Sokhumi Drama Theater
Creative biography of the Sokhumy Theater is diverse. Georgian performances in Sokhumi were held since 1885 by the scene-lovers. The plays were held by the movable troupes and actors’ comradeships from Tbilisi and other parts of Georgia. The inspirers of the scene-lovers of Sokhumi were A. Jugheli, S. Pranguliani, V. Abashidze, A. Shervashidze, T. Shervashidze, Mako Saparova-Abashidze, V. Gunia, Sh. Dadiani, etc.
Georgian Professional Theater was established in 1928 in Sokhumi. Until 1979 the Georgian and Abkhazian troupes of the Sokhumi Theater held performances in one building. In 1982 the Georgian troupe continued working in separate building. In 1983 the Georgian theater was named after the classic of Georgian national literature – Konstantine Gamsakhurdia.
The plays of early Soviet so-called Stalin period were especially interesting. The theater was awarded by the most beautiful historic building in Sokhumi 1952-53. Document film is also preserved, where the wealth and architectural beauty of the building is shown well. The plays created during this period had high level of dramatic performance. In spite of the Communist terror forbidden ideas wear seen through the plays. These ideas achieved highest artistic-metaphoric level in 70-80s and the Sokhumi Theater turned into one of the best theaters in the Soviet Union. Exactly in 80s the theater had tours in the whole Soviet Union and even took its art abroad. The theater was headed by the famous artist of the theater and cinema Gogi Kavtaradze, the period of whose activities is considered as a Golden Age.
Due to the dragedy of war between Georgia and Russia in 90s, Georgian population was displaced from Abkhazia. Since that the most difficult period started for the theater. Bloody controversy of 90s of the 20th century killed several employees of the theater. The Sokhumi Georgian Theater became internally displace in its own country. The displaced theater was sheltered by the Tbilisi state theaters: Rustaveli Theater at first, after that Marjanishvili Theater and others. During this period the theater was headed by the actor Dimitri Jaiani, due to whose merits the theater coped with most difficult psychologic, financial-organizational issues and returned to the creative life.
In 2016 the Ministry of Education and Culture of the Abkhazia Government granted stationary building in Tbilisi to the theater, where the rehearsal and office was located. Later, the theater receved own stage in the same building.
During the existence of the Sokhumi Theater plays by the world and Georgian classics and modern authors were staged.
Nowadays the theater decided to focus on the modern Georgian literature. The theater collaborates with modern Georgian playwrights and writers with the full load. The topics are extremely contemporaneous. Issues of IDPs are the problem of 21st century, one of the greatest challenges of the modern world.
The Sokhumi Theater is very interesting from this point of view. It implements various international projects. It is involved in the international theatric institute network of UNESCO (www.iti-worldwide.org). It established German-Georgian and also, Polish-Georgian theatric platform. Became prize winner of several international theatric contests and festivals. We can say proudly, that the Sokhumi State Drama Theater has important place and embellishes Georgian theatric life with great traditions.