Marina Nemat shares her story from her best seller book Prisoner of Tehran, which comes to the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Feb. 24. The work is a spoken memoir within a landscape of movement with Motus O dance theatre followed by a Q & A with the audience. (Motus O Dance Theatre image)

Tales from Iranian prisoner take Vernon stage

Prisoner of Tehran at Performing Arts Centre Feb. 24

The stories of an Iranian woman tortured in prison are taking the spotlight in Vernon.

The Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Society presents Motus O Dance Theatre & Marina Nemat’s Prisoner of Tehran on Sunday, Feb. 24 starting at 7:30 p.m. Prisoner of Tehran is the third show in the 2018/19 Spotlight Theatre Series. Tickets are $30 for adults, $27 for seniors and $25 for students. Call the Ticket Seller Box Office at 250-549-SHOW (7469) or log online to for tickets, subscriptions and more information.

See: Vernon Performing Arts Centre announces Spotlight series

Based on the bestselling memoir by Marina Nemat, this piece tells Nemat’s story of being imprisoned, tortured and nearly executed as a teenage girl in Tehran, Iran.

“Combined with the theatrical movement of the Motus O Dance Theatre company, Prisoner of Tehran is a powerful show full of hope and awareness of important global issues,” said Janelle Escott, marketing and community engagement director at the arts centre. “This show brings us to a new place in storytelling; a combination of spoken word, movement, video and music.”

Nemat was born in 1965 in Tehran, Iran. After the Islamic Revolution of 1979, she was arrested at the age of 16 and spent more than two years in Evin, a political prison in Tehran, where she was tortured and came very close to execution. She came to Canada in 1991 and has called it home ever since. The memoir of her life in Iran, Prisoner of Tehran, was published in 2007 in Canada and 28 other countries and has been an international bestseller.

Jack Langenhuizen, Cynthia and James Croker, the artistic directors of Motus O, first met Nemat at an Arts in Education conference where they were both presenting. Deeply taken with Nemat’s story, they contacted her with the idea of presenting her story in movement. Their thought was not to dance her story but to use movement to illustrate her storytelling. The result is a new place in storytelling combining spoken word, movement, video and music.

See also: Ballet Jörgen takes Vernon stage


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