"This past year has ushered in a whole new series of humanitarian crises and refugee crises, and a long list of human rights atrocities and violations," says The Kite Runner performer Azita Ghanizada during her curtain call speech in recognition of the 1-year anniversary of the fall of Kabul, which occurred August 15 when Afghanistan's capital was captured by the Taliban.
"This is more than a play. To be Afghan and to be here on Broadway, sharing this story—in this time—with all of you every night is incredibly important. This company and these producers knew we had a chance to elevate consciousness through the power of storytelling," Ghanizada adds.
READ: Humanitarian Safi Rauf Outsmarted the Taliban With a Code Based on Les Misérables
The actor continued with a call to action, sharing that there is a piece of paper inside the Playbills for "every single performance" with a number of charities that will help others get involved with the human rights issue. Ghanizada made her Broadway debut in The Kite Runner, which is an adaptation of Khaled Hosseini's novel of the same name. Her previous screen roles include starring in United States of AI, Good Trouble, and an episode of Elementary.
See the full speech below in a video posted on The Kite Runner's Twitter.
"On what was a somber day for The Kite Runner on Broadway family, our amazing @AzitaGhanizada inspired action at last night’s curtain call. Please check out our official show partners to help: @welcomeus, @Refugees, @WomenforWomen and The Khaled Hosseini Foundation - @tkhf."
On what was a somber day for The Kite Runner on Broadway family, our amazing @AzitaGhanizada inspired action at last night’s curtain call.— The Kite Runner (@kiterunnerbway) August 16, 2022
Please check out our official show partners to help: @welcomeus, @Refugees, @WomenforWomen and The Khaled Hosseini Foundation - @tkhf. pic.twitter.com/Ga8hi8xwpt
The Kite Runner was adapted by Matthew Spangler and follows Amir from a young boy living in Kabul, Afghanistan to adulthood, as he confronts his past and searches for redemption. The work opened July 21 at the Hayes Theater, after beginning previews July 6, for a run through October 30.
Along with Ghanizada, leading the cast is Amir Arison as Amir and Faran Tahir as Baba. They are joined by Mazin Akar, Barzin Akhavan, Demosthenes Chrysan, Danish Farooqui, Joe Joseph, Déa Julien, Dariush Kashani, Beejan Land, Amir Malaklou, Christine Mirzayan, Haris Pervaiz, Alex Purcell, Eric Sirakian, Houshang Touzie, and Evan Zes. Salar Nader plays the tabla, a percussion instrument.
READ: Amir Arison Soars Onto Broadway in The Kite Runner
The production comes to New York after premiering in the U.K., including two runs in London’s West End. Giles Croft directs, having previously directed the production in the U.K., and is joined on the creative team by scenic and costume designer Barney George, lighting designer Charles Balfour, sound designer Drew Baumohl, projection designer William Simpson, composer and musical supervisor Jonathan Girling, movement director Kitty Winter, casting director Laura Stanczyk, cultural advisor and script consultant Humaira Ghilzai, and associate director Damian Sandys.
The work is produced by Lang, Ryan Bogner, and Tracey McFarland of Broadway & Beyond Theatricals; Jayne Baron Sherman and Hunter Arnold, in association with UK Productions Ltd. and Flying Entertainment Ltd/Kilimanjaro Group Ltd. Daryl Roth serves as executive producer.