Georgian theatre awards reveal best of local stage art

The annual 'Duruji' awards were established to honour best of local theatre art. Photo by Gela Bedianashvili/Culture Ministry of Georgia's press office., 28 Dec 2016 - 14:36, Tbilisi,Georgia

Some of the brightest new talents and established theatre professionals were honoured within this year's edition of the leading local Theatre Prize 'Duruji' in capital Tbilisi on Tuesday.

Hosted at the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia, the ceremony for the awards was held for the eighth time on December 27.

Three of the four principal prizes at the annual occasion went to play Lysistrata and theatre professionals involved in creating it.

Theatre director David Sakvareldize was honoured for his production of 'Lysistrata'. Photo by Gela Bedianashvili/Culture Ministry of Georgia's press office.

Theatre director David Sakvarelidze was honoured for Best Direction for the production, while author Lasha Bugadze was awarded for the literary piece that served as basis for the play and actress Nino Kasradze was singled out for the Best Actress award for her part in the staging.

The play is based on the 411 BC Greek comedy by playwright Aristophanes, in which Greek women launch a mission to end the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta by refusing sexual relations with their male partners to force them to negotiate for peace.

For the new piece that served as basis for Sakvarelidze's award-winning production, celebrated Georgian writer Lasha Bugadze created a continuation of the ancient story 25 years from the original plot.

A scene from 2015 theatre play 'Lysistrata' which swept three of four principal prizes at 'Duruji'. Photo from

The play premiered in 2015 and was performed at some of the leading local venues including the Rustaveli Theatre and Marjanishvili Theatre.

The production swept three of the four main prizes of the 'Duruji' awards, leaving only the Best Actor prize that went to Giorgi Gloveli for his role in the local production Duck Hunt.

Outside of the main awards, the Culture Ministry also honoured young director Avtandil Diasamidze with the customary Special Prize designed to enable talented theatre creators to stage new projects.

Young director Avtandil Diasamidze received the Special Prize of the Culture Ministry. Photo by Gela Bedianashvili/Culture Ministry of Georgia's press office.

Diasamidze was awarded the money prize of 10,000 GEL (about 3,700 $/3,000 £*) for staging a new piece during the 2017 theatre season in Georgia.

Established in 2009, 'Duruji' is the leading Georgian theatre prize created to honour achievements in development of the country's famed theatre field.

This year's edition of the contest saw 33 submissions from 20 local theatre companies.

The submissions were reviewed by a jury of seven members over a course of three months before 21 entries were selected for the final shortlist.

* Currencies are equivalent with the latest exchange rate by the National Bank of Georgia.