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A unified creative space for intercultural collaboration


Marina Kharatishvili

A unified creative space for intercultural collaboration


In October 2018, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Israeli Performing Arts Studio and the Shota Rustaveli Theater and Film State University of Georgia. According to the agreement of these two theater schools, further priorities for cooperation were defined: getting acquainted with teaching methodologies, conducting master classes and workshops, exchanging student performances, creating co-productions, exchanging plays by contemporary Georgian and Jewish playwrights and their implementation.

So called On April 10-16, the first stage of the exchange program was implemented within the framework of the Memorandum of Promotion and Cooperation between the Shota Rustaveli State University of Theater and Film and the Joram Lowenstein Performing Studio of Israel.

The first phase of the cooperation program involved the creation of a co-production. The stage was selected for theatrical productions by Kinesia and Mirine from Aristophanes' famous play "Listrate". From the Georgian side, the project was attended by the Rector of the University, Professor Gogi Margvelashvili, Dean of the Faculty of Drama, Professor Giorgi Shalutashvili, Head of the Quality Assurance Service of the Faculty of Drama, Associate Professor Marina Kharatishvili, Assistant Tata Tavdishvili. Nino Lortkipanidze, Ana Gvantseladze, Ani Zenaishvili, Givi Balanchivadze, Irakli Kereselidze, Irakli Chkhikvadze. Pupils from the Yoram Lowenstein School of Performing Arts participated in the project from the Israeli side. Presenting the project, which took place in Tel Aviv, both schools presented their own versions of the theatrical interpretation of the pre-selected scene.

After the presentation, a mixed group of actors and directors participating in the project were cast as a result of voting. As a result of three days of intensive rehearsals, both acting schools produced different theatrical versions of the same scene in Lisistrate's play, each producing a co-production in a language unfamiliar to him.

The rehearsals took place in a difficult and at the same time cheerful atmosphere. Since the partners did not understand each other's language, they could not rely solely on the text and therefore tried to switch to the language of the action and in this way construct the essence of the stage action for the partner.

This project has undoubtedly become an interesting and important experience for both acting schools. He put creative groups in a special situation. The result they had to present in a very short time, actually after 4-5 rehearsals, which required maximum concentration of creative resources, at the same time excluding the usual, consistent development of the teaching-creative process, forcing both actors and directors to work in certain schemes. This data left less time for improvisation, for creative experiments, although in turn participating in this type of project was somewhat peculiar to experiment.

"This project, as a teacher, put me in an extreme situation. As a director, I had to explain the task of story development to the students, at the same time I had to find the easiest way in what form, in what form the desired result should have been achieved. I sincerely admit that it turned out not to be easy and very responsible. In the end, I got the desired result, and the process itself gave me pleasure, ”said Tata Tavdishvili.

Despite the lack of time for the implementation of the project, at each rehearsal or during the screening of the finished theatrical product - excerpts, the level and quality of teaching in our two acting schools became quite clear, both the pros and cons of the teaching methodology.

These types of exchange projects are vital and necessary for young people, in order to make clear to them the importance of the school in which they study. As Professor Giorgi Shalutashvili noted: “It is very easy to understand what type of school you are dealing with. It becomes clear whether the young people have been taught the basic principles of the profession, whether they have the ability to think effectively and act according to the sequence of events, how the artistic kind is realized, what moves are made for it ........ Participation in this project once again showed that "Georgian acting school will not be inferior to anything, if it does not surpass European and Asian acting schools, many leading acting schools."

Teaching at the Israel Performing Arts Studio is based on the experience of classical theater schools. The methodology of conversion schools is mainly used here. It must be said that the principles of learning and life established in this school are very important and noteworthy. Students are actively involved in various social programs, the knowledge and experience gained in school they share with people of different social groups or strata (including people with autism, people with disabilities, vulnerable people, etc.). Consequently, students are employed during the teaching period and different meanings are given to these activities. It is also very noteworthy that the school is not located even in the prestigious district of the city, but in an area that is characterized by national diversity, the abundance of socially vulnerable people, the lack of cultural life. The existence of an acting school in this particular area is aimed at overcoming this deficit and social inequality, which increases its importance, goes beyond the scope of pedagogical and educational organization.

Tata Tavdishvili: “For me, this project is a chain connection that follows the targeted support of students. It is gratifying that our students have seen the attitude of Israeli school educators towards work, profession. The priorities of the studio leaders are well seen: for them the process of achieving the goal is properly pagan. School leaders create a full-fledged environment of social activity and creative freedom for students. This process develops the student in a specific skill and above all - willpower, concentration, interdependence, existence and action in extreme situations. All this contributes to the development of professional qualities. " It is the result of this kind of educational work that the students of this school are ready for all challenges.

The result obtained in the first stage of the project turned out to be very important. The rector of our university, Professor Gogi Margvelashvili, assessed it as follows: “It is a good project, I think it is also promising. The development of this project will require systematic financial resources. The project is interesting from a professional point of view as well, as it gives students some experience. This type of project was held for the first time, therefore, we have already gained the first experience. Now we have to observe the next stages of the project. "

This type of project creates new perspectives for future cooperation between the two art schools, it will undoubtedly contribute to the implementation of joint creative plans, the establishment of our students in the international arena. It is desirable and advisable for these schools to cooperate in different areas, with a special emphasis on the professional development of students, joint master classes and practical workshops with the participation of teachers and students. We consider it expedient to conduct master classes in the disciplines of the main module of acting, which will undoubtedly give us an interesting result.

Each new phase of the project should be a step forward compared to previous meetings. Therefore, in general, it is necessary to maintain the positive aspects of this project and to develop training-oriented, professional result-oriented cooperation.

It is now quite clear that these types of projects contribute not only to the theatrical school, but also to the promotion of national culture and traditions in the world, the internationalization of students, the establishment of creative contacts and involvement in international networks, the emergence of educational institutions in the international arena. The further development of this project will undoubtedly be a step forward in creating a unified creative space.

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