The Fifth String: Ziryab's Passage to Cordoba


  • Brava Theater Center 2781 24th Street San Francisco, CA, 94110 United States

Golden Thread Productions & Brava Theater Center present the World Premiere of

The Fifth String: Ziryab's Passage to Cordoba

Commissioned by the Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California
Written and Directed by Torange Yeghiazarian

Thursday-Saturday, May 15, 16, 17   8pm  
Sunday, May 18   3pm

Golden Thread Productions presents The Fifth String: Ziryab’s Passage to Cordoba, the second play to come out of its innovative “Islam 101” initiative, which is  dedicated to creating dynamic plays inspired by Islamic art and philosophy.

Written and directed by Torange Yeghiazarian with original music by Faraz Minooei and production design by Mokhtar Paki, The Fifth String is a multifaceted performance created collaboratively with an ensemble of actors, clowns, and musicians. 

Meet Ziryab, the 9th-century musician and cultural icon, in this family-friendly new play with live music: a musical genius, a star of the Baghdad court, and a fashion innovator.
The Fifth String playfully tells the story of his beginnings in Iraq, his life as an immigrant to Cordoba, and his lasting contributions in music, fashion, and culture that continue to reverberate today. Widely credited with adding a fifth string to the oud and with introducing Persian and Arabic influences to Spanish music, his life becomes an inspiration for this modern retelling as a story-within-a-story in the tradition of 1001 Nights. Original music for the The Fifth String world premiere is composed by Faraz Minooei who toured with Yo Yo Ma and Kayhan Kalhour in 2009. Live music will be performed by Gary Haggerty on oud and Ali Bazyar on percussion. The ensemble features actors, clowns, singers, and musicians: Munaf Alsafi, Camila Betancourt Ascencio, Jamie Corventry, Deborah Eliezer, Majd Murad, Maruf Noyoft, and Naima Shalhoub. 


Golden Thread is the first American theatre company devoted to Middle Eastern voices and experiences. Founded in 1996 by Torange Yeghiazarian, Golden Thread’s mission, to develop and produce plays from and about the Middle East is made more urgent and vital in light of current US-Middle East relations and the changes sweeping through the region. The company has presented work in Los Angeles, Washington D.C., New York, and Cairo, Egypt. Golden Thread receives play submissions from around the globe and is frequently host to visiting artists from the Middle East through the US State Department and the Kennedy Center’s exchange programs. An active contributor to Theatre Communications Group’s international efforts and Theatre Without Borders, Golden Thread’s year-round schedule consist of the ReOrient Festival of short plays; development and production of full-length plays, Youth Outreach activities; plus commissions, tours, and partnerships with esteemed co-presenters. Learn more at www.goldenthread.org