Park-e Laleh
by ​​Shayan Lotfi
directed by Mike Donahue
dramaturg: Andy Knight
Pacific Playwrights Festival
May 24, 2021 - May 30, 2021

Amir seeks asylum in the UK after fleeing persecution in his native Iran, but he’s haunted by what he's left behind. Now he's attempting to settle in a city full of strangers​—looking for anything or anyone that might allow him to finally feel at home.

Listen to our Spotify playlist of songs that inspired the 2021 PPF playwrights.


Shayan Lotfi (Playwright) has written a few plays and, thankfully, still wants to write. He has been fortunate enough that some really cool institutions—like South Coast Repertory, The Lark, Roundabout Theatre Company and Boston Court Pasadena—have helped develop his work and that some really cool residencies—like SPACE at Ryder Farm and The Millay Colony for the Arts—have fed and housed him as he tried desperately to be productive. When he’s not writing, he works as an urban policy consultant, splitting his time between New York and Los Angeles.

Learn more about the production, cast & creative team in the program.


Colin Bates (Chris/Marco) is making his SCR debut. He started his career at the age of 13 on the national tour of Oliver!, then made his film debut in Robert DeNiro’s The Good Shepherd. By age 15, he was on London’s West End playing the title role in Stephen Daldry’s Billy Elliot the Musical. Most recently, he appeared on Showtime’s upcoming series “Rust” (by Adam Rapp), FX’s “Mayans M.C.” and CBS’s “FBI: Most Wanted.” In the theatre world, his notable credits include Conor McPherson’s Girl from The North Country (West End, Gielgud Theatre) and David Cromer’s The Effect (off-Broadway, Barrow Street Theatre). Since graduating from The Juilliard School, he also has appeared in numerous French films including, La Prière, which won the Silver Bear at The Berlinale, in the Amazon Prime hit, “Sneaky Pete” and in numerous American independent feature films. @batesland 


Joy DeMichelle (Interviewer/Sister Mary) is thrilled to return to SCR after appearing in Aubergine. Her theatrical credits include Sweat (Mark Taper Forum); Stonewall Jackson’s House (off-Broadway, American Place Theatre); A Raisin in the Sun and The Water Hole (Actors Theatre of Louisville); Seven Guitars and Blues for an Alabama Sky (Denver Center Theatre); The Piano Lesson, Spirit North and a one-women piece entitled Harriet’s Return (Crossroads Theatre); and Darker Face of the Earth (Fountain Theatre). A few select television and film credits include “Snowfall,” “I Think You Should Leave,” “The L-Word: Generation Q,” “For the People,” “Criminal Minds,” “Parenthood,” “Lie to Me,” “Outlaw,” American Gun, Taking Back Our Town (with the late Ruby Dee), “Judging Amy,” “King Pin,” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” She earned her BFA at North Carolina A&T State University and her MFA from Rutgers University (Mason Gross School of the Arts), where she received the prestigious Bettenbender Outstanding Performance Award. DeMichelle is one of the co-hosts of “Live at the Lortel” podcast, lifting up the voice of the BIPOC and LGBTQ community and their allies.


Linda Gehringer (Vera/Zofia) appeared at SCR previously in The Canadians, The Roommate, Going to a Place where you Already Are and How to Write a New Book for the Bible, for which she received a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle nomination. She also appeared in the world premieres of The Parisian Woman; The Language Archive; The Piano Teacher; A Naked Girl on the Appian Way; Getting Frankie Married—and Afterwards; Hold Please; But Not for Me; and The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow, a role she repeated in its New York premiere at the Atlantic Theatre Company. Her other SCR credits include Circle Mirror Transformation; Doubt, a parable; Hamlet; The Retreat from Moscow; A Delicate Balance; All My Sons; Relatively Speaking; The Last Night of Ballyhoo; Arcadia; and Good as New. She has played leading roles in theatres across the country including the world premiere of the one-woman show, Lady in Denmark, at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre; the world premieres of Vicuña at Kirk Douglas Theatre and The Comparables at Seattle Repertory Theatre; I Saw My Neighbor on the Train and I Didn’t Even Smile and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at Berkshire Theatre Festival; Surf Report at La Jolla Playhouse; The Women and Since Africa at The Old Globe; and The Crowd You’re In With (Jeff Award nomination) at Goodman Theatre. Her recent television credits include “S.W.A.T.,” “Fear the Walking Dead,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Perry Mason” (HBO) and recurring roles on “Touch” and “Justified.” Her other television work includes “NCIS,” “Raising Hope,” “Weeds,” “Gilmore Girls,” “Without a Trace,” “Cold Case,” “Ally McBeal,” “Frasier” and “The West Wing” and the films Into the Storm, Kreep and As Good As It Gets


