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Family Friendly Performance Kicks off Weis Center’s Spring Season

The Weis Center for the Performing Arts will welcome a contemporary puppetry/shadow puppetry ensemble, Hamid Rahmanian’s Song of the North, on Tuesday, Jan. 30 at 7:30 p.m. at the Weis Center.

The runtime for the performance is 80 minutes without an intermission and is suggested for ages 7+.

The performance is sponsored, in part, by Adriana Rojas and family in memory of Andrew.

Song of the North is a large-scale, cinematic performance combining the manual art of shadow puppetry with projected animation to tell the courageous tale of Manijeh, a heroine from ancient Persia, who must use all her strengths and talents to rescue her beloved from a perilous predicament and help prevent a war.

This epic love story employs a cast of 500 handmade puppets and a talented ensemble of nine actors and puppeteers, all of which come together to create a spectacular experience that advances the themes of unity, collaboration and experimentation through performance and story.

Song of the North, adapted from the Book of Kings (Shahnameh), challenges the Eurocentric worldview of art and storytelling through a contemporary multimedia experience of this classic Persian tale.

About Hamid Rahmanian

Hamid Rahmanian is a 2014 John Guggenheim Fellow and the recipient of the 2020 United States Artists Fellowship. His work centers on theater, moving image, and graphic arts and has been exhibited in international competitions and publications. His films have screened at Venice, Sundance, Toronto, Tribeca, and IDFA film festivals and broadcast on PBS, Sundance Channel, IFC, Channel 4, BBC, DR2, and Al Jazeera.

Rahmanian undertook the task of illustrating and commissioning a new translation and adaptation of the tenth-century Persian epic poem Shahnameh by Ferdowsi, titled Shahnameh: The Epic of the Persian Kings (2013). The resulting best-selling 600-page art book, lauded by the Wall Street Journal as a “masterpiece,” is currently in its second

edition (Liveright Publishing). In 2017, Rahmanian released an immersive audiobook version of Shahnameh: The Epic of the Persian King, with an introduction by Frances Ford Coppola. In 2018, he released a pop-up book titled, Zahhak: The Legend of the Serpent King (Fantagraphics Books) in English and Frenc which received the Meggendorfer Prize for the Best Pop Up-Book and was hailed “Simply breathtaking” by Le Monde.

In 2014, Rahmanian shifted his focus to theater arts, working with shadows and digital media. To date, he has created four theater pieces: Zahhak: The Legend of the Serpent King (2014), Mina’s Dream (2016, Commissioned by the Onassis Foundation), UNIMA-USA award-winning Feathers of Fire (2016) which premiered at Brooklyn Academy of Music and toured in 23 cities around the US and abroad to an audience of 100,000. In 2019, he was commissioned by Yo Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble to create a video animation for the multimedia project, Heroes Take Their Stand. Most recently, Rahmanian created the full-length stage production, Song of the North. Song of the North was awarded a 2021 National Theater Project grant and will premiere in March, 2022 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

This engagement of Hamid Rahmanian’s Song of the North is made possible through the ArtsConnect program of Mid Atlantic Arts with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Funded in part by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Theater Project, with lead funding from The Mellon Foundation and additional support from the Doris Duke Foundation.

Tickets are $30 for adults, $24 for seniors 62+ and subscribers, $20 for youth 18 and under, $20 for Bucknell employees and retirees (limit 2), free for Bucknell students (limit 1) and $20 for non-Bucknell students (limit 2).

Youth groups are encouraged to attend this performance; receive $5 tickets by using code PERSIA at checkout, after selecting seats.

Tickets can be reserved by calling 570-577-1000 or online at

Tickets are also available in person from several locations including the Weis Center lobby (weekdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and the CAP Center Box Office, located on the ground floor of the Elaine Langone Center (weekdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.).

For more information about this event, contact Lisa Leighton, marketing and outreach director, at 570-577-3727 or by e-mail at

For more information about the Weis Center for the Performing Arts, go to or search for the Weis Center on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.

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