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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Before The Curtain Goes Up: The Wrong Bashir

David C Jones speaks with the playwright, director and members of the cast of The Wrong Bashir, the mistaken identity comedy receiving its premiere at The Firehall Arts Centre from March 2-12.

The Wrong Bashir by Ismaili playwright Zahida Rahemtulla hits the Firehall Arts Centre stage this March, exploring the intergenerational splits and transitions of one Ismaili family.

The comedy follows Bashir Ladha, a philosophy major and burgeoning nihilist who has been selected to assume a prestigious religious position. When Bashir’s parents accept on his behalf, and two council representatives arrive to meet their esteemed nominee, a mistaken-identity romp ensues that forces the family to question the future of their traditions and way of life.

“Bashir is a character that has a great deal of existential angst, and a philosophy that is different from his predecessors. I wanted to look at the different ways of perceiving life in the different generations, and also look at how the changing community intersected with that. When communities migrate it’s often not just language or culture that’s lost, but also a certain way of being, which can happen when any community that’s more communal changes. I was really interested in that question because I grew up seeing those contrasts.”
– playwright Zahida Rahemtulla

The Wrong Bashir was developed through Touchstone’s Flying Start Program, a new play incubator supporting the next generation of theatre artists. Along with dramaturgical support, the program culminates in a full-scale production as part of Touchstone’s mainstage series.

In this edition of Before The Curtain Goes Up, Vancouver Presents contributor David C Jones speaks with the playwright, director Daniela Atiencia and members of the cast to find out more.

Touchstone Theatre, in association with Firehall Arts Centre and Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre, presents The Wrong Bashir at the Firehall Arts Centre (280 E Cordova St, Vancouver) from March 2-12. Visit for tickets and information.

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