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Reza Abdoh

The essays are taken from the doctoral dissertation I wrote at Yale. Most, but not all, of the interviews were an appendix to the dissertation.

The interview transcripts here were not intended for publication–they are mostly unedited, e.g., instead of pretending “inaudible” moments on the cassette tapes never happened, I’ve left them in, just in case someone decides to go back and try to decipher the audio. I do plan on at least editing out some of the “filler,” but I wanted to get the transcripts online, finally, after sitting on them for ten years. The cassette tapes for these interviews are in the Reza Abdoh archive at the Performing Arts Library at Lincoln Center.


Links to performance videos posted by Adam Soch:

Minamata (1989) Part 1 and Part 2, The Hip-Hop Waltz of Eurydice (1990), Bogeyman (1991), The Law of Remains (1992), Tight Right White (1993), Quotations from a Ruined City (1994) in Los Angeles and New York.

More to come.

  1. Looks like we both use word press on our websites. We also appear in print once again honoring the great Reza’s memory. I think they did a smashing job on the art direction and printing of Bidoun and I am pleased to have my photographs appear with your superb interview with the younger Abdoh. The tone was perfection.

    I do not live far from you these days if you are in Berlin. I have a Casa and garden, cats and dogs, married to a Romanian who was my makeup artist in LA. Slimnic is a village outside Sibiu, Romania.

    I noticed a thesis you related to the fall of the Berlin Wall–I have black and white negs of the first East German group to tour afterwards, Derevo, true artists with great technique, from LACE performance, published in High Performance quarterly.

    I am always happy to supply any images you require in support of your writing. My website, and a Derevo image, is at

  2. Franco (Frank) Ambriz permalink

    This is Franco (Frank) Ambriz. I wrote Footsteps in the Dark and Reza directed it. There have been many stories and interviews about Reza “stealing” my play. To set the record straight, Reza came up with the play title and I wrote the whole play… based on a single idea Reza gave me, TELENOVELAS. And then he said, I will direct whatever you write! As a young playwright, it was an awesome gift. He did not steal anything from me. I wrote Footsteps in the Dark because of Reza and for that he deserves co-writing credit.

  3. Franco, this is very interesting. Jan

    • Franco (Frank) Ambriz permalink

      Yes, Reza had a BIG ego… but it was great working with him. He gave me license to dream. After that, my plays began to be produced all over the world. One of my plays was even made into a movie. And it all started with Reza.

  4. That is fantastic. I met him in poor health when I was covering photography for Diane, his producer.
    It is often easy to mistake ego for creative clarity.

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