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Armenian Culture, Science and Education Development Foundation

Leslie Ayvazian Set for Reading of New Play at Raven Theatre

Culture.AM 1515

What do you say when people ask you what happened to the Armenians who lived in your country during the years of the First World War? Part black comedy and part harrowing family legacy, “15/15″ is the story of John Saypian, his wife Beatrice and daughter Arleen, Armenian-Americans haunted by the long-denied genocide that displaced a generation. When the tormentor of John’s visions manifests in his real life, he prepares to do battle with his historical nemesis and get answers before it’s too late. “15/15″ looks at the insanity that ensues when history is denied.

The reading, to be directed by Raven Co-Artistic Director JoAnn Montemurro, will be performed by a cast including Ms. Ayvazian along with Raven ensemble members Michael Menendian, Sophia Menendian, Kelli Strickland, Joshua J. Volkers and Kristen Williams. The play recently was performed in March of this year in a public reading at the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center in New York City directed by Austin Pendleton and featuring Linda Lavin. Additionally, a scene from 15/15 was performed at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Los Angeles in April.

Leslie Ayvazian is the author of Nine Armenians, winner of the John Gassner/Outer Critics Circle Award for best new American play, as well as seven other full-length plays and seven one-act plays. Ms. Ayvazian, who is also a working actress whose credits include roles on Broadway and network television, will do double duty as an actress by participating in the reading and a talkback following the reading.

“15/15″ is one of several events at Raven Theatre celebrating Armenian culture and heritage in observance of the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, Raven’s production of Beast on the Moon, by Richard Kalinoski, which tells the story of two young survivors of the Genocide attempting to build a new family in America after losing theirs to the Armenian Holocaust, runs through June 6, 2015. Concurrent with that production, Raven is exhibiting pieces by Armenian-American artist Jackie Kazarian and an authentic Armenian orphan rug, courtesy of Oscar Isberian Rugs.

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