Isabelle Sanatdar Stevens

Writer, Performer, Artist, Activist

Isabelle Fereshteh Sanatdar Stevens (she/her) is a writer, performer, artist, and activist who makes art that centers around love and loss, and usually responds to questions that don’t have concrete answers. Low-income, Queer, first-gen Iranian-American with a found family of immigrants and refugees from different backgrounds, there’s a dream in her heart that is always reminding her of its presence: to amplify her communities’ voices, experiences, and languages, and put them on U.S. stages front-and-center. Isabelle is a recent graduate of Smith College where she studied Theatre, English, and Translation. She is currently a first-year MFA Playwriting Candidate at Boston University. @isabellesanatdarstevens #MahsaAmini #ArmitaAbbasi #SayHerName #ZanZendeghiAzadi

Her solo performance piece, Mahsa’s Last Song, which was chosen as part of New Rep’s 2023 Pipeline Project Residency program, will reflect on what is happening in Iran currently. On September 16th, 2022, 22-year-old Mahsa Amini “mysteriously” died in a hospital after being taken into police custody by the Iranian Morality Police for “not wearing her hijab appropriately”. Stevens is also 22, and during the Islamic Revolution her father was arrested, and her uncle was killed by Islamic Republic forces for protesting.

Mahsa’s Last Song also highlights the impact and influence that younger generations have on facilitating change. Mahsa was the same age as Isabelle at the time of her death. The piece will reflect on the revolution transpiring in Iran currently and the four+ decades since the Islamic Revolution, through the use of vignettes of stories, music, and silence.

Isabelle says: Solo performance is something I’ve been exploring more and more over the years, and it holds a very special place in my heart, as growing up in my community oral history and storytelling were often how stories and histories were passed on from my elders to me. To me, solo performance allows for an intimacy that only monologues and one-person shows can achieve; it’s the act of doing what’s at the heart of theatre–telling a story, from one person to another.

Productions at New Rep

Production Role
2023 Pipeline Project Residencies
Writer & Performer