By Sanaz Toossi
Directed by Sivan Battat
It’s 1978 and protests are breaking out across Iran, encroaching on the suburb where a tight-knit circle of girlfriends plans weddings, trades dirty jokes, and tries to hang onto a sense of normalcy. But as the forces of revolution escalate, each woman must choose whether to join a wave of emigration or to remain in their country, where the future is uncertain. With breathtaking humanity and cutting wit, 2023 Pulitzer Prize winner Sanaz Toossi chronicles a decade of life during and after war, as best friends forever become friends long lost—scattered and searching for home.
Production support for Wish You Were Here is provided by Yale’s Binger Center for New Theatre.
Wish You Were Here is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc. concordtheatricals.com
This play includes profanity, explicit discussion of sex, light haze, and cigarette smoking.
Yale Repertory Theatre recognizes that audiences may have a variety of needs when engaging with the themes our work examines. If you wish to know more about the content of this play, please contact our box office at 203.432.1234 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We are happy to provide additional information for your visit to Yale Rep.
Meet the Artists
Sanaz Toossi is an Iranian-American playwright from Orange County, California. Her plays include the critically acclaimed, Pulitzer Prize-winning English (co-production Atlantic Theater Company/Roundabout Theatre Company) and Wish You Were Here (Playwrights Horizons; Williamstown/Audible, released 2020). She is currently under commission at Atlantic Theater Company (Launch commission; Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation grant), Roundabout Theatre Company, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Manhattan Theatre Club, South Coast Repertory, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival (American Revolutions Cycle). In television, Sanaz was recently staffed on Invitation to a Bonfire (AMC); A League of Their Own (Amazon); Five Women (Marielle Heller/Big Beach); and sold an original idea, The Persians, to FX with Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields attached as Executive Producers. Sanaz was the 2019 P73 Playwriting Fellow, a recipient of the 2020 Steinberg Playwright Award, the 2022 recipient of The Horton Foote Award and, most recently, the 2023 recipient of the Best New American Play Obie Award. M.F.A., NYU Tisch.
Sivan Battat she/they is originally from Woodbridge, Connecticut, in Greater New Haven and is a proud alum of ACES Educational Center for the Arts on Audubon Street. Now based in New York City, Sivan is a theater director and cultural organizer, and is the Director of New Work Development at Noor Theatre Company. Recent credits include Layalina (world premiere, Goodman Theatre), Heroes of the Fourth Turning (Studio Theatre), Brass Knuckles (Ensemble Studio Theatre), Trouble in Mind (Assistant Director, Broadway). Sivan has developed work with companies including the Roundabout, the Park Avenue Armory, NYTW, Drama League, Atlantic, Ars Nova, National Queer Theatre, New Georges, New York Stage & Film, Cape Cod Theatre Project, Mercury Store, Long Wharf, MCC, and more. Fellowships: Roundabout Directing Fellow, Drama League Musical Directing Fellow, TCG Rising Leaders of Color. Sivan is thrilled to be returning to New Haven, the city that introduced her first to the power of theater.
Omid Akbari is a scenic designer and costume concept artist. He is currently a fourth-year pursuing an M.F.A in set design at David Geffen School of Drama, where his recent credits include Dwight/Edgewood Project, Furlough’s Paradise, and Macbeth. He received his bachelor’s degree in set design from the University of Art in Tehran, Iran. He has done many productions in Iran as a set and costume designer and was nominated for the Best Set Designer at the Intentional Theatre Festival in Iran.
T.F. Dubois is a fourth-year M.F.A. candidate at David Geffen School of Drama, where their selected credits include littleboy/littleman, Marys Seacole as well as Over Easy and Can the Peruvian Speak? (…) at Yale Cabaret. Other selected credits include Nodus Tollens, A Tender Reflection, and Amuse Bouche at Grace Street Theater; Blue Camp with Rainbow Theatre project; and Sins of the Father with Oxford Comma Productions.
Matthew Armentrout previously worked at Yale Rep on The Brightest Thing in the World, Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Today Is My Birthday, and Manahatta. Broadway: Birthday Candles, Paradise Square, Flying Over Sunset, and Bernhardt/Hamlet. Off Broadway: Merrily We Roll Along (Roundabout), Othello (Shakespeare in the Park). Regional: Bliss (The 5th Avenue Theatre), Jitney (National Tour), Paradise Square (Berkeley Repertory Theatre).
