As a poet and director, when I came across the script, the poetic language, the dramatic aspects of the play, and the possibility of creativity the story provides attracted me to direct The Body of a Woman as a Battlefield in the Bosnian War.
The visual images that it sparked in my mind made me excited about creating this piece. Other than the poetic language and the inspiring structure of the play that marshals thirty dramatic scenes or thirty dramatic poems, the crucial subject that the play touches on was one of the main reasons that propelled me to direct the show.
Living in Toronto as a Middle Eastern immigrant who has been exposed to war and other forms of violence, I come across many individuals who have been through similar events in different countries. The recent wave of traumatized refugees who are sheltered in Toronto is a reminder of how war is still affecting so many lives.
Understanding how society can help these individuals and how they can use resources provided by other governments for them is an important issue that the play addresses. This is why I think doing this play at this time is necessary. The performance tells the story of breaking the circle of violence created by war and the journey to change hate into love and compassion. It emphasizes on how we can turn a body from a battlefield into a fertile land.
The story shines light on the importance of having empathy rather than sympathy towards other’s hardships.
Working with a creative crew has taught me that taking other’s creative opinions into work creates a beautiful collage of different views and experiences. I have become more open to listening to ideas and seeing the world through a female perspective. I would thank “Kate”, one of the characters in the play, who taught me to have empathy rather than sympathy. Furthermore, my cast and crew who made this show possible and my supporting family and friends.
I want the audience to think about simple ways to break the circle of violence and help in making the world a better, more beautiful place to live in.
Director Siavash Shabanpour was born in Tehran in 1981. He is a graduate of the Theatre Studies program at York University in Toronto and began a thriving career as a director/actor for the stage. His directing credits include “ The Cripple of Inishmaan” (2017),“Thirty Roubles for Delicacy” (2016), “The Good Doctor” (2015), Two Ducks In The Mist” (2014),”Operatic Narration of Arash the Archer”(2013), “Horses at the Window”(2012), “When It All Falls Down”(2011),”The Story of Panda Bears Told By a Saxophonist Who Has a Girlfriend in Frankfurt”(2010) and “Apartment 812” (2008). He was an actor of “Sleeping in an Empty Cup”(2017, Dir: Aida Keikhai), “The Monsters” (2017, Dir: Mohammad Yaghobi) , “The Pillowman” (2016, Dir: Aida Keykhai and Mohammad Yaghobi) , “Two Ducks in the Mist” (2014, Dir: Siavash Shabanpour),“A Moment of Silence”(2014, Dir: Mohammd Yaghobi), Dr. Faustus (2011, Dir: Alecsandar Luka) and a workshop presentation of “Conference of the Birds” (2011), “Only Sound Remains” (2009), “Home” (2007), and “Arush” (2006) all directed by Soheil Parsa. He was also casting assistant and supporting actor of a Canadian feature film entitled “The Bright Side of the Moon” (Dir: Farhad Ahi) and supporting role of “Anomie” (Dir: Mazdak Taebi) and actor of “Language” (2017, Dir:Elizabeth lazebnik)