West Coast Premiere
by Joyce Van Dyke
During a stormy fashion shoot, Anna Sarkisian, a New York fashion model, learns that her younger brother has been killed by enemy soldiers in her native Karabakh in the Caucasus Mountains. In the Armenian enclave of Karabakh, formerly part of the Soviet Union, an unresolved civil war still smolders between Armenians and Azerbaijanis. The war has already killed Anna’s older brother and driven her mother into the army. Anna decides to return home to her village for the first time in 15 years. Living with her fiercely partisan Armenian mother in the bombed ruin of her childhood home, Anna defiantly refuses to identify herself with the Armenian cause. Tensions ignite when, Ilyas, a young Azeri deserter shows up, claiming to be a former neighbor. Anna and Ilyas, powerfully drawn to one another, become lovers in secret. The competing desires of love and vengeance, fueled by jealousy, propel the characters toward an explosive climax with tragic consequences.
February 14, 2009 - March 15, 2009
1695 18th Street, San Francisco
Written by Joyce Van Dyke
Directed by Torange Yeghiazarian
Featuring Ana Bayat, Adrian Mejia, Zarif Sadiqi, Simon Vance*, Bella Warda
Winner of John Gassner Playwriting and the Provincetown Playwriting Awards.
First produced at Boston Playwrights' Theatre in 2001, A Girl’s War was named one of the “top ten” plays of the year by the Boston Globe. A play about the impact of the Karabakh war on one family, it played to sold-out houses, winning the John Gassner Playwriting Award and the Provincetown Theatre Company Playwriting Award. In 2003, New Repertory Theatre produced the play, again to critical acclaim and sold-out houses. A Girl’s War was nominated in 2003 for the prestigious American Theatre Critics Association Steinberg New Play Award, and published in the anthology Contemporary Armenian American Drama (Columbia Univ. Press, 2004).
. . . the thrilling “A Girl’s War” . . . focuses on individual conflicts as a way to bring us dangerously close to the gunfire. - Boston Herald
. . . stunning smaller-theater success . . . - Boston Globe
The six characters may be archetypal, but they are also fully developed, living, and breathing people.
. . . sexual sparks fly . . . - Boston Herald
. . . a taut, well-acted production . . .The dialogue bristles, and the play is both pertinent and powerful. - Boston Phoenix
. . . scrutinizes a very political issue through a very human, emotional lens . . . a drama as explosive as a pistol shot. -Digital City
. . . beautifully composed, well-acted with wide emotional range, smartly produced and very affecting. -Patriot Ledger
The play makes its points with powerful assertion and compassion for the suffering of all parties. - Boston Phoenix
. . . a shockingly searing insight into the nature of conflict. - Boston Herald
A Girl’s War– Joyce Van Dyke’s moving and thoughtful play about ethnic tensions in the Caucasus – though it applies to just about any war in the world. - Boston Globe
Joyce Van Dyke
Joyce Van Dyke
**Joyce Van Dyke'**s A Girl’s War was first produced in a workshop production at Boston Playwrights’ Theatre in 2001, where it was named by the Boston Globe as one of the “Top Ten” plays of the year. A revised version of the play received its world premiere at New Repertory Theatre in 2003, and was nominated for the American Theatre Critics Association’s Steinberg New Play Award.A Girl’s War also won the John Gassner Playwriting Award, the Provincetown Theatre Company Playwriting Award, and was designated as a finalist for the Jane Chambers Playwriting Award. It was published in the anthology Contemporary Armenian American Drama (2004). Joyce was named a Huntington Theatre Company Playwriting Fellow for 2007-2009. She is also a MacDowell Colony Fellow, a recipient of a Massachusetts Cultural Council Playwriting Finalist Grant, and a graduate of Boston University’s playwriting program. Before concentrating on playwriting, she taught Shakespeare and poetry for many years at Harvard and Wellesley, and also worked for several years as a speechwriter in Washington, D.C. She attended Stanford (BA) and the University of Virginia (PhD); her academic awards include the Shattuck Teaching Prize at Harvard Extension School and a fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies. Her articles have been published in The Virginia Quarterly Review, Studies in English Literature, and Shakespeare Survey among other journals; her article on Shakespeare’s Coriolanus was reprinted in the Signet Classic edition of the play, and again in The Cambridge Shakespeare Library. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild and StageSource.
