Dear Armen centers the struggles & successes of queer, trans* and gender nonconforming Armenians; exploring the intersections of identity, history, and cultural memory. By remembering Armen Ohanian, an enigmatic Armenian performer & survivor of the 20th century anti-Armenian pogroms, we bring to the fore an avant-garde Armenian figure who is too little discussed or remembered, and highlight the parallels that exist between her story and contemporary experiences. In so doing, this work hopes to break through memoricide, ensuring more of our cultural memories are passed down and used to help heal the intergenerational trauma left by genocide & displacement.
Dear Armen follows the story of a genderqueer writer and student, Garo, as they study the life and work of Armen Ohanian. As Garo grapples with the discrepancies between Ohanian’s biography and memoirs, they are forced to confront memories from the past, unraveling experiences around gender, sexuality, ethnicity, family, and the role of the artist.
An interactive-theatre experience featuring a blend of monologue, traditional Armenian dance, erotic performance and live music, Dear Armen weaves together the voices and struggles of three generations of women and gender nonconforming Armenians.
A site-specific performance installation created and presented at the Abrahamian Art Centre in Armenia in 2015. Building on the stage production of Dear Armen, we developed an interdisciplinary storyworld that is witnessed and documented by audience/participant; and where they can interact with its characters, textures, and multi-stranded narrative.
(self-published, available for purchase)
While on tour with the theatrical incarnation of Dear Armen, we invite local performers, writers, activists, poets, etc. to participate during the show by presenting a piece inspired by the themes of the play.
(on tour, currently booking)
Join us for an interdisciplinary arts workshop where we will imagine into the past, integrate our experiences in the present, and vision into the future.
SHORT FILM & VIDEO INSTALLATION
Reeling Chicago LGBTQ & International Film Festival Official Selection (Sept. 2016)
Winner of the 2017 Vancouver Fringe New Play Prize
A performance work exploring diasporan home & identity in the face of maternal & cultural loss.