Reza Adboh

1963–1995

"Reza Abdoh was an Iranian-born American theatre director and playwright known for his groundbreaking, experimental productions. Abdoh died of AIDS in 1995 at the age of 32 having created an impressive body of stage spectacles known for their sensory overload, ferocious energy and hallucinatory dreamscapes. Abdoh was an enigmatic and prolific creative force and with his company, Dar A Luz, formed in 1991, he created productions that have made a major impact on experimental theatre worldwide and whose influences are still being felt and talked of to this day.

Abdoh's productions were rule-breaking, game-changing, irreverent, explosive and razor sharp expressions; their poetic in-breathing and out-breathing rhythm, full of raw and nightmarish imagery were hell-bent on exposing hypocrisy and injustice in a frenetic, disarming collaging of sound, video, dance and words at breakneck speed and volume to create extreme theatrical visions yielding ultimate impact. His company was made up of the most generous, fierce and fearless performers one could ever hope to see; his productions the most confronting and perception-altering of their generation."

The Los Angeles Times called his work “Puzzling, fragmented, hard-edged and brilliant as a diamond.” the Village Voice called it “Astonishing.” Prominent theatre artists were also fervent admirers; Richard Foreman, for example, has said, "The aesthetic shock of encountering Abdoh’s turbulent work sent me reeling."-Reza Abdoh Documentary Film

"Relentlessly inventive, he pushed his actors—and audiences—to their limits amid ambitious, unusual, disorienting stage sets. Abdoh’s aesthetic language borrowed from fairy tales, BDSM, talk shows, raves, video art, and the history of avant-garde theater."
-MoMA, Reza Abdoh Exhibition, 1995