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Beast on the Moon

Written and Directed by Richard Kalinoski

February 27-29, 7:30 p.m.
March 5-7, 7:30 pm
March 8, 2 p.m.

Aram Tomasian is an Armenian immigrant living in 1920’s Milwaukee who has escaped the massacre of 1.5 million Armenians in 1915 by the Turks in his homeland in Eastern Turkey. He wants a new start and a new family in America– to replace the family he lost to the genocide. He chooses a mail-order bride and into his life comes an Armenian teenager, Seta, who has also escaped the vicious grip of the Ottoman Turks.  He hopes to build a marriage and a family. Peppered with humor, irony, and bittersweet surprise, theirs is a universal story of hope, healing, redemption, and finally, love. By 2019 Beast on the Moon has been translated into 20 languages and has been seen in 25 plus countries.

One fun fact about this show is that it has been translated into 20 different languages and has been produced in 25 countries.  These countries include: Italy, France, Germany, Lebanon, Egypt, Estonia, Russia, Serbia, Czech Republic, Armenia, Crete, Belgium, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Bolivia, Japan, Greece, England, Puerto Rico, USA, Finland, Canada, India


Themes of Armenian Genocide

One of the major themes of this show is the Armenian Genocide and how to survive life after this horrific tragedy. The Armenian Genocide was the Ottomans Empire way of exterinating 1.5 million Armenians within the Ottoman Empire. April 24 in 1915, the day that the Ottoman authorities arrested, deported from Constantinople to the region of Angora 235-270 Armenian intellectuals and community leaders, the majority of who were murdered.

The genocide was carried out during World War 1 and was implemented in two phases. The killing of the able-bodied male population through massacre and was a subject of army conscripts of forced labor, followed by the deportation of women, children and the elderly in death marches through th Syrian Desert. While on this march the deportees were derpived of food and water and subjected to rape, robbery and massacre. Because of this genecide other ethnic groups were also targeted for rextermination in the Assyrian genocide and the Greek genocide.

Some historians consider all of these genocides to have the same genocidal policy. The Armenian Genocide is known to be one of the first modern genocides. It is the second most-studied case of genocide after the Holocaust. As of 2018, 29 countries have officially recognized the mass killing as a genocide.

Inspirations for the show

  • A few of Richards inspirations from this show is Peter Balakian’s Black Dog of fate which is a book about a man’s journey. Peter Balakian’s Black Dog of Fate and Henry Morgenthau’s Ambassador Morgenthau’s Story during World War One, and several individual Armenian men and women in the U.S. who had very specific details about their parents and/or grandparents’ lives in the homeland and other scholarly accounts.
  • Black dog of fate follows Peter Balakian who is a young man growing up in New Jersey with his family learning of their past struggles to get to where they are now.Growing up Armenian he soon realizes that his family is much different than everyone else’s. His grandmother, Nafina, never wants to talk about her past which Peter soon learns why. As Peter starts to go to college he realizes that his family had to go through a great struggle, the armenian genocide. Even when his family tells him to not look into it, Peter begins to do research of his own, only to learn his family was deeply involved. With the help of his aunts he soon learned that his grandmother was a survivor of the genecide but during that time her entire family and first husband were killed. He also learned about the Ottoman empire in 1915 that slaughtered the Armenian population. He starts to piece together the life of his grandmother as her and her two young daughters battle for survival, as well as his father’s family and their own sacrifices at the time of the war. With everything that he discovers he is better able to understand his aunt, parents, and his beloved grandmother as well as a better understanding of himself.
  • Ambassador Morgenthau’s memoirs of his years in the service of the United States in Constantinople are important as a primary resourse for the study of understanding what has happened during the Armenian Genocide by the Ottoman Empire. Mr. Morgenthau left Turkey trying all that he could do through his diplomatic circles to stop all the murders that were happening but sadly there was nothing he could do. In 2010, the American House Foreign Relations Committee passed House Resolution 252, which offically recogninzed the American Genocide.


Awards Won/Given 

  • Moliere Awards – 5, including Best Play for repertoire,Moliere Academy, Paris, France, 2001
  • Ace Awards – 5, including Best Play, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2001
  • Osborn – Best New Play in America by an Emerging Playwright, American Theatre Critics Association, 1996
  • Khorenatsi Medal – Presented by President Robert Kocharian, on behalf of the country of Armenia, 2005 given to playwright, for contributions to the arts and culture of Armenia 
  • Garland Award, Backstage West, Los Angeles, California, 2000
  • Agnouni Award – Armenian Relief Society of North America, 1996

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Contact Information

Box Office:
(920) 424-4417

Theatre Office: (920) 424-7042
Costume Shop: (920) 424-0286
Scene Shop: (920) 424-7051
Jane Purse-Wiedenhoeft, Chair
(920) 424-4425

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