In “Mimi’s Suitcase,” a Personal Story Explores Familiar Themes of Displacement and Identity


Ana Bayat performs “Mimi’s Suitcase.” Photo courtesy of Diaspora Arts Connection

In her one-woman show “Mimi’s Suitcase,” actress Ana Bayat draws on her own experience returning to post-revolutionary Iran after growing up in Spain to explore involuntary displacement, immigration, and a search for identity that is uniquely her own but also universally relatable. It’s a coming-of-age story in which Bayat plays 27 roles, in four languages, with just a suitcase, a trenchcoat and two scarves.

“‘Where are you from?’ is tricky. It really is tricky. Would it be true for me to say I’m Iranian? Because that’s part of who I am, but I grew up in Europe…My upbringing and my parents and my family, they were very European. And so, If I said Iranian, what would that mean? If I said European, what would that mean? So it’s more about: What’s your story?” — Ana Bayat

“Mimi’s Suitcase” will be performed Thursday Jan. 23 through Saturday Jan. 25, presented in association with Theater of Yugen at NOH Space, 2840 Mariposa St., San Francisco.

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