A Distinct Society

A Distinct Society

A World Premiere in Association with TheatreWorks Silicon Valley

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January 27 – February 11, 2023

Monday—Thursday, 7 p.m.

Friday & Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, 2 p.m.

Cast Bios

VANEH ASSADOURIAN* (Shirin) is an Actor, VO Artist and Audiobook Narrator based in Los Angeles and Detroit. Born and raised in Tehran, Iran, Vaneh started in the theater at the age of 4 where she performed with Shant Yev Shantik Theatre Company. Notable collaborations include work with The Geffen Playhouse in Association with UCLA, The Los Angeles Theatre Center, Skylight Theatre Company, and The Hammer Museum. Her voice can be heard as a narrator for Apple News + and on numerous audiobooks on Audible. A lover of languages, Vaneh is fluent in Farsi and Armenian and speaks conversational German. She holds a BA in Acting and Directing from UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television and is repped by SLJ Management. She would like to dedicate this performance to the women of Iran and the people of Artsakh.

COREY JONES* (Bruce) Corey (based in Los Angeles) is thrilled to be making his debut with Pioneer and to work on this project with this fantastic cast and creative team. Broadway: 1st and 2nd National Tours The Book of Mormon, Regional: A Few Good Men (La Mirada); Million Dollar Quartet, Our Town (South Coast Repertory); Grinch (Old Globe); How to Fight Loneliness, King John, Titus Andronicus, Tempest (Utah Shakespeare); Wild With Happy (Pittsburgh City Theater), The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity (Dallas Theater Center); Color Purple (Celebration Theater); Gee’s Bend (Arkansas Repertory); Othello (Shakespeare Santa Cruz); Macbeth, Ragtime (PCPA); roles at the Williamstown Theatre Festival and Illinois Shakespeare Festival. Education: University of Texas-Austin and Washington University in St. Louis.

ABDULLAH KHALIL* (Peyman) grew up in Detroit, Michigan and comes from a blue-collar, working-class family. Abdullah left medical school and chose to study in the BFA Theatre Program at Wayne State University. As a theater student, he also had the opportunity to study at the world-famous Moscow Art Theatre School in Moscow, Russia. Abdullah moved to Los Angeles to further advance his career in the performing arts, but after a personal event, he took a hiatus from acting and became a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.). He returned to performing full swing and has starred in S.W.A.T. on CBS, and numerous other film and television productions. When Abdullah is not performing, he helps children and their families as a pediatric emergency/trauma pharmacist at the local children’s hospital. 

CARRIE PAFF* (Manon) is thrilled to make her Pioneer Theatre debut with this beautiful play. Off-Broadway: About Alice (Theatre for a New Audience), Ideation (59E59). Regional: King Charles III and After the War (A.C.T.), Paper Dreams of Harry Chin, Stage Kiss, and Stupid Fucking Bird (SF Playhouse), Double Indemnity (ACT Seattle), Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde and Holmes & Watson (Arizona Theatre Company), The Real Thing, A Delicate Balance, and Betrayal (Aurora Theatre), The Other Place (Magic Theatre), The Big Meal and Legacy of Light (San Jose Rep), A Streetcar Named Desire and Tiny Alice (Marin Theatre Company), Joan Rivers: A Work in Progress (Leicester Square Theatre, London). Carrie holds a Master’s Degree from NYU. She can be heard in Pixar’s Finding Dory, The Good Dinosaur, and Lamp Life.

EMMET SMITH* (Declan) (he/him) is an actor, songwriter, and climate activist originally from NYC. Since graduating from Northwestern University last year, Emmet has been acting on television (New Amsterdam, Law and Order, Blue Bloods). He is thrilled to return to the stage in this remarkable, evocative play. Theatre includes Julie Taymor’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (TFANA), Soul Doctor (New York Theatre Workshop), and The Sound of Music (Marriott Theatre). Award-winning composer/lyricist (Write Out Loud, New Musicals Inc.) of musicals performed Off-Broadway and regionally. “We Are Here” (English lyrics, script) debuted this January at Carnegie Hall featuring Harvey Fierstein, Chita Rivera, Joel Grey, and more. Thanks to Kareem and Giovanna, love to Maddie, Mom, Dad, Ian, and CGF, always – in brightest day, in blackest night. @emmetsmithnyc


*Member of Actor’s Equity Association 

This production is sponsored by:

The Bireley Endowment