Torange Yeghiazarian is an Iranian-born theatre artist of Armenian heritage. She writes, directs and performs for theatre. Among her writing and directing credits areAGABA,Publicly Resting,Call Me Mehdi, Behind Glass Windows,Dawn at Midnight, Operation No Penetration,Lysistrata 97!andWaves. Torange received her Master’s degree in Theatre Arts from San Francisco State University where she collaborated with The San Francisco Mime Troupe in creating the melodrama*Torch!*Her plays reflect the perspective of the culturally displaced in tackling today’s world of contradictory realities and values. As a teaching artist, Torange has taught playwriting to at-risk youth as part of the Each One Reach One program, incorporated theatre into social studies in Richmond’s Washington Elementary School as part of East Bay Center for Performing Arts’ Learning Without Borders program, and lead acting and play development workshops for Golden Thread Productions. She is the Artistic Director of Golden Thread Productions, where she has devoted her professional life to exploring Middle Eastern cultures and identities through theatre arts.
Ana Bayat is a multilingual theatre artist, internationally active on stage and camera since her teens. Ana followed in her father’s footsteps to train in the Stanislavsky system by direct students of the master himself. She also completed a post-graduate training program at the Birmingham School of Speech & Dramatic Arts in the UK. Since arriving to the Bay Area from London in 2000, Ana has been devoted to her craft of acting, working with various local companies such as the Berkeley Repertory and the New Conservatory Theatre Center. Ana is delighted to take part in the story of A Girl’s War.
Bella Warda is an Iranian born East Bay resident since 1980, is a founding member of the Darvag Theater group since its inception in 1985. She has acted in many Darvag productions and other Bay Area theater groups. She was last seen in Darvag’s production In memory of Kazem Ashtarian original play by Sepideh Khosrojah. A Girl’s War will be her fourth collaboration with Golden Thread Productions. In addition to performing, Bella enjoys translating plays and has directed two Darvag pieces.
Zarif Kabier Sadiqi
Zarif Kabier Sadiqi
Zarif Kabier Sadiqi was born in Kabul, Afghanistan and raised Portland, Oregon. He has been living in California for four years and has attended Diablo Valley College. He studied acting under Jim Kirkwood and Beth McBrien as well as Ed Trujillo. This is Zarif’s debut at Golden Thread; he is honored to be a part of this great ensemble of unique individuals. He would like to thank his mother for giving him everything, his two brothers & sister and the DVC Drama Department for teaching the craft of being human.
Simon Vance returns to the stage after a break of almost three years (to focus on audio books - a two-time Audie winner with 18 Earphone awards and Booklist magazine’s “Voice of Choice”). He has previously appeared with the Aurora Theatre Company, Marin Theatre Company and TheatreFIRST amongst many other Bay Area companies since arriving in California from London. TV appearances include CBS’s Nash Bridges and ABC’s The Evidence.
Adrian Cervantes Meja
Adrian Cervantes Meja
Adrian Cervantes Meja is happy to be collaborating with Golden Thread Ensemble. Originally from Riverside, he earned his BA from Humboldt State University and his MFA in Ensemble Based Physical Theatre from Dell’Arte International. He has toured up and down the West coast with The Dell’Arte Players Company, traversed the jungles of Chiapas Mexico with Clowns Without Borders and performed in street festivals throughout Northern Europe with Teatro Pachuco. He joined the San Francisco Mime Troupe for their summer tour last year, and is presently a teaching artist with their Youth Theatre Project.