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BEAST ON THE MOON Comes to the Finborough Theatre

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BEAST ON THE MOON Comes to the Finborough Theatre

Beast on the Moon by Richard Kalinoski comes to the Finborough Theatre Tuesday, 29 January-Saturday, 23 February 2019. This is the first London production in more than 20 years.

The show is directed by Jelena Budimir, with set and costume design by Sarah Jane Booth. It is presented by All Ignite Theatre in association with Neil McPherson for the Finborough Theatre.

Cast includes George Jovanovic, Zarima McDermott, and Hayward B Morse.

So some are beheaded and some are crucified and some are slaughtered, and who wins the battle of who died the worst death? Who wins?

In a production commissioned by the Finborough Theatre, Richard Kalinoski's Beast on the Moon opens at the Finborough Theatre for a four-week limited season on Tuesday, 29 January 2019 (Press Nights: Thursday, 31 January and Friday, 1 February 2019 at 7.30pm).

Milwaukee in the 1920s. Aram believes he will begin a new life when his teenage 'mail-order' bride, Seta, arrives to join him. They are a couple united by history both survivors of the Armenian Genocide. But their painful, shared experience does nothing to promote domestic harmony as Aram is obsessed with creating a family to replace the one he lost in such savage circumstances, and Seta, just fifteen and trapped by the traditions of the old ways, struggles to embrace her new life in a new country

Richard Kalinoski's beautifully written, universal story of hope and healing, has been performed in more than twenty countries. Last performed in London in the 1990s, Beast on the Moon remains a play for our times a powerful exploration of legacy for so many refugees.

The Armenian Genocide of 1915-16 was perpetrated by the Ottoman Turkish Government against the Armenians, a Christian minority in a Muslim state. Up to one and a half million people died. To this day, the Turkish government refuses to admit that genocide ever took place.

Playwright Richard Kalinoski's Beast on the Moon, won the 2001 Best Play from the Repertory prize at the Moliere Awards and four other Moliere Awards. Since emerging as a triumph (Ben Brantley, The New York Times) at the 1995 Humana Festival in Louisville, Kentucky, Beast on the Moon has been translated into twenty languages and produced in venues all over the world including Athens, Brussels, London, Moscow, New York (Off-Broadway), Prague, Sao Paolo, Toronto and Tallinn, Estonia. It has garnered a host of awards including the Osborn Best New Play in America by an Emerging Playwright, awarded by the American Theatre Critics Association in 1996, and, in 2001, five Ace Awards including Best Play in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In 2005, the President of Armenia Robert Kachadarian awarded Kalinoski the Khorenatsi Medal for Contribution to the Arts from the Country of Armenia.

His other plays include Between Men and Cattle developed at the National Playwrights Conference (1995) and later produced at the Detroit Repertory Theatre and at Milwaukee's Next Act Theatre (2004), My Soldiers, a play about a female soldier returning from Iraq which was produced at the Detroit Repertory Theatre (2010) and was featured at the Regional American College Theatre Festival of the Kennedy Center at Michigan State University (2011), The Boy Inside which earned Second Place in the Kennedy Center's Mark David Cohen National Playwriting Contest (2016) and Front Room (2018) which was named as one of only eighteen new plays to be audio produced by the Ashland New Plays Festival in Ashland, Oregon, the home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Wisconsin native Richard Kalinoski is Resident Playwright at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh in Northeastern Wisconsin where he teaches playwriting and theatre history.

Director Jelena Budimir returns to the Finborough Theatre following her acclaimed production of Bruce Graham's White Guy on the Bus which was nominated for four Off West End Awards including Best Director in 2018. She also directed Athena Stevens' new play Genie for Vibrant 2017 A Festival of Finborough Playwrights. Recently, she also devised and directed Back to the Future a Celebration of Education with members of Clean Break Theatre. Jelena was Associate Director at Chickenshed Theatre for 22 years where she developed the Studio Theatre, and led on Chickenshed's emerging writers' programme Write Here, Write Now. Direction includes Benjamin Zephaniah's Refugee Boy adapted by Lemn Sissay, Sarah Daniels' Gut Girls, The Comedy of Errors, Dario Fo's Can't Pay! Won't Pay!, Lysistrata, Our Country's Good by Timberlake Wertenbaker, Yard Gal by Rebecca Prichard and Ariel Dorfmen's Widows (Chickenshed) and Life After Death by Antuneil Thompson (Camden People's Theatre). She has also written extensively for young people and children. Jelena originally trained as an actor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama her performance work includes fringe, rep and West End alongside film, TV and radio.

Discussions are after the evening performance and are free to ticketholders for that evening's performance. The run will be accompanied by the FINBOROUGHFORUM, a series of informal post-show discussions and debates. All events are free to ticketholders for that evening's performance of the play. FINBOROUGHFORUM events will be twitter friendly with live tweets from @FinboroughForum. Using the hashtag #finfor, the speakers will also answer questions posed on Twitter so everyone can be included, no matter where they are in the world. The events feature discussion with academics, writers and members of the cast and company.

The Armenian Genocide and Refugees
Saturday, 2 February after the evening performance
Hosted by Ara Sarafian (Gomidas Institute) and Misak Ohanian (Centre for Armenian Information and Advice).

The Armenian Genocide was the first genocide of the modern era. It led to the destruction of an entire nation on its ancestral lands and created a refugee crisis of biblical proportions. Hundreds and thousands of women and children who survived the genocide were eventually collected in safe-houses, orphanages and refugee communities - and then dispersed throughout the world in what became the Armenian diaspora we know today.

Blessed are the Peacemakers
Wednesday, 13 February after the evening performance
Hosted by Ara Sarafian (Gomidas Institute)

Despite the bitter legacy of the Armenian Genocide, many civil society and political groups in Turkey broke ranks with their own government in recent years and initiated a reconciliation process with Armenians. The Municipality of Diyarbakir, one of the largest cities in Turkey, took the lead in this process by showing contrition and beginning a healing process. This included the reconstruction of one of the largest churches in the Middle East in the city - Sourp Giragos Armenian Apostolic church - and inviting Armenians to call the city their own.


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