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Is this a genuine clinical break-down or simply the self indulgence of one more human being getting older? Glimpses of mortality, crumbling relationships, a lurking fear of loss of courage, the deaths of friends, lovers, colleagues and their world..."it's so fast, it takes your breath away."

No matter, the Story Teller's laughter and music thread its way through it all. With a little help from masks, puppets, a paper movie cranky and original songs, the three persona of one man play all the roles in a recurring dream, a fantasy tea party thrown by three former lovers, nightmarish memories of prison, war and betrayal, a moment of serenity at Point Reyes, and a vaudevillian trip to the Cafe Cliché Cabaret.

Writer's/ Director's Statement
I feel very lucky to be creating theatre again. There's a long list of friends and colleagues to thank for believing in me and allowing me to realize the vision of this piece. Space, however, permits only the following: my cast for their dedicated, insightful and talented work; Patrick Dooley for throwing caution to the winds and making this production possible; Michael Frassinelli, Marin Van Young and Mansour Taeed for their support and patience; and of course, Bob and Gloria Brown.

A man encounters the forces of his inner being on a mystical, musical journey into the depths of the Sufi landscape of The Seven Valleys. His conscious mind manifests as Barbod's brilliant improvisational sitar, and his spiritual impulse as The Houri's exquisitely expressive dance. Their search leads them into the valley of love.

Director's Statement
Seven Valleys is a mythical journey of a man, a sufi, a wayfarer (Hasti) who is searching for the truth. He passes through seven stages: Search, Love, Knowledge, Oneness (Unity), Contentment, Wonderment, and Absolute Nothingness, to find the truth. His consciousness and his inner music (Barbod) shows him the path. Houri appears as his spiritual impulse. At the end of his journey, Hasti, Barbod, and Houri continue their oneness in another realm.

Four characters meet in an undefined reality to deconstuct the concepts of relationships, self sufficiency, marriage and friendship. Frogs help scorpions across rivers, bread and apples are shared and refused, and a girl, a boy, a man and a woman offer help and hindrance in their attempts to better understand themselves and each other. This elegant encounter asks questions and gently reveals possibilities with grace and humor, wondering if perhaps we are all just "guests at a party here to accept the pointless hospitality of some generous host."

Director's Statement
(I do not know what it is about you that closes and opens; only something in me understands the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses) nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands
-e.e. cummings


Cody Bayne as an emotional persona of Jake
Michael Brown as singer & guitarist
Karen Marek as a warrior persona of Jake
Katja Rivera-Hodel* as a rational persona of Jake
*appears courtesy of Actors' Equity Association

Shahrzad Khorsandi as Houri
Mansour Taeed as Hasti
Kourosh Taghavi as Barbod

Beth Donohue as woman
Patrick Dooley as man
Marin Van Young as girl
Dan Wolf as boy

Michael Brown, director
Jennifer Bloomfield, masks
Edward Botts, figurines
Katja Rivera-Hodel, lettering
Michael Frasinelli, cranky & props
Marc Bojanowski, lights
Michael Brown, songs
Patrick Dooley, artistic director

Mansour Taeed, director
Mansour Taeed, light, sound & set design
Sana Nouri, sound technician
Samantha Black, cello
Simin Yagahi & Firouzeh Shahbandeh, women's voices
Zara Houshmand, text translation & stage management
Bernadette Rod & Zara Houshmand, lighting technicians
Bernadette Rod, Houri's costume
Sharhrzad Khorsandi & Mansour Taeed, choreography
Kourosh Taghavi, music composition and setar performance
Patrick Dooley, artistic director

Katie Bales, director
Susan Weigand, set and costume design
Vijay Iyer, original compositions from Memorophilia
Marc Bojanowski, light board operator
Michael Frasinelli, set design and construction
Patrick Dooley, artistic director

Opened: Friday, August 28, 1998
Performed: Storyteller: Thursday & Friday & Saturday at 8:00; Valleys: Friday & Sunday; Approach: Monday & Tuesday at 8:00
Performed At: The Adeline Street Theatre, 3280 Adeline Street, Berkeley
Closed: August 29, 1998


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