Videographer: Taras Lavren
Alma Matters Productions co-produced the English Premiere of Swim Team for the 2018 SummerWorks Performance Festival. Swim Team sold out its limited run and was featured in CBC's Here and Now with Gill Deacon.
Inspired by real stories from the world of women’s sports and post-revolutionary Iran, the show follows three young women who are determined to learn to swim in a place devoid of water and their coach, who realizes it can be just as difficult to achieve one's dreams in the imagination as in reality.
Swim Team references modern Iranian society, where women’s rights are constantly being eroded and female athletes face countless obstacles. Following the 1979 revolution, sports in Iran became subject to gender segregation. Facilities and funds were in short supply for female athletes and laws that required women to wear hijabs greatly impacted their ability to compete against other high-performance athletes. As a result, many women’s sports teams were disbanded after the establishment of the Islamic Republic.
In response to the tragic death of Sahar Khodayari, or 'Blue Girl', along with many other women banned from participating and attending sports stadiums in Iran, we felt an urgent need to re-stage this production for Toronto audiences.
With the generous support of Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Toronto Arts Council, Alma Matters Productions and NOWADAYS THEATRE remounted the piece in November 2019 at The Theatre Centre to another highly successful run.
"The metaphor in Ramezani’s play is beautifully realized in dreamlike sequences"
"The calm, measured way the fantasy swimming pool is constructed has a hypnotic power to it."
NOW’s “Best of the Fest” for Outstanding Production, Ensemble, and Direction.
Tina Bararian, PC: Joseph Hammond
Director/Producer: Aida Keykhaii
Written by: Jaber Ramezani
Assistant Director/Producer: Sarah Angelle
Performers: Aylin Salahshoor, Banafsheh Taherian, Mahsa Ershadifar, Tina Bararian
Dramaturg: Mohammad Yaghoubi
Stage Manager: Laura Lakatosh
Lighting Design: Nancy Boake
Voice Coach: Breanna Maloney
Promo Trailer: Taras Lavren
Translated by: Sara Shamlou, Saman Javand and Stephenie Radil
Poster: Saman Farzaneh.
Directed by Aida Keykhaii
Written by Jaber Ramezani
Dramaturged by Mohammad Yaghoubi
Lighting design by Chin Palipane
Performed by Banafsheh Taherian, Parya Tahsini, Sarah Saberi, Tina Bararian
Stage Managed by Farnoosh Talebpour
Publicity by Banafsheh Taherian