Robert Farid Karimi

Asst Professor
TEMPE Campus


With 25 years of experience as a creative developer and comedic storyteller, RobertFaridKarimi mixes humor, rasquatche aesthetics and performance to communicate poems and stories that feed audiences an interactive cross-cultural collision of joy, pop culture & personal history in theatres, grocery stores, backyards, and off- Broadway. With his Iranian-Guatemalan heritage as a point of departure, Karimi has played over 40 characters in his 3 solo shows, from Chicano hipsters, to Disco Jesus, to Iranian women who told him how to be a man to pop star Freddie Mercury. He’s worked for corporate clients like HBO, General Mills, and the Kresge Foundation, he brings food, comedy, and interactive storytelling to events as small as 25 as large as 5000+. 

Karimi is an artist, comedian and cook who makes healthy messaging delicious with his Creative Capital supported work: ThePeoplesCook Project: a culinary engagement project which combines humor and food - Karimi inspires audiences to exchange their cultural culinary histories, connect with one another over food, to discover their own power towards personal balance. As his alter-ego, the revolutionary cook, Mero Cocinero, Karimi has cooked for such luminaries as DJ Peanut Butter Wolf, poet Jose Montoya, Yuri Kochiyama and Michele Serros, and hip-hop superstar MF Doom as well as over 60,000 people in the last 9 years. For this project, he designed the world’s first Low Rider Bicycle Kitchen Cart: Kitchen Revolutionaria, to get people eating and cooking together to discuss well-being in at-risk communities. 

Karimi designs game-performances interactive immersive theater experiences and themed entertainment to engage players to share stories and discuss social issues that concern the various communities he visits. With his background as a producer/writer of his own comedy cooking show and veteran of stages all over the world, he knows how to bring home issues that inspire audiences and even sparks innovation in organizations globally. 

A Pushcart Prize-nominated writer, and UCLA/USC grad, their work appears in NPR, LA Times, Callaloo, Total Chaos: an anthology of Hip Hop theory, Asian American Literary Review, Wandering Song: Anthology of Central American Writers, and A Good Time for The Truth: Race In Minnesota, among others. As a performer, filmmaker and experience designer, Karimi’s work has been featured throughout the country at venues such as the Nuyorican Poets Café, Contemporary Museum in Baltimore, San José Museum, Def Poetry Jam, The Smithsonian, and SXSW. 

In 2018, he built the first ever artist residency at USC’s Department of Physical Education while continuing to produce, direct, teach, and consult in the purpose of sparking folks to find joy. Karimi currently designs game-performances, interactive immersive theater experiences and themed entertainment to engage players to share stories and discuss social issues that concern the various communities he visits. New work includes Cinematic Eat-A-Longs, and a series of interactive analog immersive game experiences involving topics such as police brutality, the Muslim ban, the illegal detention of Central American immigrant youth and the disproportionate amount of people of color who cannot swim. Karimi serves as Associate Professor in the Film, Dance and Theater department at Arizona State University.


Spring 2021
Course Number Course Title
THP 102 Acting I: Fundamentals
THP 394 Special Topics
THF 397 Prof Development Seminar
THP 499 Individualized Instruction
Fall 2020
Course Number Course Title
THF 101 Acting Introduction

Expertise Areas