September 1, 2016 - 13:20 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Denver-based Emmy Award winning composer Denise Gentilini and writing partner, internationally celebrated singer/songwriter Lisa Nemzo, bring their original production, "I Am Alive", to Los Angeles for an exclusive showing for one weekend only this September, Asbarez reports.
Gentilini, who is of Armenian descent, has assembled a largely non-Armenian cast to tell the story of the Armenian Genocide with a completely new focus; celebrating those who survived. Gentilini was inspired by the story of her own grandparents who survived the systematic killing of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Empire in 1915.
Using her childhood memories of her grandparents as well as transcripts from interviews with them, Gentilini/Nemzo used direct excerpts from their firsthand accounts for some lyrics and dialogue in the musical. This personal connection has allowed them to craft a complex experience that explores the human side of a politically contentious topic alongside the love story that unfolds between two people in an unimaginable set of circumstances.
With the 100 year anniversary behind, this production is meant to provide closure around the tragedy and provide a renewed focus on the human spirit, Asbarez says.
"I Am Alive" is produced by Well Orchestrated Madness and directed by Christy Montour-Larson and will be shown only one weekend on the West Coast. Partner organizations include; Jewish World Watch, Mashdots College, United Armenian Council, ANCA-WR and AFFMA. Armenians of Colorado serve as the fiscal sponsor.