Leslie Ayvazian's full length plays include Nine ArmeniansHigh DiveLovely DaySinger's BoyRosemary and IMake Me and Footlights. She was a co-writer on the collaborations Mama Drama and Motherhood Out Loud.

Nine Armenians

Produced: Intman Theatre, Seattle WA
directed by Chrostopher Ashley
Produced: Manhattan Theater Club
directed by Lynn Meadow
Produced: The Mark Taper Forum
directed by Gordon Davidson
Produced: Denver Theatre Center
directed by Gordon Davidson
Produced: Trinity Repertory Company
directed by Oskar Eustis

Three generations of an Armenian-American family yell, dance, carry food around, play tambourines, rollerblade, cry, scream, laugh and support each other. When daughter, Ani, 21, travels to Armenia, she learns more of her history and troubled heritage. When she returns, she learns much from her recently widowed her grandmother, Non, who teaches her how to incorporate this new knowledge into her life. In doing so, Ani empowers her mother, who embarks on her own pilgrimage to the homeland. These are kind-hearted people, embracing life even as they discover their historical tragedies.

"... The engrossing, pitch-perfect performances by the ensemble cast underscore Ayvaizian's best assets as a budding dramatist: her quasi-absurdist gift for staccato, lightly abrasive comedy, and her keen ear for the way intimates verbally exasperate and nurture one another - sometimes within the same instant..."
- Misha Berson, Seattle Times

"…Ayvazian's obvious personal exploration…is evocative, and her picture of an American Life colored nostalgically by an increasingly alien ethnic tradition, is persuasively embedded into a script of a certain supple grace…"  
- NY Post.

"…NINE ARMENIANS is a warm, likable work that benefits from… Ayvazian's clear-headed insight into the dynamics of a close-knit family…"
- Lynn Jacobson, Variety.

Outer Critic Circle John Gassner Award (1996-1997)
Kennedy Center Robert L. Stevens award (1994) 
Finalist for Susan Smith Blackburn Prize (1996)
Published by Dramatists Play Service
Published in Women Playwrights the Best Plays of 1996
Translated into Armenian and published in "Dramatourgia" No. 1-2, 2006, and "Nork" 2007 - Yerevan, Armenia

high dive

Developed and co-produced by PlayCo -
New York NY
Produced at the Long Warf Theatre
directed by David Warren
Produced at Manhattan Class Company
directed by David Warren 

An American woman about to turn fifty is standing on a high dive at a pool in a hotel in Greece. As she stands on the board, she considers her life. She begins with the experience of her vacations themselves. At this point, she and her family are in Greece exactly at the moment that CNN has announced Athens as the hottest city in the world, one degree hotter than Cairo. Other vacations have included cold snaps in Florida that caused the fish to freeze in the ocean; the honeymoon in Hawaii during a hurricane season; waking up in Mexico to an 8.1 earthquake and so on.  The key ingredient to this one-woman show, is that it begins in the lobby at half hour. The performer invites audience members (35 people) to participate in the show by reading lines from the script (sides). The show then begins with a conversation with the audience about the participation. The involvement of the audience provides the opportunity for them to experience the point of the play: the willingness to take risks and jump in. This is a one-woman show with a very large cast.

"The show involves the audience as well. There are thirty-four people involved…and though it's a risky gimmick…it works!" 
- Bruce Weber, NY Times

"HIGH DIVE is well worth the plunge. This brief and light-hearted look at Ayvazian's misadventures…is an engaging and often hilarious show from beginning to end." 
- NY Daily News

"The narrative covers what goes through her head on the high dive board…Will she or won't she jump off? Refracted backward and forward in her routine, this tiny moment reveals her entire life, a chronicle of comic disaster. And the surprise ending gives the laughter an unexpected deep pathos."  
- Michael Feingold, Village Voice

High Dive is currently running in Slovakia and Poland
Published by Dramatists Play Service

Lovely Day

Developed and co-produced by PlayCo -
New York, NY
Produced at City Theatre - Pittsburgh, PA
Directed by Tracy Brighman, Artistic Director
Produced at The Play Company - New York NY
Directed by Blair Brown w/ Didi Oconnell and David Rasche

As Fran and Martin celebrate their wedding anniversary, they learn of amilitary recruiter's visit to their only son's high school. Faced with the prospect of his enlistment, they find themselves on opposite sides of one of the most profound questions any mother or father can face.

"There are moments when Ayvazian's spousal dialogues breathe close to the edge of the great plays that have been written about human beings driven by war and political dissension."
- Michael Feingold, Village Voice.

"Leslie Ayvazian's latest work is a rare thing these days: a family drama about a functional family…Ayvazian remains impartial, so the evening doesn't tip into a harangue."
- Josselyn Simpson, Time Out NY.

"These are real people dealing with big but troubling issues that have personal consequences. Ayvazian balances her characters with care, attempting to offer equal weight to conflicting perspectives…[She] understands that silence and stillness can be more eloquent than words and movement."
- Pittsburgh Tribune.

Published by Dramatists Play Service

Rosemary and I

Produced at Passage Theatre - Trenton, NJ,
directed by Blair Brown
Workshop at New York Stage and Film
Produced at Metro Stage Alexandria VA -
directed by Olympia Dukakis
Page to Stage Presentation at the Kennedy Center with Olympia Dukakis and Jane Howdyshell

A woman begins by assembling artifacts from her life with her mother - a comb, or a bell, or a diary. Each triggers a memory which brings to life her mother, her father, and her mother's companion/accompanist from a career as a concert singer. The exploration of her relationship with her mother expands to include the relationship between her mother and father and the relationship that might have developed between her mother and her mother's friend. 

"...Ayvazian's script, with its absurdist devices and painterly descriptive passages -- it's as if Pirandello had been crossed with A.R. Gurney-- evinces a lyrical sheen..."
- Peter Marks, Washington Post

''Rosemary and I,'' a delicate, exquisitely acted story being brought to life by the Passage Theater Company... The play -- unusually structured, unusually compact (75 minutes) -- has the refreshing feel of a leap of faith on everyone's part." 
- Neil Genzlinger, NY Times

Finalist for Susan Smith Blackburn Award

Make Me

Produced at the Atlantic Theater Company
Directed by Christian Parker
Featuring Anthony Arkin, Candy Buckley, Jessica Hecht, J.R. Horne, Richard Masur and Ellen Parker

"Like drama, s/m only works when everyone's playing along. Otherwise, as Leslie Ayvazian's risky, funny piece Make Me demonstrates, the intrusion of the ordinary deflates the excitement... In love, Ayvazian implies, we're all similarly fucked."
- Michael Feingold, The Village Voice