Juliana Francis Kelly is an OBIE Award winning actor, a playwright, and a doll maker. She was a founding member of Reza Abdoh’s internationally acclaimed Dar A Luz Company. Juliana has originated roles for many legendary and emerging theatre and film artists, including Richard Foreman, Marie Losier (in collaboration with Guy Maddin) Young Jean Lee, and Normandy Sherwood. She has performed for audiences across the U.S. with The Theater of War, most recently in “King Lear” with James Earl Jones, and has participated in theatre workshops for incarcerated men, women, and teenagers in Chicago and New York. Other recent work includes two premieres for director Karin Coonrod: “Babette’s Feast” at Portland Stage and “text & beheadings/Elizabeth R” at the Folger Shakespeare Library in DC and at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and “The Return of Tragedy” at the Venice Film Festival for filmmaker Bertrand Mandico. Juliana’s own plays have been produced in New York, London, Athens, and Kiel, and translated into four languages. She builds mix media dolls, one of whom resides in the American Museum of Natural History’s Discovery Room.
Salar Abdoh is an Iranian novelist, essayist and translator, who divides his time between New York and Tehran. He is the author of the novels Poet Game (2000), Opium (2004), Tehran at Twilight (2014), and Out of Mesopotamia (2020) and the editor of the short story collection Tehran Noir (2014). His latest novel, A Nearby Country Called Love, will be published in the autumn by Viking. He also teaches in the graduate program in Creative Writing at the City College of New York at the City University of New York.
Playwright and theatre director Reza Abdoh left his mark on Los Angeles and national theatre culture, as actor-writer Juliana Francis Kelly recounts in her look back on their collaborative relationship.