“Author Archive”

Australia Dispatch: Kachoyan’s Star Ascends Down Under

Australia Dispatch:  Kachoyan’s Star Ascends Down Under

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.

December 31st, 2013

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CRITICS’ FORUM: A Year of Ventures and Growth

CRITICS’ FORUM: A Year of Ventures and Growth

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I had the pleasure of moderating a panel at the ANCA Grassroots Conference, which examined the interplay between Armenian arts and activism.

December 31st, 2013

| Posted in 2014 Special Issue, Critics' Forum, Latest, Top Stories | Read More »

Theater Review: Triumphant Performances at Theater Fest

Theater Review: Triumphant Performances at Theater Fest

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.

October 25th, 2013

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Theater Preview: Festival to Celebrate Armenian Theater

Theater Preview: Festival to Celebrate Armenian Theater

Hamazkayin, a leading Armenian educational and cultural institution, has a liking for festivals. Its regional wing for the Western U.S. has sponsored several iterations of Mosaic, the music festival featuring eclectic line-ups of Armenian singers and bands from around the world.

September 27th, 2013

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Theater Review: “There Is” . . . More

Theater Review: “There Is” . . . More

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.

August 23rd, 2013

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Theater Review: ‘Armenian Improv’ Marks Milestone

Theater Review: ‘Armenian Improv’ Marks Milestone

Setting a milestone in the evolution of diasporan theater, Armenian improvisational comedy – or “improv” – marked its arrival last Sunday.

July 26th, 2013

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Theater Review: Angst, Humor in ‘Yeté’

Theater Review: Angst, Humor in ‘Yeté’

It’s been five years since Vahe Berberian’s last solo show, “Sagayn” (But), and judging from the sold-out audiences flocking to his latest stand-up comedy routine, “Yeté” (If), he’s been sorely missed.

July 19th, 2013

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Theater Review: Renamed Troupe Returns With ‘Aunt’ In Tow

Theater Review: Renamed Troupe Returns With ‘Aunt’ In Tow

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.

July 2nd, 2013

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Theater Review: More ‘Liars,’ Less Laughter

Theater Review: More ‘Liars,’ Less Laughter

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).

March 22nd, 2013

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Theater Review: ‘Patand’: Greek Tragedy In Armenia

Theater Review: ‘Patand’: Greek Tragedy In Armenia

Of late, Khoren Aramouni’s plays have been unflinching examinations of the untenable political circumstances and living conditions in Armenia during the post-independence era.

March 18th, 2013

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The Balkanization of Armenian Theater

The Balkanization of Armenian Theater

After two dismal years, Armenian theater in Los Angeles managed an uptick in both the quantity and quality of productions that graced area stages in 2012.

December 28th, 2012

| Posted in 2013 Special Issue, Arts & Culture, Blogs, Columns, Critics' Forum | Read More »

THEATER REVIEW: The ‘Fine’ in ‘Confinement’

THEATER REVIEW: The ‘Fine’ in ‘Confinement’

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 [...]

October 19th, 2012

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Theater Review: ‘Komitas’: Notes High and Low

Theater Review: ‘Komitas’: Notes High and Low

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.

July 20th, 2012

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THEATER REVIEW: Arabian’s Done ‘Waiting’

THEATER REVIEW: Arabian’s Done ‘Waiting’

Directing an iconic play is always a risky business, and Samuel Beckett’s masterpiece, “Waiting for Godot,” is not easy fare. It is thin on plot and heavy on existentialism. “I saw a production when I was younger, and I was going to shoot myself,” a friend joked to me recently.

April 6th, 2012

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