Elly Award-winning playwright and director Aram Kouyoumdjian returns for the Sacramento premiere of his latest work “Happy Armenians” presented in a joint production with California Stage Theater Company and Vista Players. Featuring the play’s original L.A. cast, the production will enjoy a special two weekend run February 19th-28th prior to its New York engagement.
A funny, imaginative, and poignant rumination on love, war, and the burdens of history, “Happy Armenians” upends the world order as we know it by casting Armenia as a modern empire in its parallel version of history. But when its king has only 30 more days to live, Levon, the unexpected (and unwilling) heir to the throne, must suddenly wrestle with the world’s most delicate geopolitical crises-a war against Switzerland, the colonization of Europe, and Africa’s control of the global economy-along with his budding love for the brilliant scientist, Siran.
Reviewers hailed the play’s L.A. world premiere this past October as “captivating” (Monica Astacio of El Vaquero) and “smart, fun, fresh & cleverly executed” by “an amazing technical and artistic team” (Lorenzo Marchessi). “Happy Armenians” boasts a stellar cast led by Daniel Hubbard as Levon and featuring the talents of Heather Lynn Smith, Tavis L. Baker, Jade Hykush, and Gregory DePetro. Kouyoumdjian’s “thrill ride across time and space” (Ishkhan Jinbashian of Asbarez) even garnered a Best Stage Play (Drama) nomination from the NoHo Fringe Festival.
Winner of Elly Awards for playwriting (“The Farewells”) and directing (“Three Hotels”), Aram Kouyoumdjian has been lauded for having “an adventurous artistic sensibility for intelligent productions” by the Sacramento Bee. His directing credits include “Arcadia”, “Far Away”, “Marvin’s Room”, “The Play About the Baby”, and “Six Degrees of Separation”, while his original plays and solo pieces have enraptured audiences from Los Angeles to London. His most recent productions include Ancient Gods with Garni Theatre Ensemble at the NoHo Arts Center (2014) and the open-air, site-specific performance i Go On at Grand Park (2015).
Vista Players is an award-winning theater ensemble devoted to staging contemporary plays of social relevance. Launched in Sacramento with its production of Six Degrees of Separation, the “acclaimed” troupe (Sacramento Bee) “set the standard by which others were judged” (Sacramento News & Review) for over six seasons. Vista Players is now L.A.-based, having made its Southern California debut with “Happy Armenians”.
California Stage is happy to open its 25th Jubilee Season co-producing such a smart, funny, poignant play by one of its favorite former-Sacramento artists. Tickets may be purchased online at www.calstage.org or by calling (916) 451-5822.
Performance Dates – February 2016
Fridays – February 19 and 26 – 8:00 pm
Saturdays – February 20 and 27 – 8:00 pm
Sundays – February 21 and 28 – 2:00 pm
Wilkerson Theater at the R25 Arts Complex, 2509 “R” Street, Sacramento
Tickets are $20 for general admission, $15 for students/seniors, and $12 for groups of six or more – and may be purchased online at www.calstage.org or by calling (916) 451-5822. No late seating will be allowed.