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Spontaneity dominates US Embassy's 24-hour theatre festival

By Salome Modebadze
Friday, May 6
Rustaveli Theatre with the support of the US Embassy to Georgia hosted the 24-hour theatre festival last Friday. The project carried out in the frames of the US Cultural Development in Georgia encouraged the 4 new playwrights to create 10-15 minute plays in 8 hours. The experiment took started at 9 p.m. on April 28. Authors Nino Suramelashvili, Gigi Guledani, Davit Gabunia and Aleksi Chigvinadze had been absolutely free in choosing the topic of their play which the four starting directors had to stage next morning.

As project producer Nino Maglakelidze told The Messenger, the Georgian-US cultural development project aims at deepening cooperation between the theatres of the two countries. Having held several workshops and master classes for dramatists, actors and directors the US guests introduced their Georgian partners with modern trends of the US theatre. “Everything around the 24-hour festival is absolutely spontaneous. Neither playwrights nor the directors have been aware of what they would do within the deadline,” Maglakelidze told us.

The most important purpose of the festival was to reveal how smart the artists could be in dealing with such challenges. “Professional artists and huge names as well as high schools annually do such things in US. It’s a wonderful opportunity for young playwrights, actors and directors to try something new. You sometimes get really good or terrible plays at such festivals but that’s the part of the whole journey,” American director Colin Hovde told The Messenger.

Students of Robert Sturua’s MA class Paata Tsikolia, Ioseb Bakuradze, Goga Maisuradze and Levan Khvichia managed to stage the four different plays with the help of Rustaveli Theatre team and the students of Theatre and Film Georgian State University (TAFU). Sharing his opinion about the festival, Artistic Director of Rustaveli Theatre Robert Sturua called it “a humorous experiment” which is generally more challenging for those starting their art careers. Recollecting his personal 12-day successful experiment the famous Georgian Director approved of the “risky ventures” on the stage.