Vista Players is a theater group committed to producing high-caliber works by contemporary playwrights. Co-founded in Northern California by Aram Kouyoumdjian, E.J. Reinagel, and Ellen Riddell, the troupe grew to “set the standard by which others were judged” (Sacramento News & Review).
Its debut production in Sacramento – John Guare’s Six Degrees of Separation – was sold out during the entirely of its run and received four Elly Award nominations from the Sacramento Area Regional Theater Alliance, including Best Overall Production (Drama). The company followed up that success with the American premiere of Vahe Berberian’s The Pink Elephant, which played to critical acclaim.
The group’s third production, Three Hotels by Jon Robin Baitz, received unanimous praise from critics, with the Sacramento News & Review declaring Vista Players “boundlessly talented.” The production was nominated for four Elly Awards – including Best Overall Production (Drama), Best Actor, and Best Actress – and won for Best Director.
Following revivals of Marvin’s Room and The Substance of Fire (“a winner” and an “outstanding production,” respectively, according to the Sacramento Bee), Vista Players achieved a new level of success with a stunning revival of Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia, hailed by the Sacramento News & Review to be “in a category by itself.” The production garnered four Elly Award nominations, winning for Best Actor. Arcadia was followed by Edward Albee’s The Play About the Baby, which also received four Elly nominations, including Best Overall Production (Drama).
In its final Sacramento season, the troupe presented Caryl Churchill’s Far Away and Aram Kouyoumdjian’s The Farewells. Both pieces were Elly-nominated, and The Farewells captured Best Original Script and Best Supporting Actress honors. In assessing the company’s six-year tenure in Sacramento, critic Jeff Hudson wrote, “Quite simply, this little group has done more things right, more of the time, than almost all of the competition.”
Happy Armenians marked the group’s relaunch in Southern California. After a successful run at the NoHo Arts Center, the production was revived, with its original cast, at California Stage in Sacramento.