By Nancy Kalajian
Special to the Mirror-Spectator
BOSTON — Lace, quilts, veils and scarves — symbols of family memory — are key elements that tie characters and scenes together in “Deported/ a dream play,” by Joyce Van Dyke, now playing at the Modern Theatre at Suffolk University in the Theatre District. Making these detailed adornments by hand takes patience and a vision with hopes for more to come, yet hid- den actions and feelings might eventually be unmasked for those that are open to the experience. Threads of permanence in an imperfect world, these textiles tell tales and lessons in the dreams and hope of its characters. A veil may try to cover up damage and loss of dignity or life but its “knots can never be undone.”
Using many flashbacks to provide historical information, the compelling play was inspired by the true stories of two of its main characters — the playwright’s grandmother, Elmas Sarajian Boyajian who is called “Victoria” in the play, and her best friend, Varter Nazarian Deranian, the mother of Dr. H. Martin Deranian of Worcester (see
his story on these pages). With lively, convincing portrayals of three engaging central characters, Varter, Victoria and
Harry, the action zooms in on three settings: 1938 Providence, 1978 Los Angeles and a dream spot sometime after 2015, with the significance of this date coming more than 100 years after the Armenian Genocide.