The Current

Actors in new play don't see script until they get on stage — and it's in a language they don't understand

Nassim Soleimanpour, who had a global smash with White Rabbit, Red Rabbit, is back with a new concept that explores language and the feeling of being a foreigner.

Nassim explores the feeling of being a foreigner while living in your home country, says playwright

White Rabbit, Red Rabbit was a global success for Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour in recent years. Now he's back with a new play, above, and a new concept. (Red Eye Media)

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Nassim Soleimanpour took the theatre world by storm with his play White Rabbit, Red Rabbitdespite being denied a passport to leave his native Iran. 

Each night a different actor would perform it, having been emailed a script at the last minute, with no rehearsals. 

Soleimanpour's next show Nassim, which opens tonight in Toronto as part of the Luminato Festival, adds a new twist to the formula. As before, a new actor steps onto the stage each night — but this time, they must also perform it in a language they aren't fluent in.

Soleimanpour said wanted to play with language because it's "one of the most beautiful things on the planet," even though it also has the power to divide us. He wanted to explore the idea of being a foreigner.

"This term foreigner is a very, very strong and tricky word to me," he told The Current's Anna Maria Tremonti.

"You can live inside your country and feel you're a foreigner. You can live inside your house, having a discussion with your parents and for a few seconds you feel: 'Oh my god, I don't belong here.'

"It's very deep. It's something really, really human I would say."

Listen to the full conversation near the top of this page.

This segment was produced by The Current's Julie Crysler.