Shohreh Aghdashloo on a secretive play without rehearsals

Shad talks to actor Shohreh Aghdashloo about performing in White Rabbit, Red Rabbit — a play with no director, no set, and no rehearsal.
Shad talks to actor Shoreh Aghdashloo about performing in White Rabbit, Red Rabbit — a play she knew nothing about when she walked on stage. (Fabiola Carletti/CBC)

You just have to be there. 

And even those who have seen White Rabbit, Red Rabbit can only describe one version of the shape-shifting show. Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour's mysterious play has been called "playful, enigmatic, and haunting" — but one thing it will never be, by design, is predictable. 

Masterful Iranian-American actress Shohreh Aghdashloo joins Shad to share (however cryptically) her unique experience with the project. She's one of the select few actors (others include Whoopi Goldberg, Nathan Lane, Martin Short) who have been asked to show up the night of a performance completely unprepared, and surrender to the uncertainty.  

"It was as though I was born on the stage again," she says, describing the work as a "melange of drama, comedy and social experiment". 

The performer, and the audience, do not know what will happen in the play. He or she simply walks onstage, receives an envelope, and allows things to unfold.

"I've worked over 39 years and I've never done anything like this before," says Aghdashloo. 


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