The world premiere of Wish You Were Here, written by Sanaz Toossi and directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch, opens May 3. Previews for the production at Playwrights Horizons began April 13, and the run was extended through May 29.
Featuring all Iranian and Iranian-American women in its cast, Wish You Were Here stars Nikki Massoud (Othello) as Zari, Marjan Neshat (Selling Kabul) as Nazanin, Nazanin Nour (Madam Secretary) as Rana, Artemis Pebdani (Scandal) as Shideh/New Friend, and Roxanna Hope Radja (Torch Song) as Salme.
The play takes place across 13 years, beginning in 1978, and follows a group of best friends as they live through the Iranian Revolution and Iran-Iraq War. Each one tries to find a sense of normalcy until they can no longer avoid making decisions about staying in Iran—or leaving it.
“‘Mundane’ has become a special word for me when discussing Wish You Were Here," said Toossi in a statement. "In Middle Eastern plays, there’s an expectation you’re going to walk into the theatre and all the characters are going to be in a crisis. I love those plays too, but for me I’ve always wanted to write, simply, life."
The creative team features scenic designer Arnulfo Maldonado, costume designer Sarah Laux, lighting designer Reza Behjat, sound designers Sinan Refik Zafar and Brian Hickey. Production stage management is by Vanessa Coakley, and assistant stage management is by Jenn Jacobs.
Toossi recently made her Off-Broadway debut with English, a play which follows four adult students sitting for the TOEFL exam in an Iranian classroom, co-produced by Atlantic and Roundabout theatre companies.
For tickets and more information, visit PlaywrightsHorizons.org.