A story about the meeting of two cultures where an American and an Iranian man’s love for one woman ends in tragedy, Leila Ghaznavi’s Broken Wing is funny, visually engaging and deeply political without being didactic.
Kit Stolen’s simple, creative set design allows the episodic narrative to be driven by the three actors. Matthew Goodrich’s portrayal of a restless American youth contrasts well with Armando McClain’s Ali.
Ali, a noble father figure, starts to harbour suspicions about his wife (played by Kaitlin Cornuelle). “I stand before Allah and this court and swear that my wife has committed adultery,” Ali states repeatedly at pivotal moments in the piece. The acting is playful and organic though there are moments of high melodrama as the performers attempt to embody the ever-escalating emotions set by the script.
Does Ghaznavi intend this investigation into the misunderstanding of Iranian domestic custom to serve as an allegory for America's destructive foreign policy in the Middle East? It’s a possibility.