Vazha-Pshavela Theater

Vazha-Pshavela Theater

The Vazha-Pshavela State Drama Theatre is a work of art unto itself. Located in the centre of Telavi, Kakheti, this building is immediately noticeable due to its impressive stained-glass windows. Within this contemporary building hall, visitors will find a bust of Vazha-Pshavela and a two-story pageantry church-tower from the time of King Erakle II. This monument suggests that the development of visual culture began in the second half of the 18th century in the Kingdom of Kartli-Kakheti, and is connected with Kine Erekle II.

The History of Vazha-Pshavela Theater

According to historical texts, Erekle II supported the desire of young Georgians to found a theatre in Telavi and so, in 1782, the Telavi School Theatre began to develop in the royal city, with the first professional plays being performed at the same time.

In 1795, Agha Mohammed Khan invaded Kakheti. At the king’s command, the actors from the School Theatre went into battle to confuse the Persians with their mighty signing. Led by a famous actor, with the surname Machabeli, into battle, the entire troupe died in the Battle of Krtsanisi, but has been immortalised in Lado Asatiani’s poem.

No plays were staged at the theatre for fifty-five years after the battle, but the theatre has since reclaimed an important place in Georgian culture with its many successful performances, talented directors, and gifted actors.

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