Mary Farahnakian

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Mary Farahnakian, 2008
Mary Hatami Farahnakian is a native of Iran. She studied Theatre and Film at the University of Tehran, during which time she became known as a professional actress, acting on the stage and National Television of Iran. She graduated from college as the valedictorian and was recognized as the most successful performer of the university's College of Fine Arts. For her academic and professional achievements through college, Mary was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship from the University of Tehran in 1972, which she used to come to the United States and complete a PhD in Theatre and Cinematic Arts (1976) at Brigham Young University.

Farahnakian was an Associate Professor and costume designer in the Theatre and Media Arts Department at BYU. She received a service award from the Costume Society of America (CSA) at their annual conference in June 2004. She is a member of the CSA National Board of Directors, founder of MEHR Cultural Society, a Non-Profit Organization. She also belongs to the International Textile and Apparel Association and the United States Institute of Theatre and Technology. In 2011, Farahnakian received a Gerrit de Jong, Jr. Gratitude Award for the dedication and devotion she displays in her work. In further honors, she was asked to present the annual Alice Louise Reynolds Women-in-Scholarship Lecture in 2013.

During her time at BYU she taught course on the history of costume, costume specialty, and costume construction. She was also the curator of the BYU/TMA Historic Clothing Collection. Her article Dress of ethnic minority immigrants and residents: Middle Eastern People in North America was published by Berg Publishers.

Farahnakian also is an apparel designer, and has designed for Mary McFadden in New York and for Jean Barthet and Eric Dubrulle in Paris.

In 2014, Farahnakian attended the Region VIII Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) with other BYU faculty. She gave a presentation about Persian theatre. Also in 2014, Farahnakian mentored BYU student Rebekah Jackson's presentation, A Simple Suit, at the Costume Society of America Southwest Region conference in Phoenix, Arizona. In October of the same year, she appeared in the BYU Museum of Art's Take 5 Faculty Panel to address topics related to the museum's exhibition CUT! Costume and the Cinema. Later in the year, she and her husband, Hooshang, loaned part of their Iranian collection of metal engravings to the Harold B. Lee Library on BYU's Campus.

In 2015, she was the costume designer for BYU's production of Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale.

In 2016 Farahnakian's article "Iranian Headwear in the twentieth and Twenty-first Centuries" was published in the Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion.

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