This summer, from July 13 to August 6, a New York theater venue hosted the Georgian-American theatrical feast at Teatro Circulo that aimed to introduce American audiences to nine renowned Georgian authors.
On an event’s poster with portrays of Georgian playwrights, one could also see Sophia Tabatadze’s painting of a plate with Georgian letters, a kind of invitation – ‘help yourself with Georgian literature !’.
Organized by Red Lab Productions, the event featured Lasha Bughadze’s world premiere ‘Navigator in Love’ and Tamar Bartaia’s American premiere ‘A Toy Gun’ and seven free readings of plays in translation: “On The Latch” by Basa Janikashvili, Dato Turashvili’s “War Mother,”Rezo Kldiashvili’s “Pilon,” “On The Eagle’s Wings” by Guram Batiashvili, Data Tavadze’s “War Mother,” Nestan Nene Kvinikadze’s “Friends” and “Liv Stein” by Germany-based Georgian author Nino Kharatishvili.
‘Navigator in Love’ staged by American director Adam Knight and “A Toy Gun’ under direction of Becky Baumwoll were one of the highlights of the feast and were enthusiastically met by audiences.
Aside from plays, visitors could attend two events, featuring two concerts by Georgian musicians Ilia Tsinadze and Nino Khvedeliani & a group ‘Zekari,’ gastronomic adventures by tasting Georgian wine and gourmet khachapuri. In addition, copies of Georgian manuscripts were on display.
As initiator and curator of the theatrical feast, theater director Irina Gachechiladze said it was a very good initiative and a brilliant chance to explore Georgian culture. From the beginning, Irina had in mind to stage only one literature reading, but afterwards she decided to introduce more never-before-seen Georgian plays to American audiences. She contacted Georgian writers, most of them accepted her offer with enthusiasm, though only Dato Turashvili was able to actually go and take part in the event itself, launch a presentation of his book and meet people interested in Georgian culture.
One of the highlights of the festival was that the Georgian plays were staged by local directors with participation of American actors, making it a kind of cultural exchange and, as a result, Americans got much more interested in Georgian culture; with visitors already asking if the event is taking place next summer. What’s more, the event had good press and was attended by producers and theater experts.
Photo: ISAIAH TANENBAUM Theatrical Photography