Richard Kalinoski Past News & Updates (05/16 - 07/16)

A Review of "Beast On The Moon" @ Avignon Arts Festival

Jul 29, 2016

Beast on the Moon received a glowing review written by Catherine Polge, which goes into great detail of the play's relevance and execution. Originally written in French, some of the content may have a rougher translation, but the words ring universally true for the piece:

"United States, Wisconsin, 1920-1930. This is the story of a couple of survivors, Aram (P.Audigier) and Seta (L.Sagit). This is the history of the Armenian Genocide. After emigrating to the United States, he becomes a photographer, like many of his compatriots. She moves to the US, because he chose her as his wife, on picture. He, stiffened in pain and steeped in traditions, wants children, and at any price. But she is just 15 years old, still a foot in childhood, cheerful, intelligent and lively, but scared. Now the privations have rendered sterile, and becomes the designated culprit for the failure of her husband's descent projects. She manages to talk with him, and she tells the horror she experienced while he was matured in silence. The play tells their gradual mutual taming. If Seta touches us with his enthusiasm or his revolt in poignant scenes, sometimes violent, Aram only moves us no less by its rigidity that is seemingly vulnerable. A narrator (A. Fauquenoy) intervenes regularly to set the story of Aram and Seta and their people. Many photographs punctuate his words and the show, highlighting the many dimensions of narrative thread: intimacy, the trauma, the memory of the Armenians. As a bombshell, the narrator reveals his identity to the public: it is Vincent, an orphan raised by the couple. And all three then form a peaceful family, in an open settlement on the future. A powerful reminder of the Armenian Genocide and its denial, the show also offers a beautiful reflection on gender relations. We are caught in the throat, but smiled and laughed too, because there is light beyond the suffering: that's life.

Here every plot point is crossed or intertwined. But everything is clear with a staging and scenography combining impeccable endearing characters, moving photographs, and permanent background of the history of the persecution of a people with rich culture. Posted on the wall of the family room, there are photographs that punctuate the evolution of Seta, as well as the couple. Their successful hooking creates surprises and subtle emotions, until the last photo of a smiling happy trio in the future, when the horrors of the past were able to take their rightful place. The central presence easel with a strange picture of the family of Aram weighs on the whole show and creates worry. It embodies the wall of silence that covers the trauma experienced by this man, and reveals its mystery at the end of the play, in a scene of great drama where Aram and Seta exorcise the torture they witnessed. Upstage is a superbly archived footage illustrating the wealth of Armenian culture and evoking the torments suffered. This shows the role played by photography in the collective memory. I have learned a lot. Not through photo horror, however. Just through the mention of the cruelty and absurdity of the persecution of a sister nation. The horror, the text and the game that we speak unvarnished and enigmatic of the title, revealed during the show, sums up the violence of history.

And we spectators witnessed the intimacy of a couple burdened by the unspeakable. However, we are following with some happiness the path of Seta and his unshakable confidence in life. There is suspense. L. a Sagit, frightened child but full of love of life, fighting spirit and lucidity, is transformed into elegant and confident woman over the room. She became an "adoptive" mother by being considerate with Vincent, and she managed to burst the abscess to free her man, and their love of a past that stifled. A magnificent role for this good actress. P. Audigier embodies the perfectly odious husband by its utilitarian vision of women. Subtle facial expressions and postures progressively soften his character, bringing to a humanity that reconciled with its past. It is touching. A. Fauquenoy passes in a wink of character, a narrator more serious than Vincent, a restless young orphan, and alternately embodies both with as much ease and conviction. Congratulations to all three!

At the crossroads of intimate history and great history, this moment of unforgettable theater, rich in emotions and carrying a sharp eye on humanity, is for large audiences. It can lead to interesting topical debates. A program without hesitation."

Greek Production of "Beast On The Moon" Creates Picture Slideshow

Jul 19, 2016

Richard was excited to hear from a friend in Greece that their production of Beast On The Moon was turned into a picture slideshow! You can see the slideshow of the actors performing below, accompanied by a beautiful Greek song.

If you have any footage or images from previous productions of Richard's plays, please don't hesitate to reach out!

Richard Delivers "The Boy Inside" Seminar @ Newberry Library, Chicago

Jul 17, 2016

Richard recently made an appearance at the Newberry Library in Chicago to deliver a presentation based on his new play, The Boy Inside. On July 12, 2016, Chicago playwright Todd Bauer helped with Richard's seminar around the content of the play. The community-based class is organized around the visits of Chicago (and Midwest) based playwrights. The students, most of them retired professionals, remarked about the surprises in the play, and what was explained as "an inside look at the real-life challenges of football played at the small college level." It was an invigorating 1.5-hour seminar, as the participants discussed both the virtues and the shortcomings of a sport played violently.

Montreal's "Beast on the Moon" Wins Harlequin Award for Best Play, Best Actor

Jun 25, 2016

The Montreal production of Beast on the Moon, having received several nominations from the Quebec Federation of Amateur Theatre, officially won the Harlequin Prize for Best Production for 2015. This award includes a win over a total of 61 contending amateur productions in all of Quebec. Additionally, the actor who played the role of Aram Tomasian, Arden, won the Best Actor award, bringing in two major wins for this production. Congratulations to the production team and actors for putting on an amazing performance!

Richard's Recent Attendance @ Theatre de L'oulle in Avignon

Jun 5, 2016

Richard recently had the pleasure of viewing the opening night performance, and another special performance, of Beast On The Moon (May 28th and 29) at the Theatre de L'oulle in Avignon, Provence, France. This trip to France awarded him the opportunity to view the production of adaptation writer and director Laurent Rochut, and featured three veteran actors of French stages. The production visibly moved audiences and elicited tearful responses and heartfelt testimonies from lingering patrons.

