Tbilisi International Festival of Theater to Host The Tiger Lillies

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Tbilisi International Festival of Theater, considered one of the most important cultural events of autumn in the country. The Festival runs every year around the end of September and is one of the major events in the international life of Georgia. Apart from Tbilisi, the festival has become one of the main performing arts events in Caucasia and Eastern European countries, attracting the attention of the best-known, creative, provocative and innovative theater productions from the world. Since the creation of the festival, the event has aimed at positioning the country on the international cultural map. Every year, besides delivering unique and distinguished shows and performances, the festival also serves as a platform of discussion with society that impacts the community in a certain way.

“The discussion is about the differences in forms and the stories; new attitudes and unique, new viewpoints; modern, unrevealed worlds and their possibilities. Escorted by the audience and the participants of the festival, we want to uncover the world which will enhance our imagination and emotions. We want to go beyond! We want to meet the cultures yet concealed from us! We want to follow the path that only the actors can unravel for us…”, explains the team behind the project.

The festival has hosted 170 companies from around the world over the past nine years. This year, the festival opens on September 14 and closes on September 30.

The 2018 Tbilisi International Festival of Theater program incorporates plays, drama performances, modern dances, contemporary music and circus show. What makes this year’s festival so special are the celebrated and honorary artists from around the world that will be taking part and delivering fascinating shows.

A well-known three-piece band The Tiger Lillies will be part of the festival, as will celebrated actor Mikhail Baryshnikov, who will present his one-man show based on the poems of Nobel laureate Joseph Brodsky.

The program of Tbilisi International Festival of Theater is very diverse and is as follows:






The international program runs September 14-30, while the Georgian showcase program runs from 25 until September 29. For more detailed information and the lineup, check out the website http://www.tbilisiinternational.com/en/ .

GEORGIA TODAY talked to Ekaterina Mazmishvili, Art Director of the Tbilisi International Festival of Theater.

“This year’s festival is totally different from previous years, since it is made up of an entirely new program incorporating new plays. The performances will take place in Tbilisi’s leading theaters, including Marjanishvili, Rustaveli, the Royal District and Griboedov, as well as in open spaces. The international program incorporates theater troupes from Europe, the USA, China and Canada, represented for the first time at the festival. We launched the Georgian and International programs in 2009. This year we offer our audience a novelty, as we will be hosting a Circus show from Canada that will be absolutely different from the old circus that we knew in our childhoods. As for the contemporary dance that is regularly included in our program, this year we are proud to have a Chinese troupe here to present an amazing show that is one of most important forms of contemporary dance. We have been hosting the festival for over 10 years and it has become one of the primary cultural events in the city. Representatives of various festivals, theaters and production companies from different countries are to attend the Georgian performances to select artists and team up with them for co-productions. This section carries a serious mission, it serves as an introduction to and promotion of Georgian Theater and its integration within the world cultural network. The Georgian Showcase is one of the most important platforms in the theater culture here for international exchange: for a number of Georgian Companies and artists it is the opportunity to build new relationships, create co-productions, tour and exchange artists; while for international guests it is a discovery of new possibilities for their programming and future plans. Many successful co-productions, such as Tiger and Lion have resulted from this showcase. The festival will be opened with this very play, a German-Georgian co-production where director Data Tavadze and playwright Davit Gabunia, together with the German actors of the Staatstheater Karlsruhe, present a distanced and strict analysis of the tragic events,” Mazmishvili told us.  

As the program review reads, Tiger and Lion is a fictional play, though based on true stories, where characters have no names. They are collective images, combining the biographies from the bloody history of Soviet Georgia.

As for the world-famous music group that will be part of the festival, The Tiger Lillies will deliver two performances.

“The Tiger Lillies will present a multimedia concert of Edgar Allan Poe’s Haunted Palace in Kote Marjanishvili State Drama Theater. In their new show, a highly visual nightmare and bizarre musical extravaganza, The Tiger Lillies plunge into the dark and sinister world of Edgar Allan Poe. Additionally, we have yet another surprise for our audience, the famous musical trio will deliver a free concert in Europe Square, in Tbilisi, on September 21.  It is a really important gift from the musicians and an event of high importance that happens rarely, ”  Mazmishvili reported.


 By Lika Chigladze


14 September 2018 13:33