A play with no rehearsals – The actor sees the script for the first time on stage in Nassim Soleimanpour's eponymous piece
Nassim Soleimanpour, who hails from Iran and now resides in Berlin, is an award-winning playwright. His 2011 play White Rabbit Red Rabbit toured the world while he was forbidden to leave Iran, having refused compulsory military service. By the time Soleimanpour was granted a passport in 2013, his play had been performed around the globe in 20 different languages. Now he is touring the world with his 2017 play NASSIM.
NASSIM is performed without rehearsals. The guest actor on stage is a native to the given country, and they know nothing about the play beforehand – the identity of the actor is also concealed until the performance.
The script is given to the actor in a sealed envelope. They need to react to the script and its challenges in real time. Soleimanpour himself hardly talks during the performance: he is only there to turn the page and reacts to the events taking place mostly by making notes in the script.
The audience gets to witness an actor in a new and surprising situation. The script is projected onto a screen from which the audience gets to follow the text the actor is dependent on – in this one of a kind show, both the audience and the actor have the exact same information about the performance.
Every performance as unique as the previous one, at the centre of NASSIM are language and communication. It is also about cultural exchange: during the performance, both the audience and Soleimanpour himself learn new words in each others' languages. At the core of NASSIM is unity, as the show examines the power of coming together of language and and stories.
“I hope that’s what makes the show important. It’s a tool to reunion, to make friends, and to accept that we can achieve and cross borders—maybe even get rid of them.” says Soleimanpour.
Two unique performances at Tampere Theatre Festival
Thu 8th August at 18.30
Fri 9th August at 16.30
Duration 60–80 min
Performed mainly in English
Sources for this article:
American Theatre: How to Write a Viral Play, According to Nassim Soleimanpour
Aurora Nova: Nassim Soleimanpour
Georgia Straight: Once confined to Iran, playwright Nassim Soleimanpour now travels the world with his new experimental work
Playbill:How Secret Scripts Led Playwright Nassim Soleimanpour to International Stardom
Text: Sanna Stenberg
Translated from Finnish: Lotta Salomaa