David Anthony-Ken DeCarolis
David Anthony-Ken DeCarolis
David Anthony-Ken DeCarolis is a fourth-year M.F.A. candidate at David Geffen School of Drama, where his credits include littleboy/littleman, Love’s Labor’s Lost, and Next to Normal. Other design credits include The Hedgehog’s Dilemma (Yale Cabaret) and Form of a Girl Unknown (Salt Lake Acting Company). David has assisted on Saturday’s Voyeur, Three Little Pigs (SLAC); Today is My Birthday, Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Yale Repertory Theatre); and Seize the King (The Classic Theatre of Harlem). He would like to thank his family for all their support.
Sam Skynner is a Canadian designer, educator, and researcher. Sam is a fourth-year M.F.A. candidate at David Geffen School of Drama. Her work and research are interdisciplinary with interests spanning film, theater, dance, and installation. Sam was recently awarded a Beinecke Fellowship to conduct independent research on early digitally generated imagery in experimental animation. In 2023, Sam was a studio fellow at Yale CCAM and a teaching fellow at Yale College. Sam’s most recent theatrical credits include The Winter’s Tale (the Geffen School, projection design); DIANA ROSS DREAM (Dancemakers, lighting design); and Reflections of Native Voices Festival (New York Theatre Workshop and La Mama, video editor).
Sound Design and Additional Original Music
Mike Winch is a fourth-year M.F.A. candidate in sound design at David Geffen School of Drama. He has been a sound designer and composer for the past decade in Washington, DC. He is a four-time Helen Hayes Award nominee, with a tenured background in Irish fiddle and music technology.
Amy Boratko is the Senior Artistic Producer at Yale Rep and has previously served as dramaturg on the Yale Rep productions of The Brightest Thing in the World, The Plot, Girls, Cadillac Crew, Good Faith, Field Guide, Mary Jane, Imogen Says Nothing, peerless, Indecent, War, The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls, Dear Elizabeth, The Realistic Joneses, Good Goods, Belleville, We Have Always Lived in the Castle, Compulsion, Notes from Underground, and Eurydice, among others. Other credits include dramaturging new play workshops at New Dramatists, the Acting Company, and Voice and Vision’s ENVISION Retreat. She is a lecturer at David Geffen School of Drama at Yale. B.A., Rice University; M.F.A., David Geffen School of Drama.
Hannah Fennell Gellman
Hannah Fennell Gellman
Hannah Fennell Gellman she/her is a teaching artist and dramaturg who loves queer stories, movement, and poetry. Her production dramaturgy credits include the ripple, the wave that carried me home (Yale Rep); Wake by Stefani Kuo, Twelfth Night, Hedda Gabler (David Geffen School of Drama); Dr. Ride’s American Beach House and soft apples (Yale Cabaret). She has also collaborated on developing new dance and theater work with ruth tang (The Alcove at the Lortel), Cameron Barnett, Qualia Dance Collective, and BODYSONNET and worked as an educator at Elm Shakespeare Company, Berkshire Theatre Group, Lookingglass Theatre, and Shakespeare & Company. She holds a B.A. in English from Carleton College and is a fourth-year M.F.A. candidate in dramaturgy and dramatic criticism at the Geffen School.
Shawn Poellet is a second-year M.F.A candidate in technical design and production, focusing on theatrical automation, at David Geffen School of Drama. Previously he has served as an assistant technical director for Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles at Yale Rep. Prior to the Geffen School, Shawn was serving as an Assistant Technical Director/Head Audio Video Engineer at the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center at the University of Northern Iowa.
Cynthia Santos DeCure
Cynthia Santos DeCure
Cynthia Santos DeCure she/her/ella is an actor, voice, and dialect coach. She is an Associate Professor of Acting at David Geffen School of Drama, certified in both Knight-Thompson Speechwork® and as Associate Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework®, specializing in accents, dialects, and culturally inclusive pedagogies. Some dialect credits: Laughs in Spanish (Denver Center); Queen of Basel (TheaterWorks Hartford); Cymbeline (New York Classical Theatre); Quixote Nuevo (Denver Center, Round House Theatre); Scenes with Cranes (REDCAT); Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles, Today is My Birthday, El Huracán (Yale Rep); In the Heights (Phoenix Theater, Chance Theater); The Long Road Today (South Coast Rep); Orange is the New Black (Netflix); and The Affair (Showtime). Member of SAG/AFTRA, AEA. She is co-editor, Scenes for Latinx Actors, and Latinx Actor Training (Routledge 2023).
