Monday, July 30, 2012

Fear and Misery of the Third Reich

COMING SOON - Chicago production of Bertolt Brecht  

Fear and Misery of the Third Reich,” was written by world-renowned literary genius, German playwright, poet, and theatrical reformer Bertolt Brecht and translated by John Willet.  This documentary play presents a sequence of realistic scenes showing how ordinary life under Nazi Germany was subtly permeated by suspicion and anxiety. The scenes, which do not  necessarily play out in chronological order but are rather knit together thematically, play like frames in a film running through Nazis’ years capturing a panorama of social breakdown, deception, betrayal, disaffection, disaffiliation and flight. Brecht’s harshly satirical take on Nazi Germany is a well balanced mix of humor and tragedy that  shows how thought and action can become paralyzed in a fascist state, and it urges the audience to learn and experience from their history.
About the Epic Players of Chicago ( The Epic Players of Chicago is a non-profit, culturally diverse, non-biased, and non-religious group of theatre lovers dedicated to the aesthetic and scientific nature of the theatre. As such, its talented members are driven merely by their passion and love for theatre and the arts. With this love, they selflessly sacrifice time away from their own lives, jobs, and responsibilities.  With your support, the Epic Players will have a chance to share this unprecedented theatrical and historical experience with a much larger audience. 


It is such a refreshing to see Caramel a Lebanese movie by Nadine Labaki about  human's daily life rather than watching a movie with lots of violence and false heroism!
"A Beirut beauty Salon becomes a treasures meeting place for several generations of women, from various walks of life, to talk, seek advice and confide in one another. "

Thursday, July 26, 2012


The Onion: "Americans across the nation confirmed today that, unfortunately, due to their extreme familiarity with the type of tragedy that occurred in a Colorado movie theater last night, they sadly know exactly how the events following the horrific shooting of 12 people will unfold."

The Trumpet: "But why is it that among all the verbiage and the sincere yearning for some sort of answer, no one can answer the one question we all have: Why did this happen?"

The Chalk Cross

Two scenes of Bertolt Brecht's play Fear & Misery of the Third Reich  on the stage in Tehran: The Chalk Cross and...
Director: Milad Rafati

Monday, July 23, 2012

Difficult Times

My heart aches for the lives taken in Aurora-Colorado massacre and my thoughts are with the victims, their families and the survivors of this horrific crime.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

When War Arrived

Listen to Jacques Brel's Mai 1940
In this song, Brel describes the invasion of Belgium by Germany in May of 1940 when he was eleven years old.
When War Arrived
I discovered refugees
It's a peasant wondering homeless
And the women were clinging to their children

Friday, July 20, 2012

"What Will the World be Like for Tomorrow's Children?"

    I am the Joker!


    Every time a violent incident happens, Riane Eisler's book "Tomorrow's Children" resonates in my mind. Some call it mental health problem, but it's beyond individuality. It's a compile of many things which culminates in tragedies.  

    In the prologue of her book, Riane Eisler  states:

    "Today, young people often feel powerless to change the course of their lives, much less the course of the world around them. Many become immersed in the me-firstism and overmaterialism that permeates much of our mass culture, futilely seeking meaning and belonging in the latest fad or commercial offering. Some bury their pain and anger in drugs, gangs, and other destructive activities, unconscious and seemingly uncaring of the effect their actions have on themselves and others. A number become violent, under the thrall of hate-Mongering or religious  fanaticism, or simply because of our video games, television, ads, and movies make violence seen normal and even fun."

    Gunshot in Colorado 

    "The gunman who blasted his way through a packed movie house early on Friday, killing 12 people and injuring 58 others, had apparently been planning his attack for weeks..."

    Following the Colorado shooting, Bill Moyers looks at the cost of America’s obsession with guns, and calls out the National Rifle Association.

    Now, everyone whispers these words.

    If It Were Up To Me

    Words and Lyrics by CHERYL WHEELER

    Maybe it's the movies, maybe it's the books
    Maybe it's the bullets, maybe it's the real crooks
    Maybe it's the drugs, maybe it's the parents
    Maybe it's the colors everybody's wearin
    Maybe it's the President, maybe it's the last one
    Maybe it's the one before that, what he done
    Maybe it's the high schools, maybe it's the teachers
    Maybe it's the tattooed children in the bleachers
    Maybe it's the Bible, maybe it's the lack
    Maybe it's the music, maybe it's the crack
    Maybe it's the hairdos, maybe it's the TV
    Maybe it's the cigarettes, maybe it's the family
    Maybe it's the fast food, maybe it's the news
    Maybe it's divorce, maybe it's abuse
    Maybe it's the lawyers, maybe it's the prisons
    Maybe it's the Senators, maybe it's the system
    Maybe it's the fathers, maybe it's the sons
    Maybe it's the sisters, maybe it's the moms
    Maybe it's the radio, maybe it's road rage


      Wednesday, July 11, 2012

      Hamid Samandarian

      Hamid Samandarian the renowned  Iranian theatre director passed away at the age of 81. His only wish was to stage Bertolt Brecht's play Galileo before his death!

      My condolences to his family and the world of theatre.

      Tuesday, July 10, 2012


      Today, "Invasion", a play by Jonas Hassan Khemiri will be read at Swedish American Museum. This reading is a part of reading series of International Voices Project IVP.

      Invasion is a tornado of words, images and ideas, all centered around a magical name: Abulkasem. The play assaults our deepest prejudices about identity, race and language. At once hilarious, disturbing and poignant, this deeply subversive play deconstructs a threatening identity – the Arabic male – and forces us to confront our own cultural identity.

