Sohrab Haghverdi is an Iranian ensemble and devised theater artist, community practitioner, actor, and an instructor of Devised Theatre at University of The Arts, and a graduate of the MFA program in Devised Performance at Pig Iron Theatre Company/University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Their creative research is made manifest with Mispronounced Performance Exchange, the devising company they co-founded in 2019, now developing and producing work in Philadelphia.
My creative discipline has manifested in the roles of devisor, teaching artist, community practitioner and world citizen. Throughout my creative practice I have seeked to cultivate a culture that embraces shame and demystifies fear. One piece from my body of work, “The Boy Who Mailed Himself to America,” particularly encapsulates this idea. This filmed short utilizes the clown’s comic paradigm to look at immigrant identity - exiled from one’s home country and an outsider in one’s new home - and my own cancer diagnosis allowed me to come out to my community about my loneliness as an immigrant.
I create work about shame and vulnerability. Isolation even in the presence of others has been a recurring experience for me as a cancer survivor, a member of a marginalized community, and one of a few Iranian creators in the theatre community. I use theatre to go to uncomfortable, shameful, fear-invoking places and attempt to take my audience on that journey with me. My goal is to offer an experience that reveals more of myself and those who suffer the same pains.
As a theatre artist, I use direct address, clown, bouffon, and technology to persistently offer new paradigms by pointing out inequities, hypocrisies, the beauties and the troubles that pertain to immigration. I hold my audience responsible for their role in society and provoke them to reconsider their effect on forming a society that works for all. I deploy all available materials of theatre - sound, image, music, dance, digital technologies, light and movement - to create a multi-sensory experience that reaches the audience and leaves a lasting impact.
Residencies and Awards
2021 NET(Network of Ensemble Theatres)/TEN Grant for Mispronounced Theatre Company
2020 NET(Network of Ensemble Theatres)/TEN Grant for Mispronounced Theatre Company
2019 Shabahang | Iranian Cultural Society of America, Community Leadership’s Scholarship
2018 Pig Iron School, Trustee’s Scholarship
2016 University Northern Colorado, Acting Program Merit Based Scholarship
2012 Samandarian Academy, Emerging Artist fellowship
2011 Samandarian Academy, Emerging Artist Residency Program