Since our print pages are limited, our Town Crier feature affords us an opportunity to pack lots of diverse information into a small space. Community events, news, and more—you’ll find a wide variety of the good stuff in these features. You can send your announcements to Info@PQMonthly.com.
On the artistic front: Dear Armen is interactive theater integrating a blend of monologue, Armenian dance, erotic performance, and live music. Dear Armen follows the story of a genderqueer writer and student, Garo, as they study the life and work of Armen Ohanian, an enigmatic Armenian performer and survivor of the early 20th-century anti-Armenian pogroms in Baku. As Garo grapples with the discrepancies between Ohanian’s biography and memoirs, they are forced to confront memories from the past, unraveling experiences around gender, sexuality, ethnicity, family, and the role of the artist. An interactive-theatre experience blending traditional Armenian dance, erotic performance, monologue and live music, Dear Armen weaves together the voices and struggles of three generations of gender nonconforming Armenians. Unveiling fragmented legacies of genocide and displacement, the narrative kaleidoscopes stories that highlight the complexities of survival.
Dear Armen is an audience-interactive theatre experience inspired by the life of Armen Ohanian, an enigmatic Armenian performer and poet; integrating Armenian dance, erotic performance, and spoken word. Ohanian’s story and spirit are embodied in the characters and weaved throughout the narrative, invoking the power and complexity of historical and contemporary Armenian identities. Through experimental theatre and interdisciplinary performance, we reincarnate Ohanian’s life and spirit with movement and sound – demonstrating her ability to transform herself and the audience’s perception of theatre and the erotic. The show will uncover the life of this incredibly productive and unconventional artist, recover the legacy of a woman who brought innovation to Armenian theatre, and connect her story to contemporary histories of performers from various genres.
Dear Armen centers the struggles and successes of queer, trans* and gender nonconforming Armenians, exploring the intersections of identity, history, and cultural memory. By remembering Armen Ohanian, Dear Armen brings to the fore an avant-garde Armenian figure who is too little discussed or remembered, and highlight the parallels that exist between her story and contemporary experiences. In so doing, this work hopes to break through memoricide, ensuring more of our cultural memories are passed down and used to help heal the intergenerational trauma left by genocide and displacement. In bringing Armen Ohanian to our protagonist Garo, Dear Armen gives a young trans* Armenian a mentor and heroine to project their own pain of exile and exclusion onto: someone to mirror some of their own search and an echo from the past that they are not alone. Armen becomes a literary friend and figure absent from the young Garo’s life, and together their poetic search for self-expression, artistic innovation, and cultural connection blend into a poetry of words, movement, and music. This production’s hope is to connect these stories with both Armenian and non-Armenian audiences, and in particular, to reach those who see themselves on the fringes, and who are searching for representations of themselves on the stage and in stories.
Visit DearArmen.com for tickets. Performance Works NW, 4625 SE 67 Ave. 8PM.
On the more spiritual front: Ainsworth united Church of Christ Celebrates 30 years. On Sunday, October 18, 2015, Ainsworth United Church of Christ, 2941 NE Ainsworth Street in Portland, will celebrate its 30th anniversary as a multiracial, multicultural, open and affirming congregation with a special worship service 10 AM and followed by a luncheon.
The community is invited to join the congregation to remember and recall the brave steps taken by Christians to charter a church that was committed to being an intentionally diverse community dedicated to prayer, social justice, and fellowship. Ainsworth United Church of Christ is a multiracial, multicultural, open and affirming congregation whose mission is to serve its local and global communities, advocating for justice, serving those in need and providing an extravagant welcome to all in worship, fellowship and celebration.
The congregation has been a beacon of light and extravagant welcome in the Portland community for thirty years. The church provides a welcoming safe space for various community groups to gather including the EMO HIV Day Center, Portland Lesbian Choir, 12 step organizations and others. Through the congregation’s support of the United Church of Christ it advocates for justice globally, provides assistance for disaster impacted peoples and helps transform lives.
An adult choir made up of current and former members, will sing special music, and a youth and children’s choir will sing “We Are The World’. The celebration will conclude with a luncheon and the premiere of the short documentary, ‘The Legacy of Ainsworth UCC” by Noah Puggarana. This commissioned work developed from an idea to have the elders to share inspirations and visions with the youth. Mr. Puggarana, a recent graduate of Grant High School and incoming freshman at Portland State University, produced and directed the film.
The worship service and fellowship will conclude a weekend of celebration that begins with Ainsworth in the City on Saturday, October 17, 2015 from 6-10PM at the Crown Plaza Convention Center, 1441 NE 2 Ave., Portland.
Finally, in song: opening their 36th season, The Portland Gay Men’s Chorus presents their biennial Classical Concert on Sunday, October 25, 3PM at Kaul Auditorium on the campus of Reed College. The Classical Concert will feature a chamber ensemble, soloists and instrumentalists selected from the 130 voices of PGMC. Directed by PGMC Conducting Associate Mary McCarty, the concert will include works by composers Rossini, Verdi, Schubert, and Chopin in addition to the world premiere of Lacrimosa by PGMC singer/composer Amir Shirazi. Featured soloists include Erik Gullickson, Jimmy Wilcox and Derrick Becker.
Guest artists Portland Boychoir, directed by former PGMC Conductor and lifetime member David York, will perform works by Lassus and Adams. The two choirs will join forces for Purcell and In Paradiso from York’s Requiem. Ticket prices start at $16 and are available at tickets.pdxgmc.org. Student and group discounts are available by calling 503/226-2588.
The Portland Gay Men’s Chorus aspires to expand, redefine, and perfect the choral art through eclectic performances that honor and uplift the gay community and affirm the worth of all people.
The world’s leading experts in transgender surgery to gather in Boston.
The latest techniques and advances in transgender surgery will the subject of various sessions at this year’s scientific conference, Plastic Surgery: The Meeting, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) announced today.
The meeting, which will be held October 16 through 20 in Boston, has been skillfully developed to provide an extraordinary experience to plastic surgeons, residents, and other individuals interested in bringing the most leading, cutting-edge technology to their practices and their patients. The goal is enhanced patient satisfaction and enhanced surgical outcomes.
“Gender confirmation surgery is an evolving area in plastic surgery. To date, most plastic surgeons are unfamiliar with gender dysphoria and the role of surgery,” Scot B. Glasberg, MD, President of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, said. “At this year’s sessions, our surgeons and allied health professionals will gather the important knowledge to enable them to advance in the discipline.”
Compiled by Daniel Borgen