“But my dream came true. I went back to painting and sculpture, and this time forever. I am grateful to my fate, to the puppets, and my small troupe, rustling softly in dark corners of this old building.”
Though modest in size, The Gabriadze Theater is among the world’s preeminent cultural institutions. Presenting mature puppet performances full of depth and meaning, it has gained the respect and recognition of international audiences and critics alike.
Based in its home theater in Tbilisi, Georgia, the company is under the direction of a noted artist, writer, and director Rezo Gabriadze (whose awards include Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters of the French Republic – France’s highest recognition for cultural achievements.) The Gabriadze Theater has toured extensively, its recent venues including: Lincoln Center Festival in New York; The Edinburgh Festival; Bogota Theater Festival; San Sebastian Festival, Spain; Toronto World Stage Festival; The Barbican Center, London; Theater de la Ville, Paris; The Kennedy Center Festival, Washington, D.C.; the Theatre Art Studio in Moscow.
The Gabriadze Theater stands in the heart of Tbilisi’s historic Old Town. This beautiful building of the unique marionette theatre was designed by Gabriadze himself. Among the shows in its current repertoire are: “The Autumn of My Spring”, “Stalingrad”, “Ramona”, “Diamond of Marshal de Fant’e”.
“Gabriadze himself is a Georgian national treasure. I saw his marionette version of the Battle of Stalingrad when I first came to Tbilisi 10 years ago and fell in love with the city. I was ushered into a dank, run-down basement, where I watched, enthralled, as Gabriadze’s tiny puppet tanks advanced to the rousing strains of Shostakovich. It was unforgettable. “
The New York Times
“In the old part of Tbilisi is located a very small marionette theatre. There, you will meet marionettes which like angels descend from heaven and which like demons emerge from the bowels of the earth, to tell several dozen viewers their amazing stories”.
“It is the particular genius of Gabriadze, founder of Tbilisi Municipal Theatre Studio, to capture epic issues in tiny-scale puppet sketches – some of them slapstick or whimsical”.
“Rezo Gabriadze is the angel of Tbilisi. ‘We should bow to the audience and respect the puppets, who dislike being treated disparagingly’, he says. And who would disagree with that? Not those who refuse to leave after the performance has ended, who gather in front of the stage to look at Boria and his friends, as if unable to believe that these small creatures will stay there through the night, attached to their strings, in the empty room which is just about to close”.