By all appearances, Mina leads a normal life: She is a young, successful woman, her parents are divorced, her father has left – nothing seems out of the ordinary. She doesn’t know much about her absent father, only that her mother met him on a trip to Tehran and that Mina supposedly looks like him. Her parents had to leave Iran because of the Islamic Revolution and they fled to Germany, where Mina was born. When she was five years old, her father disappeared. Mina doesn’t know what happened – her mother doesn’t want to talk about it. Who were her parents before their flight? Who is she? What role does the past play for her current life and how does her life influence her memory? Why does she keep dreaming about the heat above the flat roofs of Tehran, even though she has never been there?
Feeling torn, Mina devises a plan to find herself. She documents her search in a video blog, confronting the people around her and spinning threads of memory that she is unable to weave into her own life story. She is flooded with material: videos, photos, witness reports – all in a jumbled mess. Finally, the many possibilities start to blend and to invade her daily reality. Mina’s desperation turns into an anger at life that she is unable to interpret for herself. Ayatollah Khomeini, Ulrike Meinhof, Plato and Saint Just become her intellectual companions. In her anger she longs more and more for a way out – which she will not go alone.
Sara Abbasi was born in Iran and raised in Germany. She quit her studies of video art with Ulrike Rosenbach and studied Iranian studies and philosophy in Berlin, Tehran and Paris. Her work with Peter Stein from 2010 to 2014 comprised two projects in Tehran. She also worked at the Odéon in Paris and from 2014 to 2018 at the Vienna Burgtheater, where she directed Noah Haidle’s “Saturn Returns”. In her play “Mina”, Sara Abbasi uses autobiographical, fictitious and documentary material to sketch the portrait of a generation whose life is determined by more than one culture. The play is generated from dialogue, interviews and video sequences shot in Iran. These components form a dazzling mosaic representing the confusion of the individual and of society at large.
Director Sara Abbasi
Stage and Costume Design Sarah Sassen