“The show weaves these two things together,” Aghapour said. “It’s my personal history of religion set against the larger history of the belief in one God.”
Aghapour said the goal of this show is to start important dialogues on a variety of topics, and he hopes audience members leave the show with more questions than answers.
“We hope that the show can engender conversations about immigration, religion, identity and what it means to create yourself,” Aghapour said.
Aghapour said that, although this story is very specific in that it centers on his unique experiences growing up, the show is very universal. Aghapour said this story describes the shared experience of questioning, reconciling and synthesizing the beliefs that are passed down to us.
“Even though we’re telling my particular story, the scenes that we are taking on are so universal that almost everyone in the audience seems to have something that they really latch onto and identify with,” Aghapour said.
Daniel Siler, the marketing and communications manager for the Chapel Hill Public Library, said the show’s emphasis on intersectionality makes it especially fitting for the Chapel Hill community. He said this show offers a perspective that many can relate to.
“It speaks to experiences that many others might be able to resonate with, and he does it with humor,” Siler said.
Siler said he hopes patrons of the library will not only resonate with Aghapour’s story but also be exposed to a new perspective.
“I hope that people who come out and see this show see themselves reflected in the history that Andrew shares, and also see something that they don’t see reflected themselves,” Siler said.
First-year Sammy Quiroz-Gutierrez first saw a performance of "Zara" in April. Although she initially attended this show to meet a class requirement, by the end, she said she found this show comforting because she related to its portrayal of exploring identity and beliefs.
“Coming to terms with what you believe is a process,” Quiroz-Gutierrez said. “It might take a long time and you might struggle with your identity along the way, but you’ll end up somewhere.”
Quiroz-Gutierrez said that before attending the show, she feared she would get bored by listening to just one speaker. Now, after seeing the performance once, she said she wants to see it again.
“I’m going again, that’s how much I liked it,” Quiroz-Gutierrez said. “And I’m taking my friends the second time.”