There’s the family you grew up with: your mom, your dad, your siblings. And then, there’s the family you carry around in your head for the rest of your life. This show is about that second family, the one that lives within you.
From Mermaid Palace and Radiotopia, Sharon Mashihi brings you Appearances, a one woman audio show that straddles the line between fiction and truth. Appearances brings to life an Iranian American family and community through the real and fantastical mental machinations of Melanie Barzadeh. Melanie is in her mid 30’s and desires nothing more than to become a mother. The difficulty of finding the right partner seems to be directly connected to the struggles witnessed in her home throughout her entire childhood. As Sharon Mashihi voice-acts all the characters in one family, the depth of the love, pain, and struggle is felt with a visceral, profound compassion at every turn.
Episode 01: Voices
In this episode, we meet Melanie, her family—who appear as voices in her head—and her ill-fated lover as they discuss potentially having a baby, and her first pregnancy 9 years ago.
[This episode contains scenes that deal with difficult topics, including abortion, and may be distressing for some listeners.]
Episode 02: A Person Who Has Never Even Been Married Fantasizes Incessantly About Divorce
Melanie is at her brother’s wedding and feeling out of place. She is unsure about long term relationships, so she takes us inside the intimate details of her parents’ marriage to find out why.
Episode 03: Vida
This episode belongs to Vida, Melanie’s mom. We twist and turn through the caverns of her past and present to understand what it feels like, as Vida puts it, "to live with your heart outside your body."
Episode 04: Last Ditch Effort
Melanie asks: Is it still worth trying to make it work with men?
Episode 05: Good Eggs
While Melanie is preparing physically and spiritually to get pregnant, she receives news that yet again makes her spiral into uncertainty.
Episode 06: Ace of Hearts
Melanie begins the process of acquiring sperm and getting pregnant.