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GERARD AVEDISSIAN (aka Zhirair Avetissian for IMDb.com fans) is born in Lebanon in 1944.
He graduated from the National Academy of Theater in Yerevan in 1969. While studying in the ex-URSS, he acted in 3 major films, still being shown on Armenian satellite TV: · The musical “KARINE”, inspired from “Leblebidji HorHor Agha”, directed by Arman Manarian, · The award wining “YARANKIUNI” (Triangle) directed by Henrik Malian, · and “MORGANI KHNAMIN” (Morgan’s in-law) directed by Arman Manarian.
Back to Beirut in 1970, he was soon established as a promising new author/director on the Lebanese stage with plays (in Arabic) like · “HIKAYAT KHARABIA” (The Tale of Kharabia) and · “HAYAT WA ALAM CHAIFCA AL OBTIA” (Life and Passion of Chafica The Copt). · He wrote and directed a very popular show for the Armenian stage (in the open air) ‘GUETSE ARKAN” (Long live the King), a musical that was a huge popular success with the Armenian community in Beirut in 1972. Etc…
During the civil war, Gerard maintained his full-time job as Creative Director and later as Managing Director of Middle-East subsidiaries of major American Advertising Agencies such as BBDO, TBWA and GREY.
He lived in Cairo, Paris and New York (Fulbright grant at La MaMa Experimenral Theater in 1980) and established again in Beirut in 1994.
He wrote and directed major plays for the Arabic speaking theater: · “SAFRAT AL-AHLAM” (A Dream Voyage) the musical by Elias Rahbani. · “SAKHRET TANIOS” (The Rock of Tanios) based on Amin Maalouf’s award winning novel, for the opening of the City Theater in Beirut. · “AH YA GHADANFAR” (The Brave One) inspired form the Armenian legend “Katch Nazar”. · “GHADAT AL CAMELIA” The musical, inspired from Alexander Dumas’s “La Dame aux Camelias”. Etc…
He is a well-known figure in Lebanon and appears regularly as a guest on radio and TV talk shows and acts in TV series and films.
His dream is to direct a stage musical adaptation of “DAVID OF SASSOUN” the fabulous Armenian Legend… but too expensive for the time being!