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Griboedov Theater

Tbilisi’s Griboedov Theatre Oldest theatre in Caucasus celebrates 170th anniversary

The oldest professional theatre in the Caucasus is celebrating its 170th anniversary in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi with a four-day program of exhibitions, talks and a premiere of a new show.

The Griboedov Theatre, one of the iconic Tbilisi theatre spots, continued its ongoing artistic legacy by hosting a special anniversary performance week, involving visitors from more than 20 countries including the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Russia and Ukraine.

The anniversary program launched yesterday – on the same day that the Theatre was established in 1845.

The celebrations began with a press conference on Monday, which coincided with an evert that marked the 85th birthday of the US-based theatre actor and People’s Artist of Georgia Boris Kazinets.

Another part of the Theatre’s anniversary program saw performers and guests mark 100 years since the birth of late theatre director Giorgi Tovstonogov, a revered figure who was awarded several awards and titles, including People’s Artist of the USSR and Georgia, as well as Georgia’s Meritorious Artist and Honorary Citizen of Tbilisi.

Today an exhibition titled The Russian Theatre in Georgia was held, while tomorrow a conferenceThe Russian Theatre Abroad will take place, with roundtable discussions offering a space for discussions.

The anniversary celebrations formally opened on Monday with a special press conference in Tbilisi. Photo from Griboedov Theatre/Facebook.

The program will conclude on October 29 with the Griboedov Theatre premiere of the play The Government Inspector (also known as Revizor), which is based on the comedy of the same title by 19thCentury Russian dramatist Nikolai Gogol.

The play was staged by local theatre director Avtandil Varsimashvili and will be performed in the Big Hall of the Theatre on Rustaveli Ave in central Tbilisi.

The Griboedov Theatre was established in 1845 and featured many prominent Georgian and Soviet actors and directors on its stage. Led by Varsimashvili since 1999, the theatre’s repertoir featured 28 shows including recognised international productions, children’s plays and a special Season of Russian Classics.

The Theatre was awarded the Golden Knight Grand Prix award at the 2013 International Theatre Forum in Moscow, Russia for its production of Kholstomer – The Story of a Horse by famous 19th Century Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy.

The Griboedov Theatre was also the recipient of the 2012 Supporters of Tolerance prize by the Ethnic and Religious Minority Commission of Georgia’s Public Defender’s Office and often featured among top five Georgian theatres in the annual study by the Georgian Theatre Research Centre.