Powerful New Play Tells the True Story of Being Gay in the Middle East
After successful engagements in London, Los Angeles and Chicago, Jay Paul Deratany’s play Haram! Iran! made its New York premiere for a strictly limited engagement at TADA! (15 West 28th Street). Performances continue until March 19.
Nominated for a GLAAD Award for its Los Angeles engagement, Haram! Iran! is based on the true story of the trial of two Iranian teenagers in Mashad, Iran.
The one-act-play tells the story of Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhouni who struggle with their identities – not only as minority Arab Iranians, but as typical teenagers longing to discover their place in the world. When an innocent moment between two friends is misconstrued, the hardline Iranian justice system takes over. Featuring powerful performances by its ensemble cast, the play displays how homophobia, misogyny and toxic masculinity violently affect all members of Iran’s society.
The story is based on the 2005 hanging of Mahmoud Asgari, 16, and Ayaz Marhoni, 18. The Iranian teenagers were executed after being convicted by the court of raping a 13-year-old boy. The case attracted international media attention. The British LGBT activist group OutRage! alleged that the teenagers were executed for consensual homosexual acts and not rape.
Performances of Haram! Iran! will take place at TADA! (located at 15 West 28th Street) until March 19. The New York premiere is produced by Adam Weinstock and Creative Concept Productions in association with Red Spear LLC.