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Reza Abdoh
(February 23, 1963 - May 12, 1995) Iran

Reza Abdoh

Director and playwright

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Reza Abdoh was born to Ali Abdoh and Homa Oboodi in Teheran. At the age of seven, he saw Peter Brook's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream and was deeply affected by it. He moved to England in 1975, where at age 14 he directed productions at the National Youth Theater. In 1980, he moved to Los Angeles, where he produced works for the Los Angeles Theater Center.

As director of Dar a Luz, Reza Abdoh was known for his large-scale theatrical performance pieces, including "The Hip Hop Waltz of Eurydice" (1990), "Bogeyman" (1991), "The Law of Remains" (1992), and "Quotations From a Ruined City" (1993). These were presented at major arts festivals and theaters in Europe, and at more nontraditional sites - warehouses, alleyways, gymnasiums, and abandoned buildings - in the US.

Along with his unusual perspective as a gay Moslem man born to a wealth that vanished to nothingness with the Iranian Revolution, Abdoh brought to his work an uncommon interest in and knowledge of politics, economics, and history.

Abdoh also directed the experimental film The Blind Owl. His theatrical masterpiece was The Hip-Hop Waltz of Eurydice, staged at the Los Angeles Theatre Center in 1990. He is the subject of the book Reza Abdoh edited by Daniel Mufson; his papers are kept at the New York Public Library for the Performing Art.

Abdoh died in New York City of AIDS-related illness and was survived by his companion, Brendan Doyle.

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