      JONAS HASSEN KHEMIRI (Playwright) was born in Sweden in 1978, is the author of two novels and one collection of plays and short stories. His first novel, One Eye Red, received the Boras Tidning award for best literary debut. His second novel, Montecore, won several literary awards including the Swedish Radio Award for best novel of the year. Khemiri has also received the PO Enquist Literary Prize for the most promising young European writer. He currently divides his time between Stockholm and Berlin.

      Sunday, July 8, 2012


       Woman by John Lenon

      (For the other half of the sky)

      Woman I can hardly express
      My mixed emotions at my thoughtlessness
      After all I'm forever in your debt
      And woman I will try to express
      My inner feelings and thankfulness
      For showing me the meaning of success

      Ooh, well, well
      Doo, doo, doo, doo, doo
      Ooh, well, well
      Doo, doo, doo, doo, doo

      Woman I know you understand
      The little child inside of the man
      Please remember my life is in your hands
      And woman hold me close to your heart
      However distant don't keep us apart
      After all it is written in the stars

      Ooh, well, well
      Doo, doo, doo, doo, doo
      Ooh, well, well
      Doo, doo, doo, doo, doo

      Woman please let me explain
      I never meant to cause you sorrow or pain
      So let me tell you again and again and again

      I love you, yeah, yeah
      Now and forever
      I love you, yeah, yeah
      Now and forever
      I love you, yeah, yeah
      Now and forever
      I love you, yeah, yeah

      Saturday, July 7, 2012

      Mama don't go, Daddy come home

      Mother by John Lenon. This is a cry of so many children in today's world.
      Lenon says: "....and a lot of people thought it's just about my parents. But it's about 99% of the parents alive or half dead..."

      Mother, you had me but I never had you,
      I wanted you but you didn't want me,
      So I got to tell you,
      Goodbye, goodbye.
      Farther, you left me but I never left you,
      I needed you but you didn't need me,
      So I got to tell you,
      Goodbye, goodbye.
      Children, don't do what I have done,
      I couldn't walk and I tried to run,
      So I got to tell you,
      Goodbye, goodbye.
      Mama don't go,
      Daddy come home.
      Mama don't go,
      Daddy come home.


      Above all the other arts
      You, the actor, must conquer
      The art of observation

      -       Poems on the Theatre, Bertolt Brecht

      Friday, July 6, 2012

      A View from My Window

      A view from my Window. Picture taken by Sergio  Dow, Summer 2012

      Thursday, July 5, 2012

      Some day, o miracle! a flower will blossom

      Ludwig Beethoven created  Adelaide when he was in his mid twenties.
      Poem by MATTHISSON
      Sung by Fritz Wunderlich
      Piano Hubert Giesen.

      Your friend wanders alone in the garden of spring,
      Gently bathed in lovely magical light,
      Which shimmers through the swaying branches of flowers:
      In the reflection of the river, in the snows of the Alps,
      In the golden clouds of sinking day,
      In the fields of stars thy face beams forth,
      Evening breezes whisper through the tender leaves
      The silver bells at Maytime rustle in the grass,
      Waves roar and nightingales sing,
      Some day, o miracle! a flower will blossom,
      Upon my grave from the ashes of my heart;
      And clearly on every violet petal will shine:

      Wednesday, July 4, 2012

      Full moon

      By Ezzat Goushegir

      Full moon
      Hot and humid
      Oak street and Davis are empty
      Church Street and Maple are bare

      A barefoot old man curled up on the tiled pavement near Barnes and Noble
      Laughs repeatedly at something unknown
      The bookstore is almost crowded

      The temperature is 98 degrees
      Door opens
      Cool air

      I have my keys in my hand
      The only thing I carry with me
      Linden trees stand still
      No wind

      I walk toward the Lake
      Fireworks start in Wilmette
      Sounds like warzones
      Smells of Gunpowder

      I keep walking
      Three young black  men walk steadily
      Two Asian girls sip their drinks
      A man and a woman speak Russian 

      Full moon
      No howling in distance
      Chronic silence untreated inside me

      A shadow looks at the glistening water on the secluded shore
      Moon is full

      Tuesday, July 3, 2012


      To Adelaide for her first 4th of July

      Adelaide, Adelaide,
      Although you were born in Idaho with nobility
      Yet, in your veins
      Flows the blood of melodious songs of north’s nightingales,
      Passions of West’s explorers,
      Leniency of East’s mystics and the south’s instinctive powers,

      I know, you have an invisible affinity with Rumi’s poetry
      And a hidden kinship to Emily Dickinson 
      And I know how “Adel” suits you so incredibly well …
      And I know north, west, east and south are just an unified region to you
      And I know “Adel” is really your name
      And I know you will someday search for these words
      And see how it feels for a woman to sit in a tiny room
      (But so vast by a certain definition)
      In Evanston
      In July 3, 2012
      Hot and humid
      While Listening to the crickets’ sunset prayers on top of the trees
      And early sounds of fireworks
      And thinking of you, Adelaide!

      I have been whispering this song with differenttones since the birth of Adelaide...

      And Quiet Flows the Don

      And Quiet Flows the Don is indeed one of the greatest novels of all time!
      Mikhail Sholokhov vividly captures the heart of the reader as tells the story of war and people. He draws the reader into whirlpool of the First World War, the Russian Revolution and Civil War.
      Watch a Russian version film made in 1956. Here is the Love Scene...
      And the new version  directed by Sergei Bondarchuk, the Russian director, made in 2006