Tbilisi: tipografiya vostochnykh yazykov G. Guliyants, 1851. Item #1167
, 50,  pp. 21.5x14.5 cm. In original publisher’s wrappers. Small bits of the wrapper are missing. Foxing but generally in good condition.
Extremely scarce. First edition.
One of the earliest productions staged on the scene of Russian theatre in Georgia.
The origins of Georgian theatre go back to the ancient ritual festivals of fertility, which, after the introduction of Christianity (IV century), became the basis of the establishment of church theatre and the development of the practice of folk theatrical performances (such as Berikaoba). Yet, it was not until the mid-1800s that the Georgian society witnessed the unprecedented progress of local theatre.
Following the annexation of Georgia by the Russian Empire in 1801, Georgian cultural figures got the chance to become acquainted with the advanced culture of their northern neighbor and Western Europe. In the struggle for the development of national theater, the Georgian public found support from a number of Russian progressive figures, namely the viceroy of the Caucasus, Mikhail Vorontsov (1782-1856), who considered the establishment of the Georgian theater as his primary task.
On March 28, 1845, on the fifth day of Vorontsov’s arrival to Tbilisi, the viceroy ordered to transfer the building of the arena to the head of the city engineering department Dmitry Sonin, who, together with the city architect Ivanov, was to reconstruct the premise for the private theater of Georgy Yatsenko. Vorontsov allocated 2,900 rubles for the arrangement of a stage, boxes and an auditorium for 340 spectators, as well as for the arrival of Yatsenko’s troupe from Stavropol. Finally, on September 20, 1845, the actors of the Theater Directorate opened their first season in the arena building. The date went down in history as the day of the establishment of the Russian State Theatre in Georgia.
The performances began with the comedy of S. Solovyov in one act What we have, we do not appreciate, having lost we cry and the vaudeville of D. Lensky in two acts Solicitor under the table. In the following years, the number of productions performed on the stage of the theatre gradually increased, reaching 67 in 1849. The year of 1850 was marked with the production of plays with scenes from local life: on December 3 and 10, in the benefit performance of the comedian Ivanov, the comedy-vaudeville by I. Yevlakhov the Wedding was presented in two acts and three scenes with a plot from the life of the Tbilisi Armenians. Among the actors invited from Russia were Gendilevich, Yablochkina, Maksimova, Tsvetkova, Nikolskaya, Ivanov, Petrovskaya, etc.
Printed in 1851, the publication features the text of the play and serves as the earliest document of the activity of the Russian State Theatre in Georgia.
On April 10, 1858, with the arrival of the new governor, General Muravyov, the Russian drama troupe was dismissed for not meeting the plans of the tsarist government.
In 1850, with the help of Mikhail