Feathers of Fire: A Persian Epic

A Cinematic shadow play for all ages.

"Fantastic!  One of the greatest epics of all time and my favorite "Shahnameh" brought to life in a spectacular fashion by Hamid Rahmanian with shadow puppets design and cinematic wizardry" - Francis Ford Coppola

Conceived, designed and directed by Hamid Rahmanian
In collaboration with Larry Reed and ShadowLight Production
Produced by Fictionville Studio and Banu Productions

Represented by Lisa Booth Management.  Contact them if you would like to book the show.
Download the Tech Rider for theater requirements.

PBS station KCET SoCal Connected: A Spectacular Shadow Play: (9 minutes)

Feathers of Fire: A Persian Epic is a visually breathtaking cinematic shadow play for all ages, created by Hamid Rahmanian, a 2014 Guggenheim fellowship-winning filmmaker/visual artist.  The play unfolds an action-packed magical tale of star-crossed lovers from the 10th-century Persian epic Shahnameh (‘The Book of Kings’), – Zaul and Rudabeh, who triumph at the end against all odds. Rahmanian's graphics, derived from the visual tradition of the region, will be rendered as puppets, costumes, masks, scenography and digital animation, all of which will come to life in a “live animation” shadow casting technique perfected by shadow master Larry Reed on a cinema-size screen. The play also features an original score by the acclaimed musical team, Loga Ramin Torkian & Azam Ali. Feathers of Fire had its world premiere at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 2016.  

Running time: 70 minutes, in English.

Upcoming Shows:

Jan 20 - Weis Center for the Performing Arts - Lewisburg, PA
Jan 23 - SUNY Oswego - Oswego, NY
Jan 26-27 - University of Virginia - Richmond, VA
Feb 28 - Salisbury University - Salisbury, MD
Mar 2 - Pittsburgh Cultural Trust - Pittsburgh, PA
Mar 11 - Capitol Theater - Yakima, WA
Mar 14 - University of Washington - Seattle, WA
Apr 4 - University of Iowa - Iowa City, IA
Apr 8 - University of Northern Iowa - Cedar Rapids, IA
Apr 14 - Des Moines Civic Center - Des Moines, IA
Apr 20 - Society for the Performing Arts - Houston, TX
Nov 8-26- Chaina- Shanghai and Beijing
Dec. 6-12- Musée du Quai  Branly - France- Paris

Previous Shows:

Jan  25-29 - Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival - Chicago
Feb 19-21 - Materia Prima. 4th Int’l Festival of the Form Theatre, Krakow Poland
Mar 10-12 - Nowruzgan Festival, Toronto
April 15th-16 - Kaohsiung Spring Festival, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan
Oct 20-29  - The Wallis - Los Angeles
Nov 3-5 - The Cowell at Fort Mason - San Francisco

January 17-19 - Cowell Theater, San Francisco, CA
World Premiere: February 2-9 - Brooklyn Academy of Music, NYC
April 16-17 - Harvard University, Fitzgerald Theater, Cambridge, MA
May 15 - Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC
May 27-29 - Freud Playhouse, Los Angeles


Conceived, Designed and Directed by Hamid Rahmanian
In Collaboration with Larry Reed and ShadowLight Productions
Original Music by Loga Ramin Torkian and Azam Ali

Produced by Fictionville Studio and Banu Productions

Written by Hamid Rahmanian Co-writer: Vikas Menon
Based on the book, Shahnameh: The Epic of the Persian Kings
Storyboards & Concept Development by Syd Fini
Puppets handcrafted by Neda Kazemifar and Spica Wobbe
Digital Media Directed and Orchestrated by Mohammad Talani
Assistant Director: Fred C. Riley III

Performed by Aureen Almario, Ya Wen Chien, Gabriela, Garcia, Ariel Lauryn, Rose Nisker, Jon Riddleberger, Fred C. Riley III, Lorna Velasco, and Dina Zarif

Musicians and Vocals: Loga Ramin Torkian, Azam Ali, Sinan Cem Eroglu, Habib Meftah Boushehri, Omer Avci and Iman Ali Torkian

