Abdoh, Reza

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Reza Abdoh was an Iranian born theatrical director, known for his emotionally charged and controversial subject matter. He died in May, 1995 of AIDS.

From the guide to the Reza Abdoh collection of production sound tapes [sound recording], Reza Abdoh ; Dar A Luz, 1992-1996 /, (The New York Public Library. Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound.)

Reza Abdoh, avant-garde director, playwright, company leader and poet, was born on February 23, 1963 to Ali Abdoh and Homa Oboodi in Teheran, Iran. At the age of seven, he saw Peter Brook's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream in London and was deeply affected by it. Although there is some dispute regarding the biographical facts of his life from 1972-1982, it is known that during this period, he lived in England, where he directed Peer Gynt by Henrik Ibsen around 1977.

About 1980, he moved to Los Angeles where he directed numerous plays, including a program called Three Plays by Howard Brenton (1983), Shakespeare's King Lear (1985), The Farmyard by Franz Xavier Kroetz (1985), The Sound of a Voice and As the Crow Flies by David Henry Hwang (1985).

In addition to directing, by 1986 he began to create his own works such as A Medea: Requiem for a Boy with a White Toy and Rusty Sat on a Hill One Dawn and Watched the Moon Go Down, both produced in Los Angeles. It was also at this time he created the first in a body of videos: My Face and Oh Thello Sit Still . Abdoh's theatrical works often included multimedia elements; his works did not rely solely upon the text to convey their meaning. Reza Abdoh adapted and directed King Oedipus by Sophocles and Eva Peron by Copi at Theatre Upstairs (Los Angeles, 1987). In 1988, he directed Peep Show, a work which he co-authored with Mira-Lani Oglesby. Produced at Los Angeles's Hollywood Highland Hotel, Peep Show won L.A. Weekly's Production of the Year Award. Continuing his collaboration with Mira-Lani Oglesby, he directed Minamata (1989) at the Los Angeles Theatre Center. In 1990, Father Was a Peculiar Man, directed by Abdoh and produced by En Garde Arts, was performed in New York City's meat-packing district. That same year saw his creation and direction of The Hip-Hop Waltz of Eurydice at the Los Angeles Theatre Center. This work would also be performed at the Festival de Theatre des Ameriques, Montreal (1991), the Sigma Festival, Bordeaux and Mercat des la Flors, Barcelona (1992), and at the Festival d'Automne, Paris (1993). He also directed Pasos en la Obscuridad, a work he co-created with Frank Ambriz, at the Los Angeles Festival in 1990.

He wrote and directed Bogeyman which the Los Angeles Theatre Center produced in 1991. That same year marked the formation of his Dar A Luz theater company and his receiving the Audrey Skirball-Kenis Theatre Award for Outstanding New Work.

In 1992, Dar A Luz performed his work The Law of Remains in the Diplomat Hotel, New York City and in October of that year took the production to the Walker Arts Center's Freight House in Minneapolis. 1992 saw him branch out to other media-he created and directed The Blind Owl, a ninety-minute feature film; he also directed Long Beach Opera's production of Verdi's Simon Boccanegra . His Tight Right White was performed by Dar A Luz in New York City in 1993. From May through July of that same year, he toured with Dar A Luz, which performed The Law of Remains in the Springdance Festival, Utrecht; Festival Internacional, Granada; Wiener Festwochen, Vienna; Internationales Tanzfestival, Munich; Theater am Turm, Frankfurt; Sommertheater, Hamburg, and the Festival d'Automne, Paris.

He directed Quotations from a Ruined City, which he wrote with his brother, Salar; it was performed by Dar A Luz in New York City in 1994. In 1995, he wrote and directed A Story of Infamy (a.k.a. The History of Infamy ). He was among the first five winners of the Cal Arts/Alpert Award in the Arts.

Reza Abdoh died of AIDS on May 11, 1995 in New York City at the age of 32. In 1996, he was posthumously awarded a "Bessie" Choreographer and Creator Award for Sustained Achievement.

From the guide to the Reza Abdoh collection of papers, 1983-1999, (The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Reza Abdoh collection of production sound tapes [sound recording], Reza Abdoh ; Dar A Luz, 1992-1996 / The New York Public Library. Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound.
creatorOf Reza Abdoh collection of papers, 1983-1999 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Abdoh, Salar person
associatedWith Adam Soch person
associatedWith Adrian Velicescu person
associatedWith Alix Hester person
associatedWith Ambriz, Frank person
associatedWith Anne Hamburger person
associatedWith Ariel Herrera person
associatedWith Bill O'Shaughnessy person
associatedWith Brenton, Howard, 1942- person
associatedWith Brian Aldous person
associatedWith Charles Marowitz person
associatedWith Claudia Brown person
associatedWith Clemi Boubli person
associatedWith Crocker Coulson person
associatedWith Dance '93 Festival (Munich, Ger.) corporateBody
associatedWith Daniel Mufson person
associatedWith Dar A Luz corporateBody
associatedWith Dar A Luz corporateBody
associatedWith dar a luz (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Dar A Luz Performance Works corporateBody
associatedWith Des McAnuff person
associatedWith Diane White person
associatedWith Dokhi Mirmirani person
associatedWith Echoe Bones person
associatedWith Eddie Bledsoe person
associatedWith En Garde Arts corporateBody
associatedWith En Garde Arts, Inc. (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Eric Liljestrand person
associatedWith Festival D'automne a Paris corporateBody
associatedWith Festival Internacional de Teatro de Granada corporateBody
associatedWith Fitzpatrick, Tom person
associatedWith Frank Ambriz person
associatedWith Gangway Performance Center corporateBody
associatedWith Howard Ross Patlis person
associatedWith Hwang, David Henry, 1957- person
associatedWith Internationales Sommer Theater Festival, Hamburg '93 corporateBody
associatedWith Jacques Toubon person
associatedWith Joella March person
associatedWith Joe Morrissey person
associatedWith John Bell person
associatedWith Jon Gottlieb person
associatedWith Josette Feral person
associatedWith Juliana Francis person
associatedWith Ken Roht person
associatedWith Kunsten Festival des Arts (Brussels, Bel.) corporateBody
associatedWith Kyle Chepulis person
associatedWith La Jolla Playhouse corporateBody
associatedWith Los Angeles Theatre Center corporateBody
associatedWith Maggie Rush person
associatedWith Maison des Arts de Creteil, Festival Americain corporateBody
associatedWith Marianna Elliott person
associatedWith Marta Holen person
associatedWith Meg Kruszewska person
associatedWith Oglesby, Mira-Lani person
associatedWith Paul Harvey person
associatedWith Rand Ryan person
associatedWith Raul Vincent Enriquez person
associatedWith Reza Abdoh person
associatedWith Richard Stayton person
associatedWith Salar Abdoh person
associatedWith Sergio Onaga person
associatedWith Sophocles person
associatedWith Springdance Festival (Utrecht, Holland) corporateBody
associatedWith Stayton, Richard person
associatedWith Susan Sitnek person
associatedWith Tainbreaker Films corporateBody
associatedWith Theater Am Turm Festival (Frankfurt, Ger.) corporateBody
associatedWith Timian Alsaker person
associatedWith Tom Fitzpatrick person
associatedWith Tom Pearl person
associatedWith Tony Charles person
associatedWith W. Galen Wade person
associatedWith Wiener Festwochen corporateBody
associatedWith Yeghiazarian, Kaaren person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Theater--New York (State)--New York
Experimental theater--United States



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