Nima Jafari (Hussein) comes from a rich village called “Hamedan”—cold n wet heart of Iran—and he is proud to be a part of this ensemble. A Theatre68 bandit, as well as a recent “honorary knight” from Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum, who had ferociously missed being in service on stage in the spotlight... you can see him in his next special: “turn it down, it’s too hot” coming out after he eventually passes on to Hell itself; Nima is now so lucky and honored to be working so closely with such groundbreaking agent-provocateurs. Simplicity, Compassion and Patience...and the Rest, is Silence.


Pooya Mohseni (Noor/Veiled Passenger) is an Iranian-American actor, writer and Transgender activist. Her newest film, See You Then by Mari Walker, premiered at SXSW this past March to great reviews and continues to make the festival rounds. Her stage performances include She,He,Me for National Queer Theater (directed by Sivan Battat), Our Town in Pride Plays (directed by Jenna Worsham), Hamlet in Play On Shakespeare Festival  (directed by Ellen McLaughlin), an award-winning one-person show, One Woman, in United Solo at The Theatre Row (directed by Joan Kane), Galatea for the WP Pipeline Festival (directed by Mo Zhou) and the Audible production of Chonburi Hotel & The Butterfly Club for Williamstown Theater Festival (directed by Laura Savia). She has guest-starred on “Law & Order: SVU,” “Falling Water” (USA), “Madam Secretary” and is a recurring guest star on the drama “Big Dogs” (Amazon Prime). She is represented by Headline Talent Agency. On twitter/IG : Pooyaland.


Nima Rakhshanifar (Amir) is excited to be telling a queer, Iranian story in their debut at South Coast Repertory. They are a classically trained actor, singer and musician from the Bay Area. Rakhshanifar started learning traditional Iranian instruments at an early age and performed in the Iranian Youth Orchestra with santur, zarb, daf, qanun and piano. They graduated from PCPA’s Acting Conservatory with credits in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Freaky Friday and Coriolanus. They have worked regionally at Milwaukee Repertory Theater (Junk, A Christmas Carol, RepLab), Chicago Shakespeare Theater (Comedy of Errors), Victory Gardens Theater (Waiting for Godot) and TheatreWorks Silicon Valley (Something to Say: New Plays by Women). Rakhshanifar is looking to expand artistically by writing and directing projects in the future. There are so many unique stories to be told, and Rakhshanifar would like to add their voice to the mix.

Creative Team

Mike Donahue (Director) has New York City credits that include world premieres of Matthew Lopez’s The Legend of Georgia McBride (MCC, Geffen Playhouse and Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company); Jen Silverman’s Collective Rage (MCC, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company), The Moors (Playwrights Realm, New York City premiere), Phoebe in Winter (Clubbed Thumb); Jordan Seavey’s Homos, or Everyone in America (LAByrinth Theater Company); and Ethan Lipton’s Red-Handed Otter (Playwrights Realm). His regional credits include Little Shop of Horrors with MJ Rodriguez, George Salazar and Amber Riley (Pasadena Playhouse), world premieres of Jen Silverman’s The Roommate (Humana Festival of New American Plays, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Long Wharf Theatre) and Wink (Marin Theatre Company); Rachel Bonds’ Curve of Departure (South Coast Repertory, Studio Theatre) and The Wolfe Twins (Studio Theatre); Matthew Lopez’s Zoey’s Perfect Wedding and Lauren Feldman’s Grace, or The Art of Climbing (Denver Center); Kate Cortesi’s Love (Marin Theatre); and Shostakovich’s Moscow, Cheryomushki in a new libretto by Meg Miroshnik (Chicago Opera Theatre). He is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship to Berlin, the Drama League Fall Fellowship and The Boris Sagal Fellowship at Williamstown, and was the artistic director of the Yale Summer Cabaret for two seasons. He is a graduate of Harvard University and Yale School of Drama. His upcoming work includes Anne Carson’s adaptation of Euripides’ The Bakkhai with new music by Diana Oh (Baltimore Center Stage) and the world premiere of Matt Schatz’s A Wicked Soul in Cherry Hill (Geffen).   

