Athens-based Persona Theatre Group will stage Richard Kalinoski’s acclaimed play Beast on the Moon, directed by Lea Maleni. The play, which is based on real events, addresses the life of a young couple from Armenia who emigrated to America after the Armenian genocide in 1915. The performances started in February, at Wherehaus 612 in Nicosia and more will follow through March’s weekends and public holidays, Cyprus-Mail reports.
Beast on the Moon is the story of Aram and Seta in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA between 1921 and 1933. Aram is the sole survivor of his family from the Armenian genocide. He fled to the USA and works as a photographer. He finds Seta, his mail-order bride, who at the age of 15 arrives in the USA for a new life, leaving behind an orphanage in Constantinople. Her face is added next to that of Aram in an old family photo which Aram brought with him from his homeland and has cut off the faces of his dead family members. The place of his parents in the photo is now taken by the newlywed couple. And with his new bride Aram eagerly waits to build the new Tomasian family. However, things do not go according to plan.
“The matter of immigrants or more precisely refugees, people who violently against their will were forced to leave behind them destroyed homelands without hope of return, doesn’t only concern 1915 Armenians,” say the organisers. “Violent eradications and the chaotic fleeing of civilians unfortunately constitute a tragic repeated pattern in the history of humanity, which in our day has taken worldwide dimensions with bloody warfare in the Middle East.”
Lea Maleni and the team eight more performances to put on. Actors Panayiota Papageorgiou, Thanasis Georgiou, Manolis Michaelides and Angelos Hadjimichael will bring this heartfelt story to life on March 6, 7, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21 and 25.
“Alongside the performance,” the production team adds, “in the theatre’s foyer, in a specially designed space, the feature In Strange Land will be on, also focusing on Armenian history, the slaughtering, the persecutions, the uprooting and the fight for living in a new land. These will be shown through descendants’ accounts, personal stories and vocal documents, of people who ended up in Cyprus from the path they followed after the genocide and also through items, treasured possessions and family photos which they had been able to bring with them.”