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Dear Armen follows the story of a genderqueer writer and student, Garo, as they study the life and work of Armen Ohanian, an enigmatic Armenian performer and survivor of the early 20th-century anti-Armenian pogroms in Baku. 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 integrating a blend of traditional Armenian dance, erotic performance, monologue and live music, Dear Armen weaves together the voices and struggles of three generations of Armenian women. Unveiling fragmented legacies of genocide and displacement, the narrative kaleidoscopes fragments of stories that highlight the complexities of survival.

Note from the creators:
Dear Armen centres the struggles and successes of queer, trans* and gender nonconforming Armenian women, exploring the intersections of identity, history, and cultural memory. By remembering Armen Ohanian, 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 and displacement. In bringing Armen Ohanian to our protagonist Garo, we give a young trans* Armenian a mentor and heroine to project their own pain of exile and exclusion onto: someone to mirror some of their own search and an echo from the past that they are not alone. Armen becomes a literary friend and figure absent from the young Garo’s life, and together their poetic search for self-expression, artistic innovation, and cultural connection blend into a poetry of words, movement, and music. Our hope is to connect these stories with both Armenian and non-Armenian audiences, and in particular, to reach those who see themselves on the fringes, and who are searching for representations of themselves on the stage and in stories.

Accessibility Note:
We are committed to creating increasingly accessible theatre. This means that we are actively growing in our awarenesses of different access needs. We are looking forward to making changes and modifications to our work and our understandings, so that with each production we move closer to realizing a greater spectrum of access.

* 1. When/Where did you see Dear Armen? (date/city/venue)

* 2. How were your experiences of the auditory aspects of the show?

* 3. Did you experience any language barriers? And/or do you have suggestions concerning language?

* 4. Would this show benefit from a descriptive video service? Do you have any suggestions about how to integrate descriptive video services into a live theatre performance?

* 5. Do you have suggestions about how to incorporate ASL interpretation into this show?

* 6. Do you think this show would benefit from closed captioning?

* 7. Did you experience or witness any access barriers in this venue? Do you have suggestions on how those might be improved?

* 8. Were there any access barriers you encountered or experienced with/in the show? Do you have suggestions on how those might be improved?

* 9. Do you have any other suggestions, ideas, comments, feedback concerning the accessibility of this show? And/or do you have recommendations on things we can research?

* 10. Contact Info (optional)