“The first collaboration between an Afghan and an American theatre company, [the play] has a quiet authority, even delicacy, that is truly powerful.”
- Margo Jefferson, The New York Times, on Beyond the Mirror
In the crowded Afghan refugee camps of northern Pakistan, just after the events of September 11, 2001, members of Bond Street Theatre came to bring a little joy to Afghan children and learn more about the conflict. There we met Exile Theatre, a dauntless band of Afghan actors who had formed in exile and dared to present live theatre despite all restrictions. Our groups re-met in Afghanistan the following year as refugees from over 30 years of war began pouring back into the country after the fall of the Taliban.
In 2005, Bond Street Theatre and Exile Theatre of Kabul brought Beyond the Mirror, the first ever US-Afghan theatre collaboration to the USA, created and written by the Bond Street Theatre and Exile Theatre ensembles, and directed by Mahmoud Shah Salimi and Joanna Sherman.
Woven through myths and memories, family histories and first-hand accounts, traditional dances and live music, story-telling and filmed montages, Beyond the Mirror weaves an intricate tapestry of events, both desperate and hopeful.
Directed by Joanna Sherman & Mahmood Shah Salimi
Devised and Written by the Exile Theatre and Bond Street ensembles
Music composed and performed by Quraishi, with additional music by Andy Teirstein
Lighting Design by Jeanne Koenig and Jesse Belsky
Sound Design and Multi-media by Michael McGuigan
"The first collaboration between an Afghan and an American theatre company, [the play] has a quiet authority, even delicacy, that is truly powerful.”
- Margo Jefferson, The New York Times
"The most stirring, affecting and significant event of the theatre season."
– Martin Denton, nytheatre.com
"A sharply observed and heart-wrenching portrayal of Afghanistan’s recent history."
– Josselyn Simpson, Time Out New York
"The collaboration has yielded lyrical imagery of almost aching beauty."
– Jorge Morales, Village Voice
"An inventive piece based on the true stories of Afghans who survived three decades of cruelty and hardship."
– Vibhuti Patel, Newsweek
"The Best Performance at the Festival, ‘Beyond the Mirror’ utilized a unique, creative and stylistic method."
– ISAF News – Afghanistan
"That this piece exists at all is a form of triumph and its own best example of international cooperation."
– J.Wynn Rousuck, Baltimore Sun