Working in the Theatre: In the Field – Sara Razavi

My name is Sara Razavi, and I started in theater
as a performer and an actor and now I’m a director. I was born in Tehran, Iran. We left Iran during the Iran-Iraq war, post-revolution,
and we were 6/7. Coming to the States, I think more than anything,
it was coming to the suburbs that was probably the hardest thing. We had been city kids, we had grown up in
Tehran, then in Karachi, then in Mumbai, then in London, then to come to a small suburb
of Orange county was probably the hardest thing to adjust to, personally and definitely
for my mom, I think. My first memories of theater are in Orange
county. There was a huge diaspora for Iranians in
Orange county and the LA area, and we had traveling artists both from Iran as well as
ex-pats. My mom made it a point to take us to these
shows and I was just spellbound. Our family has been immigrants for a really
long time. My grandparents immigrated in their youth
to what is now Pakistan, at the time it was India, they spent in Saudi Arabia- always
Iranians but away from Iran. As a family, what that provided was a notion
and an understanding that there are different views. And that, say, as an Iranian in India, or
as an Iranian in America, I not only have the vantage of an Iranian but I also have
the vantage of a non-American or a non-Indian. So, take a scene and look at it like “That’s
my read of the scene, what’s your read of the scene?” and then there’s three and
four other reads of it. To allow ourselves to kind of, like, move
through that, without having a definitive answer of “the scene has to go this way.” What’s amazing about theatre is that collaboratively
I come up with maybe what the truth actually is which is a lot of different vantage points. It’s kind of fun [laughter]. I feel that I am growing the actors and allowing
them to get to where they need to and always facilitator- I think the question is always
“How much do you feed and how much do you allow the person to discover themselves?” Because it’s just going to be so much more
authentic when they discover it themselves. What I really love about theatre is this opportunity
to take a moment and really just focus deeply into it. Then just let it go [laughter].

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