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Unique Staging of “Song of the North” delights the Weis Center

“You are all VIPs tonight!” Hamid Rahmanian told the packed Weis Center auditorium during the introduction to Tuesday night’s show. And we certainly were. Rahmanian’s Song of the North would be a treat for the senses under any circumstance, but the Weis Center was treated to a very special “behind the scenes” experience.

The large scale shadow puppet theatre, which includes over 500 puppets and a team of 9 actors, is usually set up with the giant screen facing the audience and the projectors, actors, and puppets backstage. But because of the size of the Weis Center’s stage, the whole production was flipped; with the backstage set up in front of the screen and visible by the audience. You might fear that seeing the puppets and the projectors would break emersion or tamper with the experience, but it was quite the opposite. The view offered a fascinating new element to the story and added a new layer of depth. The audience was able to choose how they viewed the show: focusing on the seamless finished product of the projections and shadows on the screen, just as captivating actors and costumes as they brought the story to life, or sitting back and taking it all in at once.

Beyond this unique perspective, the show itself was emotionally captivating and visually magnificent. There were heartfelt moments, funny one-liners, incredible performances, and loveable characters. Rahmanian has brought this traditional Persian story to life in a way that highlights the richness of the culture, weaves a captivating tale, and honors the larger epic. It was truly a magical night.

~Ana Eckert, Class of 2026

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