Tbilisi: Gos. izd-vo SSRG, 1930. Item #1147
61,  pp.: ill. 17.9x13 cm. In original illustrated publisher’s wrappers. Wrappers laminated. Near fine. Loss of the tiny piece of the title-page.
Scarce. First edition. With black-and-white photographs.
An interesting booklet dedicated to the first-ever Soviet tour of the Shota Rustaveli State Drama theatre.
In the summer of 1930, the Soviet state organized the first All-Union Theatre Olympiad in Moscow. The Olympiad took place from June 15 until July 11 and was attended by the competing theatres from Ukraine, Armenia, Belorussia, Turkmenia, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, etc. Among the participants was the Shota Rustaveli State Drama Theatre of Georgia headed by its director and reformer Sandro Akhmeteli (1886-1937). The theatre, which at that time was at the height of its brilliance, performed 4 most famous plays from its repertoire: Lamara, Anzori, Gaq’ra [i.e. Break Up], and Karta kalakshi [i.e. In the City of Winds]. All productions were directed by Sandro Akmeteli and designed by one of the founders of Georgian avant-garde stage design, Irakli Gamrekeli (1894-1943). Although the Georgian theatre was awarded the First Prize, the Soviet authorities prohibited its troupe from performing abroad. Five years later, Akhmeteli was removed from the scene for the “anti-Soviet activities” and executed after extensive tortures in 1937.
The edition was compiled to commemorate the first-ever Soviet tour of the Shota Rustaveli State Drama Theatre. The booklet opens with the brief introduction to the history of the theatre from its revival period in 1920 (when the theatre started its transformation towards modernist tendencies) until the 1930 tour. The second section offers overviews of the plays, Lamara and Anzori. The third section features programs for the productions, and the final chapter provides information on the theatre staff. The edition is densely illustrated and comprises rare photographs depicting Sandro Akhmeteli, Irakli Gamrekeli, set designs for the plays Lamara, Anzori, Break Up, In the City of Winds, Zagmuk (directed by Akhmeteli, stage design Gamrekeli; 1926) the building of the Shota Rustaveli Drama Theatre in Tbilisi, rehearsal, etc.
Worldcat shows copies of the edition in Columbia University in the City of New York and Yale University Library.