"The story gives an empowering weight to a woman’s use of imagination to resist oppressive power."
-The Toronto Star
About the Production:
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"
-Carly Maga, The Toronto Star
Canadian Stage Award for Best Direction (Honourable Mention)
NOW’s “Best of the Fest” for Outstanding Production, Ensemble, and Direction.
"The calm, measured way the fantasy swimming pool is constructed has a hypnotic power to it." -Glenn Sumi, NOW Magazine
CREATIVE TEAM (SUMMERWORKS):
Director/Producer: Aida Keykhaii; Written by: Jaber Ramezani; Assistant Director/Producer: Sarah Marchand; 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.
CREATIVE TEAM (REMOUNT):
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