Dear Armen (www.deararmen.com), an audience-immersive theater experience starring Kamee Abrahamian and D. Lee Williams Boudakian, will be premiered in New York on May 7 at Alwan for the Arts (16 Beaver Street, Manhattan).
This play, premiered in Yerevan in September 2013, was inspired by Armen Ohanian, an enigmatic performer and poet who survived early 20th century anti-Armenian pogroms in Baku. Integrating traditional Armenian dance, erotic performance, and spoken word, Dear Armen follows young Garineh, who has been delving into the life and art of Ohanian in search of a role model and mentor. Garineh begins unraveling questions about her own gender, sexuality, ethnicity, family, and the role of the artist in modern life.
Ohanian’s story serves as a means to uncover and explore the powerful and complex “femininity” of modern Armenian women. Ohanian was not only a performer, but also a producer, choreographer, and director—thus claiming roles that have been traditionally assigned to men. Through experimental, interdisciplinary performance, Saboteur Productions reincarnates Ohanian’s life and spirit – demonstrating her ability to transform herself and the audience’s perception of theatre and the erotic. The play’s narrative bridges a century of women and artists determined to live life on their own terms. The play was written by D. Lee Williams Boudakian and is directed by Abrahamian and Boudakian. A trailer is available at https://vimeo.com/75593828.
Saboteur Productions was founded in 2013 by long-time collaborators Kamee Abrahamian and Tiffany Golarz. This audience-interactive, site-specific theater company blends dance, circus, physical theater and spoken word. Beginning with The Blood Ballet in 2010, the two producers spearheaded the growth of Montreal’s cabaret scene and has toured around the globe, including Tokyo, Berlin, and Tel Aviv—and also mounted the production of Panama City’s inaugural burlesque show.
Independent producers Christopher Atamian and Kathleen Minogue Keagy are co-producing this New York premiere. Reception will be at 7:30 pm and showtime at 8:00 pm. Performances will follow on May 8, 10, 13, 15, and 16. Tickets are available at: http://deararmennyc.bpt.me/).