Take Ten | Maboud Ebrahimzadeh
A familiar presence on stages across the Washington area, Maboud Ebrahimzadeh appears in The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife at Theatre J through July 5. Recent credits include The BFG at Imagination Stage; Pericles and Love’s Labour’s Lost at Taffety Punk Theatre Company; The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, bobrauschenbergamerica, and Scorched at Forum Theatre; and Water by the Spoonful and Edgar and Annabel at Studio Theatre. As if that weren’t enough, his work has also been seen at Keegan Theatre, Hub Theatre, Round House Theatre, 1st Stage, and Rorschach Theatre. (Take Ten)
1 additional reading. What was the first show you ever saw?
The very first show I remember was Chicago at the old Morris Mechanic Theatre in Baltimore. I have a vague memory of a middle school field trip to New York where I think we saw Les Miserables. To be honest, I didn’t really care enough at that age to pay much attention. I was probably too busy pretending to be too macho or too cool or too something.
2. What was your first involvement in a theatrical production?
There was a thing called the Senior Farewells in high school. I used to do impressions and impersonations of a few teachers so they asked if I would be interested in doing a largely improvised piece about our teachers when they were high school students. My first meaningful involvement in a theatrical production was at Howard Community College doing a production of Pippin directed by Susan Kramer.
3. What is your favorite play or musical, and why do you like it so much?
This is a tough one. I can tell you that my favorite play, as of right now, is Disgraced by Ayad Akhtar. Very few plays in American theatre offer me much in the way of cultural resonance. That’s not to say I identify with the story, just that it is one of the few pieces of theatre where I find any of the cultural associations remotely relatable. Though Rajiv Joseph’s Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo still hits me where it hurts. Ryan Rilette and Jeremy Skidmore gave me something really special on that one.
4. What’s the worst day job you ever took?
Selling home security systems. Door to door. For one summer. It didn’t go very well. A sweaty middle-eastern guy with dark facial hair knocking on your door saying the words “Home” and “Security”… I’m not entirely sure why they even hired me.
5. What is your most embarrassing moment in the theatre?
Well there was a night during A Few Good Men at Keegan Theatre when I was wearing the wrong pants. They belonged to a female castmate. It was a tight scene.
6. What do you enjoy most about working on The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife?
The people. Every single person involved in this production is absolutely splendid. Eleanor Holdridge put together a fabulous group and it’s truly a privilege to be in their midst. Plus, I get to watch four superb actors work some serious magic ten feet to my left. What’s not to enjoy.
7. Other than your significant other, who’s your dream date (living or dead), and why?
My parents – before they fled the country with me in tow. I’d really like to meet those two when Iran was home and they were still busy figuring themselves out.
8. What is your dream role/job?
Dream role: All of them. Dream job: I’ve got it.
9. If you could travel back in time, what famous production or performance would you choose to see?
Assuming I could get back to the present time relatively unscathed… I don’t know. I don’t think I could choose. The nature of theatre is fleeting. And while the notion of getting to see a past production or performance is attractive, part of me wants to keep the mystery of it all a secret.
10. What advice would you give to an eight year-old smitten by theatre / for a graduating MFA student?
I will refer you to a 22-year old Hunter S. Thompson who put it quite eloquently in a letter to a friend who was seeking his advice. You really should read the whole thing but here’s a few lines he wrote:
“I’m going to steer clear of the word “existentialism,” but you might keep it in mind as a key of sorts. You might also try something called Being and Nothingness by Jean-Paul Sartre, and another little thing called Existentialism: From Dostoyevsky to Sartre. These are merely suggestions. If you’re genuinely satisfied with what you are and what you’re doing, then give those books a wide berth. (Let sleeping dogs lie.) …
So if you now number yourself among the disenchanted, then you have no choice but to accept things as they are, or to seriously seek something else. But beware of looking for goals: look for a way of life. Decide how you want to live and then see what you can do to make a living WITHIN that way of life.”
So make mistakes. Get hurt. Break a bone. Get a scar. Enjoy the show.