Joint Georgian playwright winners receive award in Austria

Basa Janikashvili receiving award at the ceremony. Photo by event organisers., 06 Jun 2014 - 12:54, Tbilisi,Georgia

The winning work of Georgia’s best playwrights has been performed in the German language for the first time.

Georgian theatre writers Basa Janikashvili and Data Tavadze received their awards in Vienna last night after earlier being named joint winners of a prestigious competition that recognizes the best plays in Eastern Europe.

The pair outclassed more than 20 other Georgian playwrights to jointly win Eastern Europe’s biggest drama competition "Across Borders Speak”.

    Awarding ceremony took place in the theatre Garage X in Vienna. Photo by event organisers. 

Competition winners were announced in February however Janikashvili and Tavadze received their official awards last night in Vienna. Judges said this was the first time the top award was shared between two playwrights.

Janikashvili was recognized for his piece Angry Birds and was presented his prize by Christian Brunmayr, head of the Cultural Policy Section Department of the Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs of Austria.

Tavadze, the other local winner, was recognized for his playWar Mother. He was unable to attend the event last night.

At the awards ceremony held at Garage X Theatre, the winning plays were performed as a scenic reading for the first time in German language by an ensemble of actors of the Staatstheater Nürnberg.

Reading of the plays for the first time was performed in the German language. Photo by event's organisers. 

Looking ahead, Mother War will be performed in the Gorlitz-Zittau Theater and Angry Birds will be performed at Nuremberg State Theatre. Both winning plays will be translated into German and 11,000 copies will be printed and distributed in German-speaking countries.

The contest was first announced on July 22, 2013 by the Ministry of Culture, in cooperation with the Ministry of European and International Affairs of Austria and Mikheil Tumanishvili Theatre and Arts Development Foundation.

Twenty-seven theatre writers participated in the contest and presented plays about boundaries, in particular how life in Georgia was in the era of social and economic changes.

The top ten plays were selected then the winning three plays were chosen from an international jury consisting of three Austrian and two Georgian experts.

One aim of the contest was to increase awareness and the popularity of Georgian culture in German-speaking countries.