Batumi Puppet and Adult Audience Theater
History of the Batumi Puppet and Teen State Professional theater (called Dolly Theater) starts since twenties of the XX century. But before that the club of puppet theater-lovers existed in the city, contributing the following development of the theater. Batumi Puppet Theater history covers several periods: 1. Puppet theater lovers club; 2. Twenties of the XX century; 3. Theater at the Teachers House in 1950s; 4. From 1980 till now.
In 1936 in Moscow at the welcome event of Soviet Georgia delegation at Stalin’s, following persons were presented from Adjara ASR: actress – Tamar Chavchavadze and playwright – Mikheil Nioradze. This meeting raised issue regarding the radical reversion and development of the theatric art in Georgia. T. Chavchavadze and M. Nioradze notified relevant bodies regarding supporting establishment of Puppet Theater in Batumi. Public Commissioner of ASR Ilia Katamadze and director Grigol Kostava signed the agreement according which premierre of the play “Kako’s tricks” was solemnly presented on 20 July 1936. The theater was awarded with state status. Kotso Doghonadze was assigned as a theater director. Besides interesting repertoire and theater development it was closed in 1938, seems to be because of political reason. In 1940 the theater was restored but it was ceased soon. In 50s the Puppet Theater existed only during five years. Its head was Kotso Doghonadze at first, after that Sergo Tsagareishvili. Three-four premieres were held during the season. In 1958 the theater was preparing for the next premiere performance but the intention wasn’t implemented. After handing the play “Arshin Malan” which was attended by the city leadership, the theater stopped working. It is noteworthy that the theater was working without dotation from 1953 to 1958.
In 80s of the XX century “new” history restarts. (The first play in 1981 “Wanderer” was premiered). The creator of the new history of the theater was Givi Sarchimelidze. Bringing dramatic and directorship groups to the theater by leadership of Givi Sarchimelidze was an important and successful move. The next breaking point of the puppet theater started when the Ministry of Culture of Adjara presented requirement to the Minister of Culture of Georgia – Sesili Gogiberidze for opening the Teens’ theater, which responded positively. Eter Tavartkiladze was assigned as a head of the theatric troupe of the Teens’ theater. (The play – “Thousand and one nights of Shahrazad”, G. Nakhutsrishvili).
The building of State Professional Theater of Batumi Puppet and Teens is one of the oldest and unique architecture monument, both in Batumi and whole Georgia. It is awarded by the status of the cultural inheritance monument. In spite of studies of various researchers, the personality of the architect and specific date of construction couldn’t be found out until now. It is known that this building was constructed at the end of XIX century and beginning of XX century and was owned by some Greek doctor, which admitted patients at home. After establishment of the Soviet government and particularly since 1924 the building was granted to the Teachers’ House of Adjara and since 2011 it was completely awarded to the State Professional Theater of Batumi Puppet and Teens.
Since 1980s till now the theater passed very interesting and creatively loaded road. During various times the artistic directors of the theater were: Givi Sarchimelidze, Rezo Geladze, Tamaz Bolkvadze, Eter Tavartkiladze, Zura Tsintsadze. Since 2017 the art director of State Professional Theater of Batumi Puppet and Teens is director - Giorgi Chkhaidze. Director – Temur Makharadze.
During various periods of time outstanding artists worked there: Nino Nizharadze, Anton Philipov, Besik Kalandadze, Koba Khoperia, Shadiman Chavchavadze, Gela Chelidze, Marina Prangishvili, Gia Gogitidze, Meri Dartsmelidze, Mira Gurgenidze. The musical part of the theater was headed by: Soso Bardanashvili, Alexandre Ochigava, Tengiz Shamiladze, Mindia Khitarishvili.
Twenty three actors are in the troupe, the repertoire consists of twenty eight plays. Plays of both classic and modern playwrights are staged there. Annually the theater arranges tours abroad, also participate in various festivals. Georgian-Ukrainian children’s festival “Golden Tangerine” is held during past two years.
Creative and administrative teams dandles little spectators with creative ideas.