About Winter of 88
“I find 5N reviews the most anxiety-inducing to write, because if something is that good, it works as a whole so well that it’s hard to pick out one or two things. It’s the kind of show I leave and think, ‘whoa.’ This is that kind of show.” Lisa McKeown @lisammckeown
“Timely. Tragic. Powerful. Thank you Nowadays Theatre for such an incredible and powerful work!” DEANNE KEARNEY, Mooney On Theatre
“Writer/Director Mohammad Yaghoubi offers up characters we can’t help but love and shows us their disarmingly banal, relatable squabbles.” Istvan Dugalin
“…The piece was also filled with lovely heartfelt performances by a big range of actors. Everyone was great.” Megan Mooney
‘Winter of 88’ is an award-winning meta-theatrical and autobiographical piece based on the playwright and director Mohammad Yaghoubi’s traumatic experiences of the Iran-Iraq war. It is rooted – as explained in the play- in the guilt of surviving while witnessing many others who didn’t. The playwright wrote this play because he felt that he owed it to the people who lost their lives. During an interview, Mohammad Yaghoubi explains: “the fear and insecurity I felt in the winter of 1988 has followed me all through my life. I felt powerless and vulnerable. We just waited for death to come and there was nothing we could do. People were killed everyday and to this day, I still carry the sense of shame for those fleeting moments of joy after hearing any missile attacks, which meant I was alive, knowing others were dead. I survived the Winter of 1988 so I had to write about it”.
Translated from Farsi, “Winter of ‘88” creates a window into the not-so-distant past; a window to the days when death was just around the corner, and even though many survived death, no one survived the trauma.
The play portrays a war among the family members who are struggling with problems of their own, becoming victims to a bigger, more violent war simultaneously.
Widely recognized in Iran, Winter of 88 has been performed in Farsi by numerous Iranian Theatre companies. First directed by the playwright in 1997, the play won for Outstanding Writing, Direction and Acting at the 16th International Theatre Festival of Iran.
NOWADAYS THEATRE made its World English Premiere at the 2020 Next Stage Festival and we received many amazing reviews and was given the rating of NNNNN by Now Magazine. “Winter of ’88” will be presented in Vancouver Fringe in September 2020.
This performance gives us the chance to start a conversation about the people who hate war; those who are the victims of war but are known as soldiers, warriors, even terrorists. The truth is a nation is judged by the actions of its leaders which is wrong. The reality is that, people of a country fall victims to the wrong decisions of their leaders.
The Iran-Iraq war alongside the Vietnam War was one of the longest wars of the twentieth century. The Iran-Iraq war began in 1980. On February 29th of 1988, Iraq launched a missile attack on Tehran, Iran. The attack lasted 50 days; around 133 missiles were shot every 9 hours. A few months earlier, Iranian political leaders were not prepared to accept the peace treaty, “The Holy Defence” as they called it. People were being killed in cities far from the Iranian capital every day, but as the Iranian capital was repeatedly attacked, they accepted the peace treaty in the winter of 1988 which ended the war that year.
‘Winter of 88’ creates a window into the past, a window to the days when death was just around the corner, and even though many survived death, no one survived the trauma. It is about the death of a nation that was the victim of the arbitrary decisions of its political leaders.
Director/Playwright: Mohammad Yaghoubi;
Translated by: Nazanin Malekan and Mohammad Yaghoubi
Edited by: Parmida Kakavand
Featuring (in alphabetical order): Aida Keykhaii, Amir Zavosh, Armon Ghaeinizadeh, Jonathan Shaboo, Parmida Vand, Sarah Marchand.
lighting Designer: David DeGrow
Stage Manager: Whitney Hewitt
Assistant Director: Mahsa Ershadifar
Music: Behrang Baghaee
Make-up Artist: Mina Ketabian
Promo Trailer: Ali Mostolizadeh
Poster Designer: Saman Farzaneh
Friday, January 10th 7:00pm (Opening)
Sunday, January 12th 1:30PM
Saturday, January 18th 4:15PM (Closing)
Where: Factory Theatre, Mainspace
125 Bathurst St, Toronto, ON M5V 2R2
Duration: 75 Minutes