Resonating deeply with returning Fringe artist Majid Tafreshi is the true to life story which inspired Love at 752. In our latest blog, we come to understand how this piercing new production seeks to provide catharsis to the tragic loss of Flight 752 in 2020.
Briefly introduce yourself/your company…
I am the founder of ‘TAFF. culture & art’ that is an award-winning bilingual Iranian-Canadian artist based in Vancouver with over twenty years of experience in theatre and film. I studied Cultural Management in Tehran, Iran and received an MBA in Vancouver. With a focus on abstract narratives, my work seeks to explore alternative definitions of freedom through a contemporary multicultural lens at TAFF Society. Since 2016, we have premiered over 12 new pieces with a special focus on mental health and neurodiversity.
What is it that makes your work/company unique?
This play is a surrealist look into the downing of Ukranian Airlines Flight 752. We originally staged a workshop performance of Love at 752 on January 8th, 2022 at Kay Meek Arts Centre to honour the two-year anniversary of this tragic event. Our play is unique in that it isn’t verbatim or documentary theatre even though it is based on true events. Rather, it combines magical realism to share the subjective and deeply personal responses that occurred after this tragedy.
What kind of experience do you hope audiences will have during your show?
Through the skillful insertion of comedy into my new play, I use humour not to make light of this tragic event, but to find healing through laughter. We want the audience to come away feeling that comedy mended the rifts created by grief and loss.
Without spoilers, tell us what you think audiences will remember most about your show?
We believe audiences will come away from the performance remembering the inner journey of discovery of their own feelings and reactions to the senseless loss of life caused by the destruction of Flight 752. Through laughter, introspection, and consideration, members of the audience will leave the show with a keener understanding of the communal wound created by this act of violence.
What do you think is the best thing about the Fringe?
The networking! We (Majid and Sarah) met at last year’s festival as we were both doing separate shows at the Picnic Pavillion on Granville Island. Fringe[ing] is such a fun, easy way to connect with local artists and discover what exciting performances this city has to offer.
What is the most important thing you hope audiences will take away from your show?
Our January workshop elicited a powerful response, as we had family members to the victims in attendance. In spite of the horrific subject matter, our workshop brought people together for a night of communal healing. We hope that Love at 752 will remind audiences that, in times of tragedy, we can use art to collectively grieve, and use art as a medium for healing.