Republics of Imagination

April 15, 2019


    APRIL 15 AT 7:30 PM IN THE Woolly mammoth theater


    Approximately 90 minutes, with a reception to follow

    Due to the intense demand for the event, we ask that patrons plan to arrive by 7:20pm or tickets may be distributed to those in the stand-by line. Any remaining tickets will be available at the door on a first-come, first-served basis.

    This event is a part of The Lab's inaugural CrossCurrents festival, a DC-based, biennial festival that highlights innovative artists from around the world who are harnessing the power of performance to humanize global politics.

    An evening of cross-cultural performances inspired and co-curated by celebrated author Azar Nafisi (Reading Lolita in Tehran, The Republic of Imagination), highlighting the dangerous power of performance and literature in repressive times. This program is in conjunction with Woolly Mammoth’s forthcoming production of Rajiv Joseph’s 2018 Obie Award winning play Describe the Night, and will include an excerpt from the play along with material from James Baldwin, Azar Nafisi, David Grossman, Wole Soyinka, and others. The performance will feature an ensemble of leading DC actors including Woolly company members Rick Foucheux and Jon Hudson Odom, former Woolly Artistic Director Howard Shalwitz, Heather Raffo, Jonathan David Martin, and others, and will be accompanied by a discussion with Azar Nafisi, The Lab co-Director and event co-curator Derek Goldman, the participating artists, and David Smith, Washington DC bureau chief of The Guardian.

    About Azar Nafisi

    Azar Nafisi

    AZAR NAFISI is best known as the author of the national bestseller Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books, which electrified its readers with a compassionate and often harrowing portrait of the Islamic revolution in Iran and how it affected one university professor and her students. Reading Lolita in Tehran has been translated in 32 languages, and has won diverse literary awards, including the Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger, Non-fiction Book of the Year Award from Booksense, the Frederic W. Ness Book Award, the Latifeh Yarsheter Book Award, the Grand Prix des Lectrices de Elle, and an achievement award from the American Immigration Law Foundation, as well as being a finalist for the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for Memoir.  In 2006 she won a Persian Golden Lioness Award for literature, presented by the World Academy of Arts, Literature, and Media. Between 1997 and 2017, Azar Nafisi was a Fellow at the Foreign Policy Institute of Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Her most recent book is entitled The Republic of Imagination: America in Three Books (October 2014), a powerful and passionate case for the vital role of fiction in America today. Azar is a Lab Think Tank Member and Georgetown School of Foreign Service Centennial Fellow.