Sitting in a theater in Sydney a few weeks ago, waiting for the start of the play “Sweet Nothings” – directed by John Kachoyan – I could not help but think of William Saroyan’s lines about Armenians encountering one another in all corners of the world.
Performances of exceptional caliber were the defining feature of the Armenian Theater Festival organized by the Hamazkayin Educational & Cultural Society last week. The triumphs belonged to the talented ranks of the “Sos Sargsyan” State Theater Company of Armenia, which made its U.S. debut less than a month after its illustrious namesake passed away at the age of 84.
In her first autobiographical solo work, “Ka yev Chka” (There Is and There Isn’t), Anahid Aramouni Keshishian recounted her early life in pre-revolution Iran; now, six years later, she has returned with a sequel, “There Is and There Isn’t II,” which picks up her story at the time of her family’s immigration to Soviet Armenia and traces her years there until her eventual settlement in the United States.
Anyone who feared that the renaming of the Ardavazt Theatre Company last summer would signal a turn away from its history of staging low-brow farces can rest easy. Anyone who hoped that the newly-christened Krikor Satamian Theater Group would usher in an era of sophisticated fare can brace for disappointment.
An article I wrote at last year’s end examined the “balkanization” of Armenian theater – that is, its tendency to serve fragmented segments of the community, comprised of Armenians from Armenia and from Iran (who speak dialects of Eastern Armenian), and Armenians from countries of the Middle East (who speak Western Armenian dialects).
BY ARAM KOUYOUMDJIAN
The plays of Gurgen Khanjyan can be catnip for purveyors of sophisticated Armenian theater. A production of “Averagneri Bahagneruh” (The Guards of Ruins) in 2009 was among the theatrical highlights of that year, and Tigran Kirakosyan’s recent staging of “Galank” (Confinement) at the Victory Theatre in Burbank will be remembered for its solid [...]
Lilly Thomassian devoted tremendous effort – arduous and prolonged – to bringing her latest play to the stage. “Komitas,” a study of the iconic priest who was instrumental in preserving Armenian folk music, had its world premiere last weekend at the Atwater Village Theatre, where it is scheduled to run through August 19.