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Insights Into Traditional and Contemporary Persian Culture to be Part of Upcoming Performances at The Gracie

Published on: March 18, 2016

Shot of some of the performers.
BANGOR, MAINE – March 18, 2016 – Husson University’s Gracie Theatre will be the site of two unique performances that showcase traditional and contemporary Persian Culture.

On March 21, the public is invited to attend a special musical performance by Amir Vahab and his ensemble. Vahab is an accomplished Persian Sufi and folk music composer. His musical selections are inspired by the poetry of Rumi, Hafez, and Baba Taher.

Two days later, on March 23, the play “The Poets and the Assassin: Stories of Women in Iran and Islam,” will take the stage at The Gracie Theatre. The play, written by Reza Jalali and directed by Kati Vecsey, offers historical and contemporary insights into the plight of women in Iran.

More about the Persian New Year musical performance:

The performance is a celebration of spring and the Persian New Year, Nowrouz. Nowrouz starts each year at the exact moment of the vernal equinox. It has been celebrated for at least 3,000 years and began as part of the rituals and traditions of the Zoroastrian religion.

Today, the festival of Nowrouz is a secular holiday for most celebrants that is enjoyed by the people of several different faiths. It is celebrated in Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, India, Iran, Iraq, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

Husson University’s School of Science and Humanities is sponsoring the event. Individual contributors from the Iranian Community of Greater Bangor are also helping to make this performance possible.      

No tickets are required. The event is free and open to the public. For more information or to request a disability accommodation, please call (207) 941-7888.

More about the play, “The Poets and the Assassin.”

Performed by students from Bates College, the play takes place in five acts. Each act features a monologue from a different actor. The struggle of Iranian women against religious and cultural tyranny and their efforts to combat cultural stereotypes is shared with the audience.

One monologue features Scheherazade, the storyteller from “One Thousand and One Arabian Nights.” Through her storytelling, she saves herself from execution by the King of Persia along with the lives of 1,000 other women.

Another monologue features an actor portraying Neda Agha-Soltan, the young girl who was shot during election protests in Iran in 2009. The protesters accused the government of tampering with the election results. Her last moments were uploaded to YouTube and broadcast around the world. The word “assassin” in the title is a reference to Agha-Soltan’s tragic end.

The performance of “The Poets and the Assassin” is co-sponsored by Husson University’s School of Science and Humanities and the Department of Theater and Dance at Bates College.

“Bringing cultural experiences to members of the community that they wouldn’t otherwise get to experience is part of what The Gracie is all about,” said Jeri Misler, managing director of Husson University’s Gracie Theatre. “Celebrating the customs of others and empathizing with their challenges are important first steps in building bridges of understanding.”

The Husson University’s Office of Student Activities is sponsoring the performance of “The Poets and the Assassin.”

Admission to the 7:30 p.m. performance is free and open to the public. Reservations can be made by contacting the Gracie Box Office at 207-941-7888, visiting The Gracie’s website at

Completed in October of 2009, The Gracie is Husson University's center for the fine and performing arts. This beautiful new 500-seat theatre is quickly earning a reputation as one of Maine’s premier performance venues. In addition, The Gracie also serves as a learning platform for students from the New England School of Communications in digital audio, sound mixing, set design and construction, lighting, acting and electronics. For more information, visit

For more than 100 years, Husson University has prepared future leaders to handle the challenges of tomorrow through innovative undergraduate and graduate degrees. With a commitment to delivering affordable classroom, online and experiential learning opportunities, Husson University has come to represent superior value in higher education. Our Bangor campus and off-campus satellite education centers in Southern Maine, Wells, and Northern Maine provide advanced knowledge in business; health and education; pharmacy studies; science and humanities; as well as communication. In addition, Husson University has a robust adult learning program. For more information about educational opportunities that can lead to personal and professional success, visit Back to All Articles