GLENDALE—The Armenian Dramatic Arts Alliance, in partnership with Antaeus Theatre Company, presented a memorable performance to a sold-out crowd. Triumph of the Armenian Spirit was staged in commemoration of the 104th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide on Tuesday, April 23, 2019, at Antaeus Theatre’s Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center.
ADAA and Antaeus presented Triumph of the Armenian Spirit, featuring excerpts of new Armenian plays from some of Los Angeles’ brightest writers, actors and directors including:
A PASSAGE TO ARARAT – Written by Michael Arlen, directed by Michael Peretzian. Starring James Liebman. A reading from Michael Arlen’s semi-autobiographical novel, winner of the National Book Award – 1975, where Arlen visits Armenia to discover why his father never talked about his heritage. He tells a story as large as a whole people yet as personal as the uneasy bond between a father and a son.
NIGHT OVER ERZINGA – Written by and starring Adriana Sevahn Nichols, directed by Michael Arabian. Actor/playwright Adriana Sevahn Nichols weaves an intriguing and moving mosaic of stories from her pilgrimage to her ancestral Armenian homeland with excerpts from her critically acclaimed play.
THE LEFTOVER –Written by Bianca Bagatourian, directed by Armina LaManna. Starring June Carryl, Hratch Titizian, Kalean Ung and Nicole Urb. Playwright and President of the Armenian Dramatic Arts Alliance Bianca Bagatourian writes about the “dehumanization” that takes place in order for genocide to succeed. Her play highlights this through the use of animals as characters who have been deemed sub-human to allow the enemy to kill them as animals. She hopes this piece will go a little way towards reversing this dehumanization process.
THE POMEGRANATE TREE – Written and directed by Susan Kelejian., Starring Chance Kelejian, Ashley Diane Currie, Matthew Jayson Cwern, Richard Gasparian, and Alene Aroustamian. The Pomegranate Tree is a play about the Armenian culture and how it’s been portrayed in myth, history, and present-day. Written as a pastiche of poetry and dramatic scenes.
The program was dedicated to the memory of world-renowned Armenian composer Michel Legrand and featured his music, performed by Alene Aroustamian, Greg Hosharian and Salpy Kerkonian.
The evening was introduced by Antaeus Executive Director Ana Rose O’Halloran and ADAA President and event producer, Bianca Bagatourian. Archbishop Hovnan Derderian of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church gave special remarks and the evening’s invocation. A reception with the cast and crew took place in the library directly following the performance. Keeping with the theme of the evening, “PRUNUS ARMENIACA,” presenting new writing that captures the essence and flavor of this hearty fruit originating from the Armenian Highlands, audience members were treated to dried apricots brought over from Yerevan.
ADAA was proud to collaborate once again with Antaeus Theatre Company. Antaeus is an actor-driven theater company that explores and produces timely and timeless works, grounded in our passion for the classics, illuminating diverse human experiences through performance, training and outreach. We believe in the transformative power of live theater.
ADAA’s mission is to make human rights voices heard on a world stage through its writing contest, productions and networking events, and world-class performing arts website.