Praise for Setting Bones
''This strange, clever show completely subverted all of my expectations...''
…tackling subjects such as queer identity, diaspora and cultural erasure, sibling rivalry and family estrangement, loss and healing, and, in a wonderful, unexpected twist (at least a twist in the sense that I did not expect this based on the blurb), the complexities, responsibilties, and sometimes ridiculousness of storytelling itself. I don’t want give too much away, because this is the sort of show that pulls the rug out from under its audience a few times, that builds its humour slowly—that introduces elements that might seem out of place or odd at first, but pay off later in unexpected ways. The performances are strong (lee williams boudakian in particular is great), but this is a play that stands out for the quality and originality of the script (penned by Anoushka Ratnarajah, Kamee Abrahamian, and boudakian, and the winner of PTC’s Fringe New Play Prize). I think it might take a while for some people to get into the rhythm—like any piece of art that defies formula and genre—but by the halfway point I was completely mesmerized. Based on the enthusiastic applause from the audience on opening night, I wasn’t the only one. Smart, nuanced, and self aware: go check it out.
—Meghan Bell (Room Magazine)
''Setting Bones is funny at times, heavy at others, but both relatable and deeply personal. Above all, it is a heartfelt and deeply thought provoking piece.''
– Ljudmila Petrovic (Sad Mag)
''Visually this piece is exquisite; with intricate movement both conceptual and pedestrian.''
– Liz Gloucester (Two Cents Two Pence)
Praise for Dear Armen
''…there’s a fearlessness to the performance and its examination of the cultural and corporeal aspects of gender as a continuum''
– Aram Kouyoumdjian (Winner of Elly Awards for both playwriting “The Farewells” & directing “Three Hotels”)
''...even the relationship between audience members and performers was queered... I was also reminded of how my body’s movements match that of my mother’s, how histories of genocide/displacement and impending rage/trauma/pain breathe from our bones through our skin''
– Kim Villagante (creator/performer/facilitator, Vancouver)
''Boudakian and Abrahamian confront Armen and her history in a way that is equally informed and confounded by the enigmatic dancer from Shamakha. Identity, loss, and a people’s trauma that seems to transcend borders and generations carries the play to a powerful climax...''
– Mohamed Chakmakchi (REORIENT Mag)
''Dear Armen is confrontational because it advances a threatened voice; yet, the voice is threatening. It demands to be heard. Esoteric on various levels, Dear Armen motivates viewers/participants to peel away layers and value nuance''
– Jacklyn Janeksela (Culture Designer)
''The creators of the piece are searching for answers and bring the audience into that process. This is a performance, but in addition to being a captivating one, it’s also a collaborative one''
– Jason McLean (co-founder, Forget-the-Box, Montreal)
''A marvelous work of staged performance. Smooth, intense, wise, poetic and above all, non-pretentious - all so elegant and profound. An unforgettable work indeed''
– Anahid Keshishian (UCLA Department of Near Eastern Languages & Cultures)
''...an insightful coming-of-age story that weaves together complex narratives about ethnicity, gender, family, and survival...''
– Gillian Edevane (EastBay Express)
''...begins to open up conversation about the dismissal of Armenian women’s experiences through their own silence; an ingrained refusal to share that which is foreign to our Garo''
– Jen Scholten (ThruMag, Portland)