Stage Door News

Toronto: Bustle & Beast present the world premiere of “Anahita’s Republic” March 17-April 2

Monday, January 23, 2023

Anahita’s Republic is a provocative and timely new play that grapples with the past and present situation in Iran, where strong, educated and committed women work under the constant threat of harassment and imprisonment to advance their rights and the well-being of their countries.


Anahita is a woman who refuses to wear the hijab and rules her own republic where she can be free to live, dress, and speak as she pleases. To deal with the world outside of her compound, she controls the family business and the life of her brother Cyrus, whose freedom and happiness are sacrificed for her dreams. One night, on the eve of an important secret meeting between leaders of the women’s movement, a young woman in a chador comes to Anahita’s compound, carrying explosive secrets that might destroy everything Anahita has tried to build.


Hengameh E. Rice are a writing team, with Hengameh born in Shiraz, Iran and Rice born in Edmonton, Alberta. Hengameh brings stories full of passion from Iran to the partnership, and Rice brings the experience of thirty years in the arts and communications. Together they create and produce exciting, compelling stories from Iran that illuminate layers of the complex society at the centre of news stories today. Anahita’s Republic is one story among many of the struggle for women’s rights in Iran, a struggle that has been ongoing for generations.

Bustle & Beast is an award-winning Canadian independent theatre company driven by our insatiable curiosity in examining what it means to be human. We present fearlessly challenging plays that question our perceptions about what we *think* we know, creating unforgettable theatrical experiences. Through the plays we produce, our work elevates and celebrates women's voices in theatre. Recent Praise for BUSTLE & BEAST: 2021 Winner- Best Digital Pivot award- for AT THE END OF THE DAY by Brenda Kamino (Toronto Fringe); 2021 Winner- Young Reviewers Theatre Award- AT THE END OF THE DAY; 2020 Sterling Award nomination- Outstanding Independent Production- GIRL IN THE MACHINE; 2020 Sterling Award WIN- Outstanding Multi-media design (GIRL IN THE MACHINE ; 2020 Sterling Award nomination- Outstanding New Play- THE BALLAD OF PEACHTREE ROSE; 2019 Sterling Award nomination(s)- Outstanding Production, Direction, Performance- SCORCH; 2018 Toronto Theatre Critics Award nomination- SCORCH.

Bustle & Beast, presents

Anahita’s Republic

Written by Hengameh E Rice

*Due to the current situation in Iran, some artists/creatives have chosen not to work under their real names as a means of protecting family and friends.

Directed by Brenley Charkow

Starring* Sama Mousavi, Omar Alex Khan, and Layla Hart

Set Design by Sim Suzer

Sound Design by Heidi Chan

Costume Design by Niloufar Ziaee

Lighting Design by Siobhan Sleath

Stage Manager by Anna Kaltenbach

Assistant Director Aylin Oyan Salahshoor

Assistant Producer Carmen Osahor

Dramaturge Mukonzi Wa Musyoki

March 17- April 2, 2023

Factory Studio Theatre, 125 Bathurst St

PREVIEW: Friday March 17, 20023 – 7:30pm

OPENING: Saturday March 18, 2023 – 7:30pm

PERFORMANCES: Friday March 17 to Sunday, April 2, 2023; matinees Saturday and Sunday at 2:00pm.

TICKETS: $25- $50 general; PWYC Sundays


PHONE: (416) 504-9971