Kelsey Rainwater is an intimacy coach, fight director, and actress based out of the ancestral lands of the Quinnipiac people. Kelsey’s work has been seen in the premiere of Sally and Tom at The Guthrie. Some of her other credits include In the Southern Breeze at Rattlestick, The Public Theater’s Measure for Measure and White Noise by Suzan-Lori Parks, directed by Oskar Eustis; the ripple, the wave that carried me home, A Raisin in the Sun (canceled due to COVID-19), Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles at Yale Rep; Blues for An Alabama Sky with the Keen Company; and Bess Wohl’s film, Baby Ruby. She is a Lecturer in Acting at David Geffen School of Drama, co-teaching stage combat and intimacy, and is a Resident Fight and Intimacy Director for Yale Rep.
Calleri Jensen Davis
Calleri Jensen Davis
Calleri Jensen Davis is a creative casting partnership among James Calleri, Erica Jensen, and Paul Davis of over 20 years. They began their collaboration with Yale Rep last season with Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles and the ripple, the wave that carried me home. Broadway credits: The Piano Lesson, Topdog/Underdog, for colored girls…, Thoughts of a Colored Man, Burn This, Fool for Love, The Elephant Man, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Of Mice and Men, Venus in Fur, A Raisin in the Sun, 33 Variations. Television: Love Life, Queens, Dickinson, and The Path, to name a few.
James Mountcastle has been at Yale Rep since 2004, where he has stage managed productions of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Girls, An Enemy of the People; Scenes from Court Life, or the whipping boy and his prince; Arcadia; A Streetcar Named Desire; American Night: The Ballad of Juan José; Three Sisters; The Master Builder; Passion Play; Eurydice; and the world premiere of The Clean House. Broadway credits include Damn Yankees, Jekyll & Hyde, Judgment at Nuremberg, The Boys from Syracuse, The Smell of the Kill, Life (x) 3, and Wonderful Town, as well as A Christmas Carol at Madison Square Garden. National tours include City of Angels, Falsettos, and My Fair Lady. He was Production Stage Manager for Damn Yankees starring Jerry Lewis for both its national tour and at the Adelphi Theatre in London’s West End. In addition, Mr. Mountcastle has worked at the Kennedy Center, Center Stage in Baltimore, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Brooklyn Academy of Music, and elsewhere. M.F.A.: David Geffen School of Drama, 1990.
Anita Abdinezhad she/her is an actor and writer, elated to be making her Yale Rep debut. Recent theater credits include Broadway: POTUS (Shubert Theatre); Off-Broadway: Persian Pod (Ars Nova), Bismillah (Wild Project), The Welcoming Committee (The Lark). Regional: A Christmas Carol (South Coast Repertory), Dance Nation (Lenfest Center at Columbia University). Television and film: Girls on the Bus (Max), Evil (CBS/Paramount+), Ahamed’s Ramadan Diary (Comedy Central), Eradication (Tubi). Playwriting: Three Tall Persian Women (Shakespeare & Company). Pilot: Fareeda’s Phantasias (Semi-finalist Sundance Episodic Lab). Columbia M.F.A. Acting. Anita dedicates this to the women in her family and the Woman, Life, Freedom movement.
Vaneh Assadourian is thrilled to be making her Yale Rep debut. Vaneh is an actor and voice-over artist born and raised in Tehran, Iran. Most recently she was seen in the world premiere of A Distinct Society directed by Giovanna Sardelli at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley and Pioneer Theatre Company. Notable collaborations include work with The Geffen Playhouse, The Los Angeles Theatre Center, Skylight Theatre Company, and The Hammer Museum. A lover of languages, Vaneh is fluent in Farsi and Armenian and speaks conversational German. She holds a B.A. in acting and directing from UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television and is repped by SLJ Management.
Bahar Beihaghi trained in Le Coq and Method. Previous theater credits: Ismene (Greece 2014), Medea (Paris, 2016), The Bald Soprano, A Second Birth (New York, 2019), Glimpse (New York, 2021), Woman Life Freedom (New York, 2022), Do You Know What It’s Like To Be Me?, Temptations (New York, 2023). M.F.A., Actors Studio Drama School. Co-Founder of Peydah Theater Company. Born and raised in Tehran, Iran. Bahar enjoys contemporary dance, singing, and kickboxing alongside her passion for Farsi and French. She sends all of her love and gratitude to people of Iran, whom she’d love to represent through her art. Woman Life Freedom.
