The Armenian Dramatics Arts Alliance (ADAA) in partnership with Glendale-based Antaeus Theatre, is staging four theatrical pieces, some excerpted from larger works, by Armenian writers during a one-night-only event to commemorate the 104th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. The “Triumph of the Armenian Spirit,” will be presented on Tuesday at Antaeus Theater’s Kiki & David Gindler Performance Arts Center in Glendale, the Glendale News-Press reports.
“The Leftover,” directed by Armina LaManna, draws on a common tactic used by perpetrators of violence — dehumanizing their victims by calling them animal names. It allows them to disengage from their actions, as they come to see their victims as subhuman, Bagatourian said. Her characters — representing victims from four modern genocides — don the mask of the animal they were associated with during times of terror. At the end, they remove their masks, reclaiming their humanity and ultimately subverting the tactic.
While all of the plays touch on the Armenian Genocide, either directly or indirectly, “The Pomegranate Tree,” written and directed by Susan Keledjian, uses humor and light tones to probe Armenian culture, Bagatourian said. Written as a pastiche of poems and dramatic scenes, the piece takes place partly in modern-day Glendale.
In “Passage to Ararat,” director Michael Peretzian stages a reading of an excerpt from acclaimed deceased Armenian author Michael J. Arlen’s semiautobiographical novel that bears the same name as the play. To enhance the effect, the set will be dressed to look like a bookstore, Bagatourian said.
Actor and playwright Adriana Sevahn Nichols’ “Night Over Erzinga” highlights excerpts from her full-length play of the same name, in which she makes a pilgrimage to her ancestral homeland.
The evening is dedicated to late French Armenian composer, Michel Legrand, who passed away earlier this year. In commemoration, a singer, accompanied by a flutist and accordion player, will kick off the evening by performing a song Legrand penned titled “Windmills of Your Mind.”