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Theatre shows solidarity for sacked Sturua

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, August 23
Heated debate regarding the dismissal of the Art Director of Rustaveli Academic Theatre is still ongoing. The whole composition of the Rustaveli Academic Theatre objected to the dismissal of Sturua from the position, and made a special statement calling upon the government to reverse the decision, on August 22, in front of the Theatre.

"We, our Theatre, have faced many hurdles during our existence, but never were we so unanimous. Today we all are astonished. The case is far worse than we think, but we do not have to lose our face. Any of our actions must be adequate, courageous and steady. We are not reconciling with the political decision. Robert Sturua is our Art Director despite his official dismissal, "- the statement reads.

As the staff members of Rustaveli Theatre stated, they are going to show solidarity for Sturua and fight to the end; however this would not properly start until September, when all the representatives of the Theatre would return. They have underlined that the day was just a message and their actual plans would be made clear at a later date.

"We made a statement; we have to wait for the reply that will follow from the government. We pray our demands are satisfied, but if not we will think about further actions. We will gather to think about what to do, we will make decisions together- actress Tatuli Dolidze told The Messenger and underlined that Robert Sturua is a person who makes very balanced statements in public. Nevertheless his private talks are not a grand scandal, his statements should have been understood as a warning, how not to act, and how such mistakes might be harmful for state interests.”

Almost all of those gathered emphasized the political motive of the dismissal and were quite strict in their demands, “Rustaveli Theatre will be protesting until the government says yes on Robert Sturua , “Actor of Rustaveli Theatre Beso Zanguri said.

“I’m sure Robert Sturua will stay and work in Rustaveli Theatre. He may not be the Art Director, but will continue to create performances”, the actor said.

He says that if Sturua leaves the theatre he will do the same, “As I know Robert Sturua has a number of offers from Argentina, Greece, Russia and other countries, though proposals from Russia are the ones being talked about. “ He says that Sturua’s dismissal from the position of Art Director is an act of vengeance from the President of Georgia, “I am sure that Culture Minister Nika Rurua personally would be against this decision". The actor has also commented regarding the managing director of Rustaveli Theatre, Zaal Chikobava who remains in the position. “Though I don’t blame this person, as when you agree to the position, you understand what they may demand from you, “Zanguri said.

Chikobava also responded to the statements and mentioned that there are more radical and less radical figures in the theatre, he also made a small statement regarding Sturua’s being to the Theatre, “There is an agreement with Robert Sturua about his stay in Rustaveli Theatre as a producer and he will continue to work as usual. There are radical and less radical members in the theatre troupe. The expression of such an attitude after so many years of cooperation is natural. The Culture Minister also said that it was not an easy decision to make, “ Chikobava, said.

The Messenger has tried to contact the Ministry of culture, as the Press Service Representative of the Ministry told us, the Minister would comment on the issue himself however without giving concrete information when it might happen.