Tuesday, March 13, 2012

DEPORTED: A DREAM PLAY at Suffolk University's Modern Theatre

Saturday was opening night for the new show Deported, A Dream Play by playwright Joyce Van Dyke at the new Suffolk University Modern Theatre in Boston's Theatre District   Using the vehicle of the Armenian experience, DEPORTED deals with the issues of memory, trauma, and pain that so many in the world suffer after loss of family, loss of land, loss of home, loss of joy.  Marash Girl, having seen the play in its early stages was not prepared for the emotional impact that it would take on her. The play touched on all of the realities of growing up Armenian in a post genocidal Armenian American family.  Yes, like Rose, Marash Boy had had to awaken his grandmother from screaming nightmares, a grandmother who had gone on the death march and somehow survived, but had not forgotten; a grandmother who never wanted to share the horrors of her past.  (See Marash Girl's blog, A Tale for Taraf!)  Unlike Marash Girl, Marash Boy responded to the play with joy, joy that the 'Armenian' story had finally left the annals of dusty history books and academic conferences and could now be viewed under the bright lights of the stage in this professionally written and produced drama that deals with the past, the present and the future.

Marash Girl was devastated.  Marash Girl had seen the play in its earlier forms, (click this link to see earlier blogpost) had heard the stories of the survivors first hand; nonetheless, this dramatic production grabbed her and wouldn't let her go. . . every aspect, from the set to the music to the choreography (Armenian dancing) to the costuming, to the casting, to the acting, and first and foremost, to the writing of the play.

After the performance, Marash Girl asked playwright Joyce Van Dyke:  Was this play as difficult to write as it was to watch?   Her answer:  Yes.

If you haven't seen the show yet, you must. It was truly amazing.

Take note of the following pre-performance special events:


March 29, post-show talk : “One by One: Dialogue among Descendants of Genocide Survivors, Perpetrators, Bystanders and Resisters," with Dr. Wilma Busse, Director of the Counseling Center, Suffolk University.  Moderated by Paula Parnagian, President, World View Services.

March 30, 7:00-7:30 PM (play performance follows at 8:00 PM)
“The next generation: Turks and Armenians talk about the future,” with:
Ayşe Deniz Lokmanoğlu, MA candidate in Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University;
Tsoleen Sarian, who works in politics;
Nareg Seferian, Master’s degree candidate in Politics and International Affairs, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy;
Ahmet Selim Tekelioğlu, Ph.D. candidate in Political Science, Boston University.
Moderated by Cynthia Cohen, Ph.D., Director of the program in Peacebuilding and the Arts, Brandeis University.
For tickets, dates and times of performances, go to http://deportedplay.org/
Playwright Joyce Van Dyke (right) and Ruth Thomasian discuss Project Save's photographs on the foyer walls of the new Suffolk University Modern Theatre on opening night of the play, DEPORTED: A DREAM PLAY.

After the show, Marash Boy (left) talks with Bobbie Steinbach, the star of DEPORTED,  in the foyer of the new Suffolk University Modern Theatre,  about the problem of reconciliation when there has been no admission of wrong, or as Marash Girl often quips, "How can we forgive something that 'never happened'?"

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