Costumes made by Dina Zarif
Technical Research and Consultations: Stephen Clifford, I Made Moja and Tyler Gothier
Puppet, Mask, Scenery, Costume Construction: I Made Moja, Marcius Noceda, Aureen Almario, Ya Wen Chien, Sara Gambina-Belknap, Caryl Kientz, Rose Nisker, Djuna Odegard, Fred C. Riley III, Mohammad Talani, Lorna Velasco, Dina Zarif, and Aaron Shores
Laser Cut: Sara Pisheh Design and Amir Esfahani
Sound Design: Robert Cazin
Sound Engineer: Tyler Gothier
Additional Animation: Motion Light and FlickerLab/Harold Moss
Voice Overs: Jessica Lynn Carroll, Jeri Lynn Cohen, Lisa Hori-Garcia, Stephanie Hunt, Rose Nisker, Larry Reed, Fred C. Riley III, Nancy Shelby, Ryan Tasker, Charlie Varon, Hamid Rahmanian, Marc Thomson, Aureen Almario, Lorna Velasco, and Dina Zarif
Voice Over Casting: Jeri Lynn Cohen
Voiceover Recording: Soundtank/Tom Lattanand, Mohammad Talani

Head of Production at Fictionville Studio: Melissa Hibbard
Producers: Hamid Rahmanian, Melissa Hibbard and Nasim Yazdani
Co Producer: Ahmad Kiarostami

A project of Two Chairs


Our Incredible Funding Group - 

We Couldn't have made this without your support. 

Sponsored by Canon USA

Major funding provided by:
Neda Nobari Foundation
Hamid Shafipour and Fereshteh Amin
Tahbazof Family Foundation
Nasiri Foundation
Saeed and Samira Amidi
Jim Henson Foundation
Zellerbach Family Foundation
Strypemonde Foundation
Farzam and Azadeh Hariri
Susan Morshed
Kian Amidhozour
Bijan and Soraya Amin Foundation
Farid Falsafi and Afsaneh Vali Najad
Lily Sarafan

Farshid and Guila Zanjani

Additional funding provided by:
Maximum Difference Foundation
Shahab Tehrani and Nazila Habibizad
Babak Agha and Meroeh Meraji
Shahin Jansepar
Majid & Maryam Rahimian
Kamran Bahadorzadeh
Gita M Razavi
Mahmoud Haghighi and Minoo Askari
Keyvan Bahadi
Kathryn Arcangeli
Javad Bazrafshan
Cyrus Meehan
Azadeh Amani-Taleshi
Susan Watson

Special thanks to Ahmad Kiarostami, Neda Amidi, Bita Shafipour, Steven McIntosh, Sheila Canby, Ahmad Sadri, Mahsa Hakimi, Parastou Mabodi, James Longley, Scott V. Burkhardt, Gregory P. Scalco, Negin Karbassian, Ali Azimi, and Jane Reed.

About the Project


Iran has a rich and diverse culture that very few people outside the region are aware of.  One such example, the Persian epic, Shahnameh, is one of the most important literary works of Iran, written over 1,000 years ago by the poet Ferdowsi.  Our goal is to present a more holistic view of Middle Eastern cultures, particularly that of Iran to wider audiences by presenting stories and aspects of Shahnameh in different media, which we are collectively calling “The Shahnameh Project.”

The first of this project, Shahnameh: The Epic of the Persian Kings, a 600-page illustrated new translation and adaptation and published in 2013 by Quantuck Lane Press/WW Norton, is now in its 4th printing.  The second is an elaborate pop-up book due out Fall 2016 by Fantagraphics Books.  FEATHERS OF FIRE: A PERSIAN EPIC, the shadow play, is the third part of “The Shahnameh Project.”  


There is a great power in live performance. FEATHERS OF FIRE: A PERSIAN EPIC exposes children and adults to a broader view of this world.  It introduces new characters and places, teaches them about the history of civilization and reinforces the positive attributes of what it means to be human. It is our intention to highlight the strength of the culture and promote a more complex and interesting view of Iranian culture in the United States.  With all performances, we intend to offer ancillary programming to bring the story and culture much closer to the audience.  Our focus especially will be young demographics.  We will offer school matinees with chances for children to interact with artists, hands-on shadow theatre workshops and other fun activities, through which to inspire young minds for new perspectives on the people and cultures around them and beyond.  We consider this as one of the essential aspects of FEATHERS OF FIRE: A PERSIAN EPIC.