Andy Knight (Dramaturg) is South Coast Repertory’s literary manager and co-director of the Pacific Playwrights Festival. At SCR, his dramaturgy credits include the world premieres of Lauren Yee’s Cambodian Rock Band, Qui Nguyen’s Vietgone, Adam Bock’s The Canadians, Catherine Trieschmann’s Theatre for Young Audiences play, OZ 2.5, and the West Coast premieres of Karen Zacarías’ Destiny of Desire and Sarah Burgess’ Kings. His other dramaturgy credits include the world premiere of Carla Ching’s The Two Kids That Blow Sh*t Up with Artists at Play. Before SCR, Knight worked at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre.

Justin Krumb (Film Producer) has roots that run deep within SCR. Since graduating with his BA from CSU-Long Beach, he has immersed himself in the evolving world of video and film production. Focusing his efforts on feature documentary (Minds In The Water), broadcast television (First Hand, The Surfer’s Journal) and live productions (Love Loud, Imagine Dragons, ReCode) has allowed Krumb to see all sides of producing digital media. Spanning multiple decades, he has worked on a variety of documentary and commercial projects, in countries around the globe that range in subject matter from travel, music, sports, and culture. Krumb earned the honor of an Emmy Award for Best Documentary (Next Wave) and film festival awards that included Best Environmental Film, Best Original Score, Audience Appreciation and a Top Emerging Directors designation from AmDocs Film Festival (Transparentsea). He recently reconnected with SCR to produce film works of plays (Outside Mullingar, A Shot Rang Out and Red Riding Hood). The opportunity to bring the Pacific Playwrights Festival plays and a musical to the screen in a new and inclusive way, and to share the talents of these amazing artists, continues to add to the rewarding career path he has taken.

Kathryn Davies (Stage Manager) previously stage-managed The Velveteen Rabbit, Poor Yella Rednecks, Sugar Plum Fairy, Orange, The Roommate, All the Way, Future Thinking, Red, Vietgone, The Whipping Man, Tartuffe, Reunion, Trudy and Max in Love, The Motherf**ker with the Hat, How to Write a New Book for the Bible, Sight Unseen, Topdog/Underdog, In the Next Room or the vibrator play, Doctor Cerberus, Ordinary Days, Our Mother’s Brief Affair and The Injured Party—all at SCR. Her favorite credits include The Wars at the Grand Theatre; Dividing the Estate at Dallas Theater Center; La Bohème at Tulsa Opera; The Mystery of Irma Vep at The Old Globe; Les Contes D’Hoffmann at Hawaii Opera Theatre; Of Mice and Men at Neptune Theatre; The Dresser at Manitoba Theatre Centre; Skylight at Tarragon Theatre; To Kill a Mockingbird at Citadel Theatre; and The Designated Mourner at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Davies also worked as head theatre manager at the Toronto International, Dubai International, AFI, TCM and Los Angeles Film festivals.

The Actors and Stage Managers employed in this production are members of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

​Sally Anderson & Tom Rogers
Laurie & Steve Duncan
Kristen & Adrian Griggs
Samuel & Tammy Tang
Tod & Linda White


South Coast Repertory’s health and safety protocol has been developed with advice from the University of California Irvine.

UCI Health