Rent Asunder, a Storyof Tahirih


In preparation for a Fall, East Coast tour, Rent Asunder, a Story of Táhirih, will premiere for three performances at Touchstone Theatre. This one-woman performance is directed by Bill George and performed by Alaska native, Nava Bastani. It tells the story of a struggling modern woman, Corinna, who finds strength and inspiration through remembrance of Táhirih, the courageous poet martyr of the 19th century, known for her extraordinary brilliance and audacity. Táhirih is reputed to have declared at her death in 1852 by strangling: “You may kill me as soon as you wish, but you can never stop the emancipation of women.”

Rent Asunder was produced and directed by Bill George, founder of Touchstone Theatre and creator of The Kingfisher’s Wing, the Story of Badi for Kingfisher Theatre. Written by Janet Ruhe-Schoen, author of Rejoice in My Gladness: The Life of Táhirih in collaboration with Ms Bastani and Mr. George over the last year, Rent Asunder lasts approximately 80 minutes and will be followed by a talk-back discussion with the director and actress, Nava Bastani. Ms. Bastani, of Iranian Bahá’í heritage, trained as a theatre artist and storyteller, has performed in Africa, Asia, North America and the Middle East, and been lauded for her one-woman performances, such as “The Syringa Tree” and “The Child Behind the Eyes”. In Rent Asunder, Ms. Bastani plays the dual parts of Corinna and Táhirih, and several other characters, within this “tour-de-force” performance.

Mr. George, one of Pennsylvania’s finest and ever-provocative theatre artists, recipient of the coveted Fringe First Award for outstanding new works at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the 1995 Pennsylvania Solo Theatre Artist Fellowship, notes he is honored to present such an important and relevant story. “This is an opportunity to connect Iranian Islamic progressive history to the #metoo movement, allowing us to see the greater drama at play that finds itself reflected in the world and our personal lives.” Mr. George goes on to add: “The story of Táhirih is one of the most important of the modern era, and it’s a special treat that live theatre may be the first opportunity for audiences to experience this extraordinary woman.”

Rent Asunder, produced by Mr. George’s Kingfisher Theatre Company and performed at his home theatre, Touchstone Theatre, plays Friday, August 17th at 8 pm and Saturday, August 18th at 2pm and 8 pm. Three performances only. Suggested donation is $20. Reservations may be made by phone, 610-570-1335 or email: