Iranian and Russian Immigrant Dreams Are Coming to the Chapel Theatre as Part of the Fertile Ground Festival

“Far From Home,” written in three languages by Olga Kravtsova and Julia Rahmanzai, plays April 17, 19 and 20.

Julia Rahmanzai (Christie Zhao)

In her home country of Iran, actor and playwright Julia Rahmanzai fought for the right to perform her plays.

“At the university, they didn’t let me defend my thesis because it was about women’s dance and body movements,” Rahmanzai said in a statement. “Dance and movement are prohibited for Iranian women on stage in many shows…several times they rejected my shows due to censorship, and migration was my only way.”

Now, Rahmanzai finally has a stage: the Chapel Theatre in Milwaukie, where she and Olga Kravtsova (who immigrated from Moscow in 2013) will present their trilingual theater project Far From Home as part of the Fertile Ground Festival of New Works.

Playing April 17, 19 and 20, Far From Home focuses on two stories: one about a young woman who emigrates to the United States to escape a ban on acting in Iran, another about a daughter chronicling her father’s experience of embracing the immigrant dream and “surrendering to destiny.”

“I want to dedicate this work to my late father, who had a difficult time as an immigrant in the United States,” Kravtsova says. “He went through many challenges and denied himself everything for his family. “[The play] is my way of saying thank you to him and all the sacrifices he made.”

While versions of the plays previously appeared at Seattle’s 12 MM Festival and Spring Shot 2023, both have been expanded for their Fertile Ground premiere, allowing them to fit in with the festival’s focus on fresh faces and voices.

Far From Home is easily one of the most intriguing offerings in this year’s edition of Fertile Ground, which will test the festival’s viability as an in-person event after years of virtual programming, a leadership change, and a hiatus in 2023.

For more of WW’s Fertile Ground picks, check out our preview of the festival. Tickets for Far From Home are available at

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