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Raven Theatre Company's BEAST ON THE MOON Begins Tonight

Raven Theatre Company to produce Richard Kalinoski's universally celebrated Beast on the Moon CHICAGO - The final play of Raven's 2014-15 season will be Richard Kalinoski's Beast on the Moon, a touching and frequently humorous story of two refugees from the Armenian Genocide as they struggle to build a new life together in 1920's and 1930's Milwaukee. Beast on the Moon begins previews tonight, April 21 and opens on April 27, 2015, playing through June 6.

Beast on the Moon has been produced in 17 countries and 12 languages, enjoying a four-month New York run in 2005. In 2001, it won France's Moliere Award for Best Play (the equivalent to the Tony Award) and has also received Argentina's Ace Award, the Osborn Award, the Garland Award and in 2005 it received the Khorenatsi Medal which was presented by President Robert Kocharian, on behalf of the country of Armenia.

When it was produced as part of the Humana Festival in 1995, the Louisville Courier-Journal said that the play "...took its place as one of the most beautiful, sensitive and emotionally complete dramas in the 19-year history of Actors Theatre of Louisville's annual Humana Festival of New American Plays." In 2005, The New Yorker called the play "Compassionate and humane" and The New York Daily News said, "The play moves from tragedy and turmoil to a profound sense of promise." And a review in The London Times Online said of a 2007 Nottingham production, "The past finds a sort of closure, but the author's skill has kept us on tenterhooks throughout, uncertain whether any happy outcome can be possible." Beast on the Moon was selected to be a part of Raven's 2014-2015 season as it tells a story with which Michael Menendian, as a first generation Armenian-American, has a deep personal and cultural connection. The cast also features Sophia Menendian, a second generation Armenian-American and daughter of Michael (Raven Theatre's Co-Founder and Artistic Director).

Joining Raven ensemble member Sophia Menendian on stage will be Raven newcomers Matt Browning and Aaron Lamm and returning artist Ron Quade. Sophia Menendian was last seen in Raven's productions of Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Christmas Goose and last season's Good Boys and True while Ron Quade last appeared in Brighton Beach Memoirs. Matt Browning has been seen in The Zoo Story, Richard III and The Glass Menagerie, while Aaron Lamm has previously appeared in The Crypotgram at Profiles Theatre and Medea at Theater Y.

The creative team for Beast on the Moon includes Kiley Morgan (stage manager), Kristin Abhalter (set designer), Mary O'Dowd (props/set dressing), Diane D. Fairchild (lighting designer), Lauren Roark (costume designer), Leif Olsen (original music), Joe Court (sound designer), David Woolley (Fight Choreographer), Zhanna Albertini (scenic artist), Laura Zarougian (assistant director), Conor Clark (technical director), Justin Castellano (master electrician), and Deborah Blumenthal (dramaturgy).

Tickets and information are available at or 773-338-2177.

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