda, Central Stage in Richmond, California, USA
  • September 28th 2015, directed by Shohreh Asemi, NOVA Annandale Ernst Cultural Center, Washington, USA
  • May 2014, Staged reading in French, translated by Liliane Anjo and directed by Mehdi Goleij, Montreal, Canada.
  • March 2014, Staged reading in French, translated by Liliane Anjo and directed by Philippe Beheydt, Brussels, Belgium.
  • May 2012, staged reading in English, translated and directed by Torange Yeghiazarian, San Francisco, USA.
  • December 2012, Staged reading in French, translated by Liliane Anjo and directed by Frédéric Dussenne, Brussels, Belgium.
  • May 2010, directed by Aida Keykhaii, Tehran, Iran.
  • December 2001, directed by Mohammad Yaghoubi, Tehran, Iran.


A Moment of Silence received the following awards

• The third place winner of the New Play Contest in Toronto Fringe Festival, 2016

• The Playwrights Society of Iran Award for outstanding play, 2012

• The National Theatre Critics Society Award for Outstanding Direction in 2002

• The International Theatre Festival of Iran Award for Outstanding Direction, 2001