Performance will be in Persian with English supertitles.

The storyline of this production is based on the story of Rostam and Sohrab, one of the most famous mythological stories of Shahnameh by Ferdowsi (935-1020 AD), and the last work of Siavash Kasrai, Mohreye Sorkh.  Ferdowsi is one of the most important poets of Iran.  He spent 30 years collecting the Persian ancient mythology and historical facts, and putting them in poetry form in Persian language in his book Shahnameh (The book of Kings). Ferdowsi completed Shahnameh at a time that the Persian language was close to extinction due to the occupation of Iran by the Arabs and subsequent banning of the use of Persian language in Persia for over two centuries. By writing the Shahnameh, Ferdowsi not only preserved the ancient Persian mythology and historical facts, but also revived the Persian language and saved it from extinction.

In the mythological story, Sohrab is the love child of Rostam (the immortal hero of Iran) and Tahmineh (the princess of a neighboring country) who actively and proudly pursued Rostam, and believed that their union and offspring (Sohrab) would bring peace and prosperity to the region. The story ends with the tragic slaying of Sohrab by Rostam in a battle (without either knowing their relation to each other).  Based on Shahnameh, the poem Mohreye Sorkh by Siavash Kasrai, is set at the last moment of Sohrab’s life, after having been injured by Rostam.


Outline of the story of Rostam and Sohrab:

One day Rostam travels close to the border of Turan, the adversarial neighboring country. After hunting and having a feast, he falls asleep. Turan’s Soldiers capture Rostam’s horse (Rakhsh). Rostam awakens and following the footsteps of Rakhsh, arrives at Samangan (a city in Turan). Samangan’s king invites Rostam to be his guest of honor for the night and assures Rostam that he will find Rakhsh by the next morning. In the middle of the night, Tahmineh, the king’s daughter who has heard of Rostam’s heroic braveries, enters Rostam’s bedchamber and declares her love for him. She tells Rostam that she wishes to bear his child. Upon leaving in the morning, Rostam gives Tahmineh a famous gem from the ring around his arm, to be wrapped around their child’s arm.

Tahmineh gives birth to a son, named Sohrab. At age of 10, like his father, Sohrab is unrivaled in battle. Upon learning that Rostam is his father, Sohrab becomes determined to remove the king of Iran and place his father on the throne. He then plans to remove the king of Turan, declaring himself king. Sohrab heads towards Iran with a large army. At the border he fights Gordafarid, a brave Iranain warrior who has disguised herself as a man. Upon the revelation that Garafarid is a woman during their fight, Sohrab falls in love with her, but cannot attain her.

Later, Sohrab fights his father Rostam, apparently without any one of them knowing the identity of the other.  Rostam fatally injures Sohrab after tricking him.  Sohrab tells him: “some one will inform Rostam that you killed his son, and Rostam will kill you in revenge”. Upon seeing the famous gem on Sohrab’s arm and realizing that Sohrab is his son, shattered with pain, Rostam goes to the king of Iran, asking for the healing potion, but the King, fearing being de-throned by the strong father and son, denies Rostam the potion and Sohrab, thus dies.