Nassim Soleimanpour White Rabbit, Red Rabbit


Co-presented with Chicago Humanities Festival

“A stunning piece of theatre, thought-provoking and morally unsettling. It’s a wonderful testament to the power of words to transcend cultures and borders. It fully deserves five stars.”
—Fringe Review, Brighton

“A thoughtful, playful response to oppression.”
—Guardian, UK

Imagine being 29 years old and unable to leave your country. Iranian Nassim Soleimanpour is a conscientious objector who refused to take part in military service, mandatory for all Iranian men. Soleimanpour turned his isolation to his advantage with a wild, utterly original play, an absurdist adventure that blends comedy and drama. In White Rabbit, Red Rabbit, he distills the experience of an entire generation born amid the hardship of the Iran-Iraq war—computer-literate, well-informed young people who have never known an Iran other than the Islamic Republic.

With no director, no set, and a different guest performer each night, this play is performed by distinct Chicago actors reading a script they see for the first time as they step onstage in front of a live audience. Using a menagerie of allegorical animals, the play is “not about Iran,” but grapples with the social phenomena of power, obedience, and manipulation.

Will you participate? Will you be manipulated? Will you listen? Will you really listen?

Performers for White Rabbit, Red Rabbit are Usman Ally, Fawzia Mirza, Yasen Peyankov, and Michael Shannon. Please note that you won’t know which actor is performing on the night of your ticket; that’s part of the intrigue. If you want to guarantee that you see a particular actor, you have to purchase tickets to attend all four performances

Running Time: 60 minutes