By Laman Ismayilova
Azerbaijan’s ancient city of Lankaran is getting ready for the Theater Festival to be held on June 1-5.
The event will be co-organized the Ministry of Culture, Lankaran Executive Authority and the Union of Theater Workers as part of the State Program “Azerbaijani Theater in 2009-2019”, Trend Life reported.
The festival will bring together Azerbaijan State Academic Drama Theater, State Theater of Young Spectators, State Puppet Theater, Ganja State Puppet Theater, Gakh State Puppet Theater, Salyan State Puppet Theater, Shusha State Musical Drama Theater, Baku Children's Theater, and Ol independent theater.
Theater development in Azerbaijani culture has a very rich history, which originates from the theatrical elements of open-air folk performances, religious ceremonies and much more.
Azerbaijani theater originated in the second half of the 19th century, with the comedy "The Vizier of Lankaran khanate" by Mirza Fatali Akhundov, the first Azerbaijani playwright, prominent thinker and philosopher.
First amateur performances staged by students of non-classical secondary school by initiative of Hasan-bay Zardabi and with the active participation of the Najaf bay Vezirov and Alakbar Adigozalov became a powerful impetus for the establishment of the national theater.
State Academic Drama Theater
The Azerbaijan State Academic Drama Theater has its origins in national holidays and dances. In 1873, comedy "Vizier of Lankaran khanate" was staged there. The professional Azerbaijani theater was originated after this very performance.
During the Soviet period, the theater was awarded many awards for successful activity. Such actors as Huseyn Arablinski, Mukhtar Dadashev, Jahangir Zeynalov, Mirzaagha Aliyev, Sidgi Ruhulla, Alasgar Alakbarov, Adil Isgenderov, Barat Shekinskaya, Leyla Badirbeyli and other famous actors played at the theater.
Plays to works of Jafar Jabbarli, Mirza Fatali Akhundov, Ali bey Huseynzade, Najaf bey Vazirov, Huseyn Javid, Sabit Rahman, Nariman Narimanov, Ilyas Efediyev, also to works of other world classics such as Shakespeare, Schiller, Moliere, Dumas, Hugo, Balzac, Pushkin, Lermontov, Tolstoy, Gogol were staged in the theater.
The troup of the theater was repeatedly in tours in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Kazan, Tbilisi, Tashkent, Ashgabat, Turkey, Germany, Cyprus, etc.
Theater of Young Spectators
The State Theater of Young Spectator plays an important role in shaping the artistic and aesthetic taste of the young generation and inculcating high moral and spiritual values, occupies a worthy place in the history of the Azerbaijani theater.
For many years, outstanding figures of culture and art of the country maintained close creative ties with this theater. Having a rich experience, the State Theater of the Young Spectator has won a great sympathy for art lovers.
The theater actively participates in the propaganda of the cultural achievements of Azerbaijan.
The theater successfully performed at the first Sheki International Theater Festival, the 19th "Belaya Veja" ("White Castle") International Theater Festival, the first International Martin McDonagh Festival, the 17th Black Sea International Theater Festival, the 5th international Theater Festival "Northern Meetings", etc.
State Puppet Theater
The Azerbaijan State Puppet Theater was created in 1931, though the theater building was constructed as early as in 1908. The theater was established by Mollaga Babirli and the first performance was staged in 1932.
The theater was a participant of international puppet theater festivals (Tashkent, 1979, Bombay, 1980) and the South Caucasus (Yerevan, 1982, Tbilisi, 1984). The theater was named after prominent Azerbaijani writer Abdulla Shaig since 1974.
At present, the theater performs in Azerbaijani and Russian languages for children and adults alike. Plays of Azerbaijani, Russian and western European playwrights are staged in the theater.
Ganja State Puppet Theater
Ganja State Puppet Theater was built in 1885 as a Lutheran church and lately was converted into Ganja State Puppet Theater. The theater always delights its viewers with colorful performances. It has performed at numerous festivals in Turkey, Iran and other countries.
Gakh State Puppet Theater
Over the past years, Gakh State Puppet Theater has successfully performed at international theater festivals. The troupe presented spectacular shows at the 2nd International Puppet Theater Festival in Baku.
Shusha State Musical Drama Theater
After the construction work carried out last year, the Shusha State Musical Drama Theater opened its doors for lovers of theatrical art. The theater has a great creative potential, despite the difficulties, the establishment of culture all these years successfully continues its activity.
There is a lobby, administrative rooms, dressing rooms, maintenance rooms and an auditorium for 110 people.
On the second floor there are rooms for sound and light operators, a film projection room. The stage was reconstructed. Video surveillance system, fire alarm system and fire extinguishing system were also installed. The building is provided with new telecommunication systems.
Baku Children's Theater
Baku Children's Theater was established in 2001. The Theater has implemented projects such as "Our Theater festival I", "Our Theater festival II", and "The Turkish Peoples Theater".
The theater also successfully cooperates with relevant international organizations including International Committee of the Red Cross and the Office of the Council of Europe.
Nearly 70 child specialists work at the theater. To date, the theater has created about 100 artistic performances.
A theater studio for children with special needs in Baku Children's Theater was established in November 2009.
The studio performed within the framework of the 4th National Festival of Contemporary Performances of Children's and Youth with Disabilities which was held in country and at the 2nd International Youth Festival for People with Disabilities in Moscow, and was awarded a diploma.
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova
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