Chess With The Doomsday Machine
Canadian Debut presented by Onelight Theatre
Chess with the Doomsday Machine – Are you more than a piece in the game?
Imagine that your hometown is attacked by an enemy army; how would this change the city and the people who live there? Chess with the Doomsday Machine is an intimate, entrancing play that examines the challenges faced by a young soldier as he balances his duty to defend his hometown with the need to protect a band of misfits who have stayed in the city when most civilians have long-since fled.
In the early months of the Iran/Iraq war, a young soldier, Moosa, has been assigned to locate the enemy’s “Doomsday Machine”, an advanced radar system that was able to hone in on Iranian artillery emplacements almost as soon as they fired. This was initially devastating to the Iranian defence operations and it became a priority to locate the radar system so that it could be destroyed. In the course of fulfilling his assignment, Moosa becomes entwined with civilians who could not or would not leave Abadan: a mother and daughter, pariah’s who live on the edge of the city; a priest who believes that divine intervention will protected him from incoming bombs; and an engineer who has been abandoned by his family for unknown transgressions.
Experience how Abadan, and its citizens were reshaped in the early days of war: young men became soldiers, their fathers cooked for the forces and their mothers searched in vain for sons who did not return from the front. Row houses, once the humble dwellings of oil refinery workers, became burned-out bunkers for street-fights. An ice cream factory storage freezer was commandeered as a morgue – the ice cream passed out to unknowing soldiers. And an unfinished seven-story apartment building became Moosa’s crow’s nest for his game of chess with the doomsday machine.
Developed as an international co-production with artists in Iran and Canada, Chess with the Doomsday Machine, is an original adaptation of Iranian author Habib Ahmadzadeh’s novel of the same name. The play, written and directed by Shahin Sayadi, uses a unique combination of English, Farsi, and unspoken communication, to tell the story to both Iranian and Canadian audiences. This project is the third play that Onelight has developed under the Civilian Project, through which the company has explored the lived experiences of civilians in times of war and strife.
Chess with the Doomsday Machine will debut at the Fadjr International Theatre Festival in Iran in January 2014 and will premiere in Canada at the Alderney Landing Theatre in Halifax, Nova Scotia February 6 to 14. Book your tickets now for this one-of-a kind theatre experience.