On March 14 and 15, 2012, AGBU’s Vatche and Tamar Manoukian High School’s Elective Armenian Drama class put on a production of Nayiri Zarian’s play, “Ara Keghetsig,” under the direction of Lora Kuyumjian. Nearly 1,000 people attended over the course of two days to see students from grades nine to twelve display not only their fine acting talents, but their masterful knowledge of the Armenian language, as well.
During the matinee performance on March 14, five local Armenian schools – including the AGBU Manoogian-Demirjian School, the St. Gregory A. & M. Hovsepian School, the Sahag-Mesrob Armenian Christian School, C&E Merdinian Armenian Evangelical School, and the Armenian Sisters Academy – filled the auditorium. Community members, teachers and students were impressed at the talent and professionalism of the student-actors, particularly because of the dense language and the dialogue, which was very different from the modern Armenian spoken today. With its era-appropriate décor and costumes, lively dancers, and theatrical intensity, the production was well-received by both the general public and several reviewers from newspapers, which had nothing but words of praise for everyone involved.