UD alum brings skill and diversity to stage

Teresa Blackman, Arts and Culture Editor

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Photo courtesy of Amir Razavi.

Nearly a decade ago, Amir Razavi spent his summers on a ranch in Mexico, working with his mother’s relatives.

He recounted playing war and hiding from grandparents in the trenches and fields after the day’s work.

“There was this open space and my imagination ran wild,” Razavi said.

Having graduated from the University of Dallas last May, Razavi now hopes to make the work of his imagination his career, as he enters the Dallas theater world. He plays a woodcutter and an ensemble member in Cara Mia Theater Company’s “Blood Wedding.”

Razavi sees “Blood Wedding” as playwright Frederico Garcia Lorca’s masterpiece.

“[Lorca is] the Shakespeare of Spanish drama,” Razavi said.

The play tells the story of a runaway bride, a topic which Razavi says started cast discussions about passion and whether to follow the head or the heart.

Razavi knows Lorca’s work well, as he both studied him at UD and has starred as the title character in another of Lorca’s plays, “The Love of Don Perlimpin and Belisa in the Garden.”

Don Perlimpin was only one of many roles Razavi played while at his alma mater Booker T. Washington High School, a highly selective and nationally recognized arts magnet school in Dallas, or “mini Julliard,” according to Razavi. While there, he took classes in subjects like dance or stage combat, and even had the chance to interview Robert Duvall.

After graduating from “Booker T.,” Razavi attended Mountain Youth Community College. Though he left years ago, the school recently published Razavi’s script “Christopher Wilson,” a play about a delusional man who can guess the lottery. Razavi left the school and found UD based on a professor’s suggestion.

Once Razavi arrived, UD immediately recognized his good training. He acted in senior studios and multiple mainstage shows, balancing acting with his major’s English classes. Drama professor Stefan Novinski, who worked with Razavi for mainstage shows “Big Love” and “Three Sisters,” describes Razavi’s charm and that he’s “electric onstage.”

“[He is] so good-natured, so happy to be in the room and doing theater…his presence is infectious,” Novinski said.

Amir now works as a tutor coordinator for high-school students at North Lake Community College, acts (besides “Blood Wedding,” he also auditioned for Shakespeare Dallas), works part-time for Drama Kids International, and is applying to study drama at the graduate level.

It may seem that Razavi is compiling lots of theater experience, but his love of theater predates even his time at “Booker T.” Razavi sees his culturally diverse background—a Persian father and Mexican mother—as heavily influencing the way he sees the world and his dramatic sensibilities.

Razavi’s father emigrated from Persia during the revolution, after having served in the army for a year. Once in the United States, he met Razavi’s mother, from Mexico, while working at a Whataburger.

When Razavi was young, his father would read Persian poetry aloud, which both taught Razavi the language and developed his ear for its beauties (Razavi even penned some of his own Persian poetry).

The pair’s ethnic diversity taught Razavi to appreciate different ideas of beauty or systems of belief, to enjoy a good laugh, and to be fluent in three languages (English, Spanish and Farsi).

As any part of one’s heritage will, Razavi’s diversity helps his work onstage. Not only does it make a Spanish work like “Blood Wedding” more relevant, but his diversity also helps his acting.

“[I’ve] become more animated, in my writing and in my work as an actor,” Razavi says.

It has seemed to work well for Razavi as he meets Dallas’ art scene. And his open mind can only help.

“The more diverse the better, like any sport, you want to know many roles,” Razavi says.

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