Robert Sturua Print
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Monday, 03 September 2007 00:46

Robert Sturua, one of the greatest theatre directors of modern times, was born in Tbilisi in 1938. He graduated from the Institute of Theatre Arts (famous director, Mikheil Tumanishvili group) and joined Rustaveli Theatre in 1963. He has been the Artistic Director of Rustaveli National Theatre since 1980. He has staged over one hundred different performances for the Rustaveli. Robert Sturua draws excellently, plays jazz and writes plays. He has an infallible intuition, always feels the time and never yields to it. His first success came with the staging of The Trial of Salem by Arthur Miller (original title The Crucibles) in 1965. Later Sturua will say “with this performance I came to the conceptual directing without even noticing”.

 In 70ies and 80ies Sturua created his most acclaimed performances: P. Kakabadze’s Kvarkvare, which made everyone speak about a special model of Sturua’s theatre, B. Brecht’s Caucasian Chalk Circle, a festive show that toured the world, entered the international collection of the best plays of the 20th century and remains a living legend even today, Richard III with incomparable Ramaz Chkhikvadze as Richard, King Lear where Sturua foretold the destruction of the old world with surprising preciseness... Sturua is known as paradoxical interpreter of Shakespeare’s theatre. Out of 37 Shakespeare’s plays Sturua has already staged 17 in the Rustaveli and elsewhere in the world. Hamlet (1986) staged for the Riverside Studio in London with Alan Rickman as Hamlet has been included amongst ten best Shakespeare’s productions of the last 50 years by Shakespeare International Association. Both versions of Tbilisi Hamlet (2001 and 2006), according to Sturua, “were brought by the time itself”, “just as harsh and dynamic Macbeth” (1995) or What You Will or the Twelfth Christmas Night (2002) with its surprising rhythm and conventionality. The accents of Sturua’s productions in the 90ies are shifted towards the human and his inner world. Critics start speaking of the theatre of kind Sturua. Such are the productions of Life is a Dream by Calderon (1992), Kind Woman of Sezuan by Brecht (1993), Gospel According to Jacob (1995, based on the Georgian ABC Book by Jacob Gogebashvili), Lamara by G. Robakidze (1996). In the performances staged in the new millennium, Robert Sturua’s dialogue with the audience acquired more philosophical notes. The director, it seems, thinks more about the eternity, seeks for the margins between life and death. The metaphorical language of these performances are richer and more poetical: a plastic show-fantasy Styx inspired by the music of Gia Kancheli (2002), both versions of Hamlet staged in Tbilisi (2001, 2006), Waiting for Godot by Beckett (2002). Robert Sturua’s creative world is extremely diverse. His productions harmonically incorporate tragedy and clownery, political farce and melodrama; classical comicality is followed by philosophical meditations, extreme rationalism easily acquires shades of grotesque or sarcasm. This diversity has never been eclectic since the director manages the stage and the audience with elegance and ease, his imagination is endless and he always dominates idea and rhythm of his performances. Sturua’s performances brought world fame to the director and his Rustaveli Theatre. Sturua’s productions were called sensational while Sturua himself was compared to all the famous European directors of the world. There is no prestigious festival left where Sturua’s production were not performed; audiences of Argentina, Australia, Poland, France, Switzerland applauded to the unrivaled skills of Georgian actors. Sturua has conquered Mexico, London, Edinburgh, Jerusalem, Rome, Moscow, Düsseldorf and, most importantly, his native Tbilisi.

Shota Rustaveli State Drama Theatre. Retrieved on April 13, 2007; rustavelitheatre.ge

 


Robert Sturua (Georgian: რობერტ სტურუა) (born July 31, 1938) is a Georgian theater director, who gained international acclaim for his original interpretation of the works of Brecht, Shakespeare, Chekhov. He is based at the Shota Rustaveli Dramatic Theater in Tbilisi, and has staged productions throghout the world.

Robert Sturua was born into an artistic family. His father, Robert Ivanovich Sturua was a notable painter, whose works are part of the permanent exposition at the Tbilisi Art Museum. Mr Sturua is married to Dudana Kveselava, an art historian and an artist in her own right and daughetr of Mikhail Kveselava, an accomplished philologist, writer and philosopher, who served as a translator at the Nurenberg trials.
 Mr Sturua studied under Mikhail Tumanishvili at the Tbilisi State Theater Institute. Graduating in 1961, he began his career at the Shota Rustaveli Theater, where he became principal director in 1979 and principal artistic director in 1982.

Robert Sturua's first success came with staging of The Trial of Salem by Arthur Miller in 1965 (original title: The Crucibles). Later, Sturua mounted spectacular, offbeat productions of The Caucasian Chalk Circle by Bertolt Brecht (1975), Richard III (London and Edinburgh, 1979-80) and King Lear (New York, 1990), starring comic actor Ramaz Chkhikvadze. Starting with interpretations of "Richard III" and "King Lear", Sturua became known as paradoxical interpreter of Shakespeare’s theater. Out of 37 Shakespeare plays, Sturua has staged 17 at Rustaveli. "Hamlet" (1986) was staged for the Riverside Studio in London with Alan Rickman as Hamlet, and was hailed as one of ten best Shakespearian productions of the last 50 years by Shakespeare International Association.

In 1990's, Sturua's productions turned to the inner world. Works included "Life is a Dream" by Calderon (1992), "Kind Woman of Sezuan" by Brecht (1993), "Gospel According to Jacob" (1995, based on the Georgian ABC Book by Iakob Gogebashvili), "Lamara" by Grigol Robakidze (1996). And in the new millennium, Robert Sturua’s dialogue with the audience acquired an even more philosophical tone and focused more on thoughts of eternity, and on the fine line beetween life and death. The metaphorical language of more recent interpretations is palpably more poetic and include the fantasy "Styx", inspired by the music of Giya Kancheli (2002); two new versions of Hamlet staged in Tbilisi (2001, 2006); and "Waiting for Godot" by Beckett (2002).

Robert Sturua’s creative world is rich and diverse. His productions harmonize the tragic and the comical, political farce and melodrama, classical comedy and philosophy, where extreme rationalism can echo the grotesque colored by sarcasm. The director manages the stage and the audience with elegance and ease, and his imagination clearly dominates the melody and rhythm of his plays.

wikipedia



STURUA, ROBERT (1938- ). Critically acclaimed director of the Georgian theater. Sturua graduated from the Tbilisi State Theater Institute in 1961 and began his career at the Shota Rustaveli Theater, where he became chief director in 1979 and chief artistic director in 1982. He staged over 120 spectacles and gained world-wide fame for his masterful interpretation of William Shakespeare’s plays, including Richard III, Macbeth, King Lear.

The Dictionary of Georgian National Biography. Retrieved on April 13, 2007; georgianbiography.com

Last Updated on Monday, 03 September 2007 01:02