Co-written by Ara Madzounian and Betty Berberian.
Premiered in Los Angeles, in 1989, at the Golden Theatre, by the Experimental Theatre Company.
Directed and produced by Betty Berberian.
Original cast: Leon Fermanian, Ara Madzounian, Ara Baghdoyan, Vahe Berberian, and Maurice Kouyoumdjian.
The play gives the viewer a glimpse into the lives of four friends who get together every Sunday afternoon to play (belote) cards. Tempers flare up with the summer heat as the four old pals drink, discuss they private lives and lament the loss of their idealism which once was the basis of the friendship. The four friends are like the four jacks in Belote, and 200 is the highest number of points a player can gain with a hand of four jacks. Belote has to be played by a foursome. Thus, the title 200 implies the close ties among the four men.
A Slice of Contemporary Life
The Armenian Observer
“Vahe Berberian did it again! He captured my undivided attention for an hour and a half and beyond. It is that beyond which bothers you most, it bothers most Diaspora Armenians who really care. Hello out there, does anyone care!
“…Vahe Berberian is an artist of high caliber – an actor, a writer (plays and other genres), and a painter. But what permeates all over and above all, a human being who feels with every square inch of his body, his mind and his soul.
“…An emotion, very powerful and real story mirrored on stage, and done very well, indeed.”
200 Is a Play Thrust Smack Between the Audience’s Eyes
The California Courier
“If one is going to make a point about Armenian society in the United States in 95 minutes, this is the way to do it.
“200 is, at the vey least, a sword thrust between the eyes straight to the thought centers of the mind, condensing volumes of social commentary into what seems to take place in the time period of one lazy Sunday afternoon to the next morning.
“By the time we arrive at the last line of dialogue, the pace has quickened so fast that hearts are pounding.”
Experimental Theater: “200”
“…An original play, with unique performances, crystal clear message, excellent direction and a rapt audience.
“Its worth seeing “200 one more time, to be able to muse, to laugh, to cry and relive the experience.
“…A French “Bravo!” with an Armenian sincerity to the director Betty Berberian and the cast and crew.”