This version, titled Une Bete Sur la Lune, will be remounted for three solid weeks of performances in the 2016 Avignon Theatre and Arts Festival July 7 thru July 30--an international festival celebrating theatre and dance from companies of several continents and many cultures. This exposure will continue to invite new audiences from around the globe.

Richard to Travel to Avignon, France for "Beast on the Moon" Revival

May 24, 2016

Richard is looking forward to traveling to Avignon, France this Friday, to witness the weekend revival of their production of Beast on the Moon, known as Une bete sur la lune. Directed by Laurent Rochut, the production features Pierre Audigier, André Fauquenoy, and Lili Sagit. The following press release was made availabe, translated to English:

"A Beast on the Moon is an astonishing piece. The action takes place in the thirties in New York, where an Armenian genocide survivor managed to settle in as [a] photographer.

Fully committed to the traditions of his home country, he [had] sent [to] the US a young Armenian orphan, chosen on photo, to [become] his wife and [mother to] his descendants. Double disappointment [comes from] mistaken identity and the newcomer can not have children! There will then be a slow and difficult formation of this couple, [who is] seemingly mismatched. The man is stiff, clumsy, macho, taciturn and introverted. His wife is prolix, sensitive, cheerful and full of life. All of this is handled with infinite delicacy, and the two actors are wonderful. So we laugh, we are moved and one is in love."

A Response To "Front Room" in U of W Oshkosh

May 22, 2016

Richard received a beautiful message from actress Niffer Clarke, who played the role of Sandra in University of Wisconsin Oshkosh's live reading of Front Room from May 17th. Niffer, whose comment on the play was unsolicited, is an esteemed performer that helped connect pieces of Front Room with both Richard and audiences through an evocative performance. Ultimately, with Niffer's vast experiences in New York's theatre scene, she played an important role in helping Richard shape and adjust Front Room for future performances to come. Here is her message below:

"Dear Richard,

Thank you again for asking me to be part of the reading of Front Room. It was lovely to meet you and have the whirlwind opportunity that yesterday presented. Your writing is beautiful and this play - poignant, touching, heart-breaking in many ways while also being art- and life-affirming and so very important.

It resonated deeply with me.

Thank you for that.

I look forward to what comes next - and would certainly welcome any opportunity to be involved.

Have a wonderful time in France!

Wholeheartedly, Niffer"

"Beast on the Moon" Revived at Theatre de L'oulle in Avignon May 28-29

May 17, 2016

Following the recent announcement of the French version of Beast on the Moon's (also titled as Une bete sur la lune) nominations in St. Laurent, Montreal, another production will be revived at the end of the month. On May 28th and 29th, Une bete sur la lune will be playing at the Theatre de L'oulle in Avignon, France. Below is a rough translation taken from the French-speaking website, which describes their connection to the piece:

"Do not miss this performance! it is a small masterpiece of humor and emotion. Written by an American author, Richard Kalinoski, it was translated in French by Irina Brook at the Theatre of the Work in 2001. Her production won the five most coveted Molière awards: best play, best adaptation, best director, best actor and best actress! Who can say they've done better?

The Theatre de L'oulle places us in the footsteps of this great story. Right in the centennial of the Armenian genocide, there was an obvious and urgent need to apply the work of Irina Brook. Humbly, the Compagnie des Comediens Volants, the resident theatre company, under the leadership of Laurent Rochut, the production's staging has sought to expose the sublime humanity oozing from that text into a song of hope, but also as a response to Turkish revisionism, which denies the Armenian people's right to testify in their history.

Beast on the Moon is an astonishing piece. The action takes place in the thirties in Milwaukee, where an Armenian genocide survivor managed to settle as a photographer. Fully committed to the traditions of his home country, he brought into the United

States a young Armenian orphan, chosen on photo, to become his wife and mother to his descendants.

A double disappointment occurs when there is mistaken identity, and the newcomer cannot have children! Then comes a slow and difficult formation of this couple, as they are seemingly not matched well. The man is stiff, awkward, taciturn and introverted., while his wife is sensitive, cheerful and full of life. All of this is handled with infinite delicacy, and the two lead actors are wonderful. So we laugh, we are moved and we fall in love."

Montreal's "Beast on the Moon" Receives Three Gala des Arlequins Nominations

May 10, 2016

Richard is excited to announce that the Armenian Hay Pem theatre troupe in Montreal has received three nominations for their production of Beast on the Moon, as translated to Une bete sur la lune. The nominations were given by the Gala des Arlequins, which is an awards ceremony for amateur theatre located in Quebec. The production has received nominations for Best Production, Best Male Actor for the role of Aram, and Best Female Actor for the role of Seta. Congratulations to Arden and Meghedi for their individual highlights, and to the whole troupe for putting together a truly astounding performance worthy of each nod!

New Reading of "Front Room" - May 17th @ U. of W. Oshkosh Theatre

May 5, 2016

Richard Kalinoski's Front Room has been given a new special table read at the University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh. Front Room is the story of Sandra, a middle-aged theatre professor and director. Sandra has developed a reputation as a remarkably skilled and insightful theatre practitioner. When a veteran of the Iraq war auditions for her upcoming production of The Glass Menagerie Sandra's banal and predictable personal life is given a nudge toward new meaning and vitality. Sandra's elderly, widowed mother, Abby, is a desperate hoarder, as well as a force of nature. When a new and complicated romantic relationship begins for Sandra, Abby's obsessions throw mother and daughter into a passionate battle for control, self- determination and a glimmer of happiness.

The reading will begin at 7:30 PM at the Experimental Theatre on campus, and will feature Ryan Schabach, Niffer Clarke, Flora Coker and Andrea Ewald as the performers. The reading will be directed by Marcy Kearns of the Chamber Theatre of Milwaukee.

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