The Kevork Artinian Band

TCA Mher Megerdchian Theatrical Group Celebrates 25th Anniversary with Kev Orkian and Kevork Artinian Band

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TENAFLY, N.J. — On Saturday, May 13, 2023, the Tekeyan Cultural Association (TCA) Mher Megerdchian Theatrical Group (MMTG) kicked off its 25th anniversary celebrations with a gala banquet at the Clinton Inn Hotel and Event Center in Tenafly, NJ, featuring renowned artist Kev Orkian and the Kevork Artinian Band. Honorees in attendance included Very Rev. Fr. Mesrop Parsamyan, Primate of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America and Very Rev. Fr. Sahag Yemishyan, Vicar of the Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church.

Kev Orkian

Current and past actors attended the celebrations from NY, NJ, and Philadelphia to pay tribute to the Megerdchian Theatrical Group.

Harout Chatmajian, chairman of the MMTG, welcomed everyone and started the evening’s program. Kev Orkian, a renowned comedian and pianist from the UK, entertained the guests first with his news show entitled “Covid Movid.” After an hour and a half of laughter, the guests were ready to dance to the music of Kevork Artinian and Band. Kevork Artinian entertained the crowd until midnight. The evening ended with everyone on the dance floor.

A commemorative booklet was prepared to showcase the group’s dedication to cultural preservation. Three committee members were honored in the booklet for their commitment to the Theatrical Group: Talar Sesetyan Sarafian for being a founding committee member with 25 years of continuous service; and Harout Barsoumian and Talar Zokian for being key committee members serving the MMTG in dual capacities — as actors as well as committee members.

Kev Orkian

The 25th anniversary celebrations honor the theatrical group’s dedication to preserving the Armenian culture and language in our community. The TCA theatrical group is named after the renowned Armenian actor and director Mher Megerdchian, also known as Frounzik. Established in 1997, it had its premiere performance on April 17, 1998, with the production of “…And, again Baronian” directed by Tamar Hovannisian, in the Armenian General Benevolent Union Nazarian Hall in Saddle Brook, NJ.  It was established with nine founding actors and five executive committee members.

The Mher Megerdchian Theatrical Group with comedian Kev Orkian

The TCA Mher Megerdchian Theatrical Group has had 24 productions to date. It has produced the works of such writers as Hagop Baronian, William Saroyan, Eduardo De Filippo, Zareh Melkonian, Carlo Goldoni, Robert Thomas, William Shakespeare, Morris Henniker, Jirayr Ananian, Raffi Shart, B. Ziagind, Yervant Odian, Perch (Berj) Zeytuntsyan and Agatha Christie. It has had eight directors, including Tamar Hovannisian, Vartan Garniki Oganesian, Berj Fazlian, Harout Chatmajian, Hovhannes Babakhanyan, Gagik Karapetyan, Krikor Satamian and Gerald Papasian.

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It has staged 69 performances in New Jersey, New York City, Boston, Los Angeles, Montreal, Philadelphia, Chicago, White Plains (NY), as well as performing on stage in Yerevan and Gyumri, Armenia. It has enjoyed the participation of more than 92 young and old actors as well as over 50 backstage and technical helpers.  The TCA Mher Megerdchian Theatrical Group is not just a theatrical group but serves as a school for Armenian culture. It’s a place where the Armenian language and culture thrive and where Armenian history is preserved.

Head table, seated, from left Fr. Sahag Yemishian, Fr. Mesrob Parsamyan, Primate, Ed and Carmen Gulbenkian, Hagop Vartivarian; standing, Marie Zokian, Vahe Kurdian, Harout and Ani Chatmajian, Maria Vartivarian

The 25th Anniversary celebrations will continue with a special theatrical production of Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” directed by Gerald Papasian on Saturday, November 4, 2023, at the Peter Norton Symphony Space in New York City.

 

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