New Modernist Mediations and the Intercultural Theatre of Modern Times Stage Company

  • Ric KnowlesEmail author
Part of the Contemporary Performance InterActions book series (CPI)


This chapter explores the use of modernist form as an agent of intercultural mediation in the work of Iranian-born director Soheil Parsa at Modern Times Stage Company in Toronto, Canada. Modern Times is unique among Toronto’s intercultural theatre companies in that its work is grounded in three intersecting interests: the work of western modernist playwrights and directors that Parsa was exposed to in Iran in the late 1970s, contemporary Persian/Iranian plays and theatrical practices that blend ancient Persian fables and forms with their new modernist refashionings, and Sufism, a mystical dimension of Islam that eschews Islamic exceptionalism in favor of an openness to other religious beliefs. The interculturalism of Modern Times is less troubled by the vexed history of narrowly western modernist appropriations than it is mediated through transnational modernist forms, specifically through a modernist theatre practice that responds to a newly complex and globally diasporic modernism that pays attention, as Penny Farfan argues, “to modernism’s local, material, corporeal, lexical, and interactive dimensions in performance.”

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of English and Theatre Studies, College of ArtsUniversity of GuelphGuelphCanada

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