Leslie Ayvazian’s Play ‘100 Aprils’ Debuts in Little Armenia

Leslie Ayvazian and Rachel Sorsa in a scene from "!00 Aprils" (Photo by Michelle Hanzelova)
Leslie Ayvazian and Rachel Sorsa in a scene from "!00 Aprils" (Photo by Michelle Hanzelova)

Leslie Ayvazian and Rachel Sorsa in a scene from “!00 Aprils” (Photo by Michelle Hanzelova)

“100 Aprils”
Written by Leslie Ayvazian and Directed by Michael Arabian
Running at 8:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Mondays, and 3 p.m. on Sundays through July 16 (no performance on Monday, June 25th)
Rogue Machine is in the MET Theatre, 1089 N. Oxford Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90029

LOS ANGELES—Rogue Machine presents four new plays in 2018, about the haunted, about how we survive in a world that is increasingly nonsensical. In addition, an American premiere and a West Coast premiere are being added to Rogue Machine’s season.

“100 Aprils,” which had its Little Armenia debut on June 9, is a darkly comic look at the generational consequences, and insanity, of history denied. John Saypian is a modern-day Don Quixote. He and his family are second generation Armenians whose parents escaped the Genocide. John believes that a tormentor is pursuing him. Is the enemy a haunted memory from his childhood or is he real?

Universal in scope, “100 Aprils” mines the seeds of hope from a truth that must be told. Elina de Santos is producing this world premiere, directed by Michael Arabian.

“I felt that I needed to contribute something to honor, and coincide with, the centennial commemoration of the Armenian genocide,” says playwright Leslie Ayvazian. “It is a story that all Armenians carry, and tell throughout generations. This particular telling comes from an absurdist world. It lives partially in hallucination and partially in dreams that cannot be silenced.”

Playwright Leslie Ayvazian is the author of eight full-length plays and seven one-acts, published by Samuel French and Dramatists Play Service. Nine Armenians won the John Gassner/Outer Critics Circle Award for best new American play, The Roger L. Stevens Award, and second place for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Produced in Los Angeles at the Mark Taper Forum and directed by Gordon Davidson, Nine Armenians continues to be staged regionally. Leslie has received commissions from the Manhattan Theatre Club, Windancer Productions and South Coast Repertory Theatre. High Dive was produced at the Long Wharf Theatre and the Manhattan Class Company, directed by David Warren, and went on to be produced in Poland and Slovakia. Her short film Every Three Minutes starring Olympia Dukakis was produced by Showtime and won a Telly Award.

“100 Aprils” (aka 15/15) was first presented in a staged reading produced by CTG at the KirkDouglas Theatre on April 28th of 2015. It was part of the event “Staging the Unstageable: TheEsthetics of Dramatizing Atrocity,” commemorating the centennial of the genocide.

Co-produced by Bianca Bagatourian for the Armenian Dramatic Arts Alliance, conceived by PierCarlo Talenti, Director of New Play Development for CTG, it was directed by Michael Arabian.

Director Michael Arabian was honored with five Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards, including Best Production and Best Direction, for Waiting for Godot at the Mark Taper Forum. The production was nominated for 10 Ovation Awards, winning five, including Best Production; and was cited as one of the ten most memorable productions of 2012 seen in either New York or LA by Los Angeles Times critic Charles McNulty who called it a “luminous revival.” He has directed and produced numerous west coast and world premieres in New York and Los Angeles winning over 50 awards. Selected directing credits include Disgraced (SD Critics Award nom Best Production) and Red at San Diego Rep (both shows were in the San Diego Stage Beat’s top 10 list), Kingdom of Earth (Odyssey Theatre), Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks with Leslie Caron (Laguna Playhouse), and God of Carnage (La Mirada).

Ensemble cast includes Leslie Ayvazian (Beatrice Saypian), Robertson Dean (Ahmed/Dr. Ahmed), John Perrin Flynn (John Saypian), Janet Song (Nurse), and Rachel Sorsa (Arlene Saypian).

The Creative team includes John Iacovelli (Scenic Design), Brian Gale (Lighting Design), Kevin Anthenill (Sound Design), and Kate Bergh (Costume Design).

Rogue Machine Theatre won the Ovation Award this year for Best Season and received, for the second time, the Polly Warfield Award for Outstanding Season from the LA Drama Critics Circle – 2017. It was recognized with 12 Ovation Award nominations, including one for Best Season and two for Best Production. KCRW’s nod to Best Theatre was a highlight of the 2016 season, as was receiving a Shubert Foundation grant awarded to select theatre organizations for their artistic achievement, administrative strength, and fiscal stability along with the company’s development of new work and other significant contributions to the field of professional theatre in the United States. A recipient of the American Theatre Wing’s 2014 National Theatre Company Grant, given only to 12 theatre companies in the country, Rogue Machine (BEST PRODUCTION for three years – Ovation and LADCC Awards) presents plays that are new to Los Angeles. They recently received support from the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, and the company has garnered recognition for their work in upwards of 75 awards and nominations.

“100 Aprils,” which opened on Saturday, June 9, runs Saturdays and Mondays at 8:30pm, Sundays at 3 p.m. through July 16 (no performances on Monday, June 25th). Rogue Machine is located in The Met, 1089 N Oxford Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90029. Tickets are $40. For reservations call 855-585-5185 or visit roguemachinetheatre.com.

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