"Protest," Aram Kouyoumdjian’s theatrical solo performance about the Armenian genocide–premiered in London this month in a production at the Finborough Theatre. The one-act monologue is being presented as part of a program of spoken word and poetry billed as "I Wish to Die Singing." The production–devised by Neil McPherson–opened on November 6 and will have a limited run until November 20.
Kouyoumdjian’s partly-autobiographical piece begins at a demonstration against Turkish denials of the Genocide. Its centerpiece–however–is a dream sequence in which the protagonist finds himself stranded in the middle of a desert–where he encounters the ancient Armenian goddess Anahid and contemplates life as it would have been if his ancestors had been spared the Turkish campaign of extermination.
"Protest," which debuted at the Downey Museum of Art in 2000–has been performed in most major California cities–including Los Angeles–San Francisco–Sacramento–and Fresno. Earlier this year–actor J.D. Rudometkin performed the piece in a three-city tour that culminated at the El Portal Forum Theatre in North Hollywood.
Kouyoumdjian–who has been critically hailed for his "adventurous artistic sensibility for intelligent productions," is the winner of Elly Awards both for playwriting ("The Farewells") and directing ("Three Hotels"). His writing credits also include "The Delicate Lines" and "Velvet Revolution." He is presently collaborating on the script of "Little Armenia," commissioned by the Fountain Theatre and slated for production early in 2006.