Sahar Bibiyan is making her Yale Rep debut. Recent theater credit: English (2023 Pulitzer Prize Winner in Drama, Berkeley Rep, West Coast Premiere). Past theater credits include Haram Iran (Emerging Artists Theatre) and Veil’d (Astoria Performing Arts Center, World Premiere). Recent ﬁlm credits include Uncut Gems (A24) directed by Josh and Benny Safdie. Selected television credits include a recurring role in Mr. Robot, Little America, Chicago Justice, and Bull. She is the voice of Dimah in the video game Just Cause 3.
Ava Lalezarzadeh is making her Yale Rep debut. Off-Broadway: English (Atlantic Theater Co and Roundabout, World Premiere; 2023 Pulitzer Prize Winner in Drama, Lucille Lortel Best Play, Obies Best New Play, Lucille Lortel Nomination for Best Ensemble). Select Credits: Series regular in an upcoming series (Apple TV+); Wild Life (HBO Max); New Amsterdam (NBC); upcoming voiceover on a hit animation series (Netflix). As screenwriter and actress, her latest film In the Garden of Tulips (world premiered at Aspen Shortfest, won Youth Jury Award), inspired by her mother’s journey of fleeing Iran as a teen during the Iran-Iraq War. Training: UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television; British American Drama Academy; École Philippe Gaulier. She thanks her team, family, and friends!
Shadee Vossoughi she/her is thrilled to be making her Yale Rep debut. Shadee is an Iranian-American actor, improviser, and writer based in Chicago, Illinois. Regional theater credits include A Distinct Society (Writers Theatre); Layalina (Goodman Theatre); My Dear Hussein (Silk Road Rising); Deer and the Lovers (First Floor Theater); The Tenth Muse, Romeo and Juliet (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); The Black History Month Show, Urban Twist, Bob Curry Showcase (The Second City). Television and film: Redwood Highway, The Bear (FX), The Big Leap (Fox). Training: B.F.A., Southern Oregon University; NBC Universal Bob Curry Fellowship, The Second City.
Lucie Solène Allouche
Understudy for Rana
Lucie Solène Allouche
Lucie Solène Allouche is an NYU Tisch alum, where she studied at The Lee Strasberg Institute, Stonestreet Studios, and the Experimental Theater Wing. She later studied clowning at Ècole Philippe Gaulier. Born in Paris and raised in Brooklyn, she is proud to call NYC her home. Recent television and film credits include Inventing Anna (Netflix), Breaking Fast with a Coca-Cola (SXSW ’23), Re-Election (post-production) and Him (post-production). She is thrilled to be a part of this incredible company and to help tell this beautiful story.
Understudy for Zari
Ellena Eshraghi is an Iranian-American actor, writer, and filmmaker from Southern California. She graduated in May 2022 from NYU Tisch with a B.F.A. in drama and dramatic writing. Off-Broadway: HOUND DOG (Ars Nova), Erastes (The Wild Project). Film: Mean Girls: The Musical (Paramount). She recently wrote and acted in the pilot Minor Inconvenience. She is thrilled to be working with Yale Rep this fall and hopes the production inspires the audience to take interest in what’s happening in Iran. Zan, Zendegi, Azadi.
Understudy for New Friend, Shideh
Naseem Etemad she/her is a first-generation Iranian-American who earned her B.A. in theater performance from SFSU. Her credits include several original works rooted in SWANA/MENA stories and voices, including the world premiere of Hotter Than Egypt (Maha), ACT Theatre/Marin Theatre Co.; Wisdom From Everything (Tamer), Local Theatre Co.; and Veils (Samar), The Pear Theatre. Other/film: Need for Speed Unbound (Youmna), EA Games; Strength and Fortune (Maryam), directed by Eimanne El Zein; Venture Maidens Dungeons & Dragons podcast (Fittonia Silvertale), directed by Celeste Conowitch. Naseem is thrilled to be making her Yale Rep debut and to be stepping into a character of shared heritage for the first time in her career.
Understudy for Salme
Maria Habeeb is honored to be working at Yale Rep! She was most recently seen in the Off-Broadway production of The Gospel According to Heather. Other credits include #46 in The Wolves (McCarter Theatre Center) and Woman 1 in Songs for a New World (Village Theatre). Maria has a B.F.A. in musical theater from Syracuse University. Many thanks to Rochel, Mom, Dad, Mikey, and Diego.