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Arts & Culture

Zara: One Multiracial Man’s Comedic Coming-Of-Age In The American South

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For even the most popular kids, surviving puberty is filled with awkward and memorable moments. But for a biracial kid growing up in a multi-religious family in the South, there are some added challenges. Religious scholar and comedian Andrew Aghapour has vivid memories and scars from his childhood in the not-so-progressive town of Charleston, South Carolina in the 1980s with an Iranian Muslim father and a white, British Protestant mother.

In his one-man show “Zara,” Aghapour shares tales from his angst-ridden childhood, from his many near-asthma attacks from “playing with his yoyo too hard,” to praying five times a day in a town that had no mosque until his father helped found one. His show paints vivid pictures of his dad coming home to tuck him in for bed smelling like Camel cigarettes and fresh bakery dough, and the day he declared he was atheist after tasting bacon for the first time. Aghapour joins host Frank Stasio to share how his childhood experiences navigating race, religion, and culture led to his scholarly studies in religion and philosophy. Aghapour and the team behind “Zara” will be at the Center for the Study of the American South for Storytelling on the Porch Wednesday, March 27 at 5:30 p.m. The one-man show “Zara” will be performed at the PSI Theatre in Durham Thursday, March 28 at 7 p.m. “Zara” is winner of Durham Arts Council Catalyst Grant produced in conjunction with the Monti and Mettlesome.

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