there you are

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"Have you spoken of it?"
“No. No one."

After 31 years apart, two widows meet by chance at a concert and consider the whirlwind romance that they didn't dare to pursue - until now. Oscar winner Olympia Dukakis (Moonstruck, Netflix's "Tales of the City) and Tony nominee Maria Tucci (The Slap, Broadway's The Rose Tattoo) star in Leslie Ayvazian's There You Are. After the play, Ayvazian and host Claudia Catania discuss music onstage, desire, and the playwright's craft.

100 Aprils


World Premire: Rogue Machine Theatre, Los Angeles June-July 2018 - Directed by Michael Arabian
Featuring Leslie Ayvazian, Robertson Dean, John Perrin Flynn, Janet Song and Rachel Sorsa  

A story of the insanity that happens when history is denied.

Los Angeles Times - The action is set in 1982, a time frame that gives the atrocities — and John’s memories of his older relatives’ first-person accounts of the barbarism — a harrowing immediacy, especially in John’s tortured mind. –F. Kathleen Foley

Stage Raw – TOP TEN – RECOMMENDED - The main theme seems to be the combined effect of unresolved anger and unacknowledged guilt on the psyche of those who have suffered great loss. But because much of the action is rooted in the foibles and inconsistencies of the characters, the piece also delivers a wry humor in spite of its broad tragic backdrop...The story takes a strange twist as it pursues its expression of what happens when people’s sense of justice is denied. –Deborah Klugman

The World Through Night-tinted Glasses - A simple yet profoundly complicated brew of humanity--hope and fear, love and hate, desperation and resignation--makes 100 Aprils a sharp yet warm and refreshing taste. Not sour nor sickly sweet and far from bland. Rather, a melancholy thing to savor and contemplate. –Zahir Blue

Splash Magazine - 100 APRILS [is an] intimate look at the effects of violence on a people – even 100 years after the fact...100 APRILS is not a history lesson, but an intimate peek into how real people respond to life’s twists and turns...100 APRILS raises many issues worthy of serious discussion. –Elaine Mura

Stage and Cinema - I love playwright Leslie Ayvazian’s use of language. She has many tart observations. John is “a dying man, not allowing himself to die, because he never allowed himself to live.” The doctor refers to Beatrice and Arlene as advocates. “At one time,” he says, “They were just called visitors. Times change.” And she gets at something I haven’t seen explored before, how even the righteous can become bored by their own tragedies. Someone must pay. Who? The Turks. Why? To provide “closure?” If they admitted all, would that ease the sense of loss or provide comfort to the grieving? Who are the survivors grieving anyway? Their loved ones or themselves? Victimhood as a community’s defining characteristic is a dead end. I think Ayvazian sees that, even as she commits to drawing attention to the suffering. The tragedy of John’s death has everything and nothing to do with being a child of genocide. I feel that about my own communities — gay, Jewish, Latino — when we define our forebears as martyrs, we risk taking away their very humanity. The “right” way to balance respect for past horror with the pragmatism of moving on is often elusive and leaves one open to resentment for being alive...Leslie Ayvazian speaks with droll, deadpan precision and moves with an insouciance worthy of Lauren Bacall. Her performance is a triumph. –Samuel Garza Bernstein



New York Theatre Workshop, Summer Residency at Dartmouth College - August 2018
The Cherry Lane Theatre, New York, NY - January 2017
Ensemble Studio Theatre, New York NY - September 2016
The Passage Theatre, Trenton NJ - March 2016

A collection of stories about growing up in the 1960’s and 70’s. - It was a time of rebellion and action and indignation.  Although she joined organizations like VISTA, her attention was elsewhere.


out of the city


Passage Theatre, Newark NJ
Oct 27 - Nov 13, 2016
Thursday-Saturday at 7:30pm
Sunday at 3pm (1st week)
Friday at 7:30pm
Saturday at 3pm and 7:30pm
Sunday at 3pm (2nd and 3rd week)
Named as one of The Newark Star-Ledger's Top Ten New Jersey Productions of 2016

World Premiere: Dorset Theatre Festival - July 2014
Directed by Dina Janis, Artistic Director
Merrimack Reparatory Theatre, Lowell MA
March-April 2015 -  Directed by Christian Parker


"There may be sex in the city, but stranger things happen in the forest primeval. In Out of the City... playwright Leslie Ayvazian takes this premise and runs with it to consider its effect on two married couples on a weekend getaway at a B&B in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. The four longtime friends are celebrating Carol's 60th birthday, but find themselves exploring all kinds of new territory, not just opening the door on a new decade... Out of the City focuses on the relationships and how they are perceived differently by each of the pairs. Within the marriages, the women are more attuned than the men, and Carol and Jill also pay attention to their one-on-one friendship. Seemingly innocent disclosures and little discoveries that are not very important when taken individually, begin to cause incremental shifts in behaviors and attitudes when they are added up. Old assumptions are shattered and their world tilts on its axis. And it all starts with the two women sharing a kiss."
- Talkin' Broadway Regional Reviews

"The 90-minute play runs without intermission, which is good for comedy and dialogue-driven stories. There are some hilarious discussions between both sets of friends about sex (Carol uses the phrase "the... insistence of it" to great effect). And the many iterations of and reactions to kissing are the comedic impetus for much of the activity. "The thing that interests me about plays is how things shift just a little bit" said Out Of the City playwright Leslie Ayvazian. "That's the thing I pursue all the time. What that little shift does to the paradigm of a marriage - a solid marriage, a good marriage - to me was worth investigating."
- The Nashua Telegraph

"A fun and provocative summer comedy. Two couples take a weekend in the country to celebrate a 60th birthday. A small thing occurs and everything shifts, becoming horizontal!"
- Dorset Theatre Festival

"a tight-knit, funny ensemble piece... the charactors are recognzable, yet they go well beyond the stereotypical" 
- The Rutland Herald

"So expect to laugh, but not the kind of belly-aching howls of a "Boeing-Boeing" or a Noises Off"... this play is more subtle and in the end, so much more thought provoking than a farce." 
- The Manchester Journal


armenian genocide centennial event

One hundred years after the Armenian Genocide and over half a century since the Holocaust, some governments are making renewed efforts to whitewash their histories. In this climate, theatre has a particular responsibility to ensure that communities around the world will never forget historical sins. But how can a theatre maker bring such trauma to the stage? Who will want to watch? Who will be changed?
To explore these questions Center Theatre Group, in partnership with the Armenian Dramatic Arts Alliance, will present a reading of excerpts from three remarkable new plays by Leslie Ayvazian, Sevan Kaloustian Greene and Neil McPherson that dramatize the Armenian Genocide in different ways. The performance will be followed by a panel discussion with notable guests from the Armenian community and with Los Angeles theatre artists who in their work have grappled with the enormous responsibility of bringing historical tragedies to the stage.
In observance of the centennial of the Armenian Genocide
Presented by Center Theatre Group, in partnership with the Armenian Dramatic Artists Alliance