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When the lockdown occurred, due to the corona virus, vienna theatre project decided we would like to provide entertainment to  our friends in Austria and around the world who are in need, and the "Readings in Isolation" was born. Out of this evolved our odyssey to read 1001 Arabian Nights. At first we were only going to read until the lockdown was over, but now Saman and Joanna have decided to read the whole book! They estimate it should take them 4.5 years. Enjoy! We will be moving all readings over to our YOUTUBE page very soon!

At the begining of each night's adventure… discover Joanna and Saman, enveloped in the soft glow of candlelight, smells of spiced tea and incense. They tell an enticing tale “Once there was an Arabic princess with hair as black as the night and eyes as shiny as the stars, …” Lean back and listen to the stories of “1001 Arabian Nights”, interpreted by Joanna Godwin-Seidl, Saman Giraud and other actors and directors from the vienna theatre project. Let them take you on a journey to Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and all the other exotic places filled with romance, love, passion and crime. Let them help you to forget the here and now for a while, dance with belly-dancers, ride camels with the caravans and fight the 40 bandits. Join Joanna’s latest project Reading in Isolation. It starts with “1001 Arabian Nights" and nobody knows where the journey is going to end … and then...


...Performances from the heart….

vienna theatre project’s entertainment unplugged! Enjoy this beautiful time with us, at first filled with the romance and skullduggery of a bygone era and then sometimes other stories, plays, poetry and music from another living-room. We will invite special guests now and then for readings, singing, dancing, acting, something an artist would like to share with us all from the comfort of their homes. The reading will be in English, anything else is not language specific but we will always try to provide you with a translation if required.

You have something you’d like to hear read? You are an artist and want to contribute with an "at home" performance or other? It can be pre-recorded or live. Go ahead, tell us what you have, and we will make you a star. At least for one night

(c) Michael Dürr

(c) Andrea Peller

Saman Giraud

Saman Giraud is an International award winning actress having won the ‘Best Actress Award’ for her performance in her first short film "M4-My Many Married Men", at the Delhi Shorts International Film Festival 2016. Her portrayal of Valerie in "M4" also won her the ‘Honorable Jury Mention’ at the Mumbai Shorts International Film Festival 2016 and the Awardeo Award.

Giraud was born in Vienna, Austria to Iranian parents and grew up trilingual. She started acting at age 13 at the Studio Moliere in Vienna where she got the male leading role in “Die schlimmen Buben in der Schule” by Johann Nestroy under the direction of Susanne Pollak. 


She moved to New York in 2007 to attend the acclaimed Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute where she studied under the direction of the late Irma Sandrey and Robert Ellerman. Saman Giraud remained in New York for 7 years to work on several US-independent films, such as  “Jasmine” by director Sean Davis and “Hamartia” directed by Loredana Gasparotto and various art projects and music videos. However, an accident in 2009 rendered her unable to work as an actress for nearly two years, but her passion for acting and her love of the arts lead her to write “M4 - My Many Married Men” which proved to be a prominent creative comeback to the screen. The film was picked by the Hollywood Entertainment Magazine "The Wrap" as one of "12 crowdfunded projects shooting for success".

In 2017, Giraud starred as the leading actress Zarina in the EU-Premiere of Ayad Akhtar´s ´The Who and The What´ under the direction of Joanna Godwin-Seidl at the acclaimed Theater Drachengasse. Due to its success, the play had a second run. In 2018, Giraud debuted at Vienna´s English Theatre in Florian Zeller´s ´The Lie´ directed by Sean Aita and in David Schalko´s TV-Series ´M- eine Stadt sucht einen Mörder´, an ORF/RTL production currently on TVnow. 

Joanna Godwin-Seidl

The actress and director studied theatre in the United Kingdom. She has been running VIENNA THEATRE PROJECT since 2006. THE LAST FIVE YEARS was her solo musical debut at the Theater Drachengasse.

 

German language theatre credits include directing MÄDCHEN MIT DEN SCHWEFELHÖLZERN (Ronacher Theater), HAUTNAH (Patrick Marber) for Theaterverein Vision (OFF Theater) and MORD IM MUSIKANTENBEISL (Asst. director - Theater Drachengasse). Recently acclaimed musicals include ORDINARY DAYS and TICK TICK..BOOM!

 

She has a solid repertoire, often choosing plays with social & political content: PLENTY (VIS Theatre), DIRT (Theater am Petersplatz) and THE MEETING (Black History Month/Theater am Petersplatz) to name a few.  In 2014 she directed the hit play TOPDOG/UNDERDOG, was pleased to receive rave reviews for her musical TITLE OF SHOW and starred in Sarah Kane’s 4.48 PSYCHOSIS.

 

As an actor, she has starred in a number of shows from Ayckbourn to Coward and Shakespeare,  in theatres such as Vienna’s English Theatre, the Kammeroper and Schönbrunner Schlosstheater.

 

In 2015-2016 she directed the critically acclaimed shows DISGRACED, MARRY ME A LITTLE and THE INVISIBLE HAND. All her latest productions,  including THE WHO & THE WHAT ( 2017, Theater Drachengasse) and BUILDING THE WALL were nominated "Tip of the Week" in the national press. Recent directorial premieres include CROSSING JERUSALEM, THE FLICK and RED by John Logan (2019). THE MOUNTAINTOP by Katori Hall (2020) Joanna directed her first opera THE BARBER OF SEVILLE in 2018.

On film Joanna starred in "When I Die", director A.K. Rhee Cauldron Films, "The Bad Date" director P. Moran, FFAB amongst others.

Challenging your world with modern English theatre since 2002