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Rouben Mamoulian

Rouben Zachary Mamoulian (pronounced: roo-BEN ma-mool-YAN; October 8, 1897 – December 4, 1987) was an Armenian-American film and theatre director. Mamoulian was born in Tbilisi, Georgia (ruled at that time by imperial Russia) to an Armenian family. His mother, Virginia (née Kalantarian), was a director of the Armenian theater, and his father, Zachary Mamoulian, was a bank president. Mamoulian relocated to England and started directing plays in London in 1922. He was brought to America the next year by Vladimir Rosing to teach at the Eastman School of Music and was involved in directing opera and theatre. In 1925, Mamoulian was head of the School of Drama, where Martha Graham was also working at the time. Among other performances, together they produced a short two-color film called The Flute of Krishna, featuring Eastman students. Mamoulian left Eastman shortly thereafter and Graham chose to leave also, even though she was asked to stay on. In 1930, Mamoulian became a naturalized citizen of the United States. Mamoulian began his Broadway director career with a production of DuBose Heyward's Porgy, which opened on October 10, 1927.


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