LOS ANGELES — The first-ever Armenian Dramatic Arts Alliance (ADAA) Kondazian Playwriting Award for Armenian Stories was awarded on April 23 to London-based playwright Sevan Kaloustian Greene, at the Antaeus Theatre in Glendale.
Greene won the $2,500 Kondazian Award for his play, “Forgotten Bread.” An ode to the Armenian Genocide, Forgotten Bread is the volatile, and sometimes humorous, journey of a Lost Son trying to uncover his family’s past and reclaim his cultural identity.
The other finalists for the Kondazian Award were “Ermeni” by Eric Sirakian, about an Armenian-American college student who brings home her Turkish boyfriend, only to have an argument about history turn into a family crisis; and “Wishing and Flesh” by Susan Kelejian, a full-length play is based on the real-life trials of American-Armenian writer, Steven Vincent, a New York journalist who was tortured and killed in Iraq in 2005.
Greene has enjoyed a professional acting career in New York as an AEA and SAG-AFTRA union actor appearing on stage in the Lortel Award-Winning “Betrayed,” HERE’s production of Betty Shamieh’s “The Strangest,” Yusef El-Guindi’s “Language Rooms” and NYTW’s “Aftermath.” In 2010, he embarked on a writing career and began his tenure in The Public Theater’s 2011 Emerging Writers Group. Since then his work has been seen at The Flea Theatre, Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte, NOOR Theatre’s Highlight series, The Public Theater’s Spotlight series, Ugly Rhino and Mixed Phoenix. He moved to London in 2013 and has since performed at The Camden Fringe, The Space and RichMix. His work has been seen at Theatre503, Arcola, The Bush Theatre, Vertical Line Theatre, Birmingham Theatre Exchange and The Camden Fringe.
The Kondazian Award for Armenian Stories is made possible by award-winning actress, author and ADAA founding board member Karen Kondazian, and her parents, who established the Lillian and Varnum Paul Fund at the Armenian Church Western Diocese. Kondazian and the Paul Fund were instrumental in establishing ADAA’s early writing competitions from its inception in 2005. Karen herself announced Sevan as the winner of the inaugural $2,500 Kondazian Award, at the post-performance reception at the Antaeus Theatre.
April 23 saw readings of excerpts of all three finalist plays, presented with the Antaeus Theatre Company, produced by Bianca Bagatourian. The combined cast included Jade Hykush, Adriana Sevahn Nichols, Shaun Duke, Bianca Bagatourian, Anahid Shahrik, Vicki Ohanian and Raffi Wartanian.