Twenty seven members of New England's Armenian community have been added to the cast of Trinity Rep's production of Nine Armenians by Leslie Ayvazian, running now through Nov. 8.
Three sets of nine individuals will sing and perform an Armenian folk dance on stage during an Armenian village scene, in efforts to include the authentic Armenian community in a show about them.
Ayvazian's play moves from America to Armenia when a pampered young woman visits her ancestors' country and is irrevocably changed by the poverty she encounters there. When she returns to the U.S., she's upset by her family's apathy.
Starring in the family drama are Barbara Orson, Timothy Crowe, Phyllis Kay, Fred Sullivan, Jr., Janice Duclos, Robert J. Colonna, Elizabeth Eidenberg and Ginger and Teddy Karian-Allister.
Also scheduled for the downstairs theatre at Trinity Rep are Shaw's take on the Joan of Arc legend, St. Joan (Dec. 4, 1998-Jan. 17, 1999), directed by Amanda Dehnert; A Preface to the Alien Garden (Feb. 26 Apr. 3, 1999), a new play about inner-city, "gangsta" life by playwright Robert Alexander; and Can't Pay? Won't Pay! (May 7-Jun. 20, 1999), one of the better known works of 1997 Nobel Prize-winning Italian dramatist Dario Fo. *
Trinity Rep officially opened its 1998-99 season Sept. 9 with Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's classic musical The Threepenny Opera. Performances began in the upstairs theatre Sept. 4 for a run through Oct. 11. The musical is directed by Alan MacVey.
MacVey's vision takes place in the London of tomorrow, at the coronation of King William V, "just after the next crash." Ellen McLaughlin, of Angels in America fame, plays Mack the Knife's wronged lover, Jenny Diver. Longtime Trinity member William Damkoehler plays MacHeath, while Jennifer Mudge Tucker is Polly.
Next in the upstairs theatre is Shakespeare's comedy As You Like It (Jan. 29-Mar. 7, 1999), directed by Trinity Artistic Director Oskar Eustis, followed by veteran Trinity actress Barbara Meek's portrayal of Maria Callas in McNally's Master Class (Apr. 9-May 16, 1999). Meek played one of the Delany sisters in last year's Trinity production of Having Our Say, and her appearance in Master Class is thought to be the first time an African-American actress has played Callas.
For tickets or more information, about Trinity Rep's production of Nine Armenians, call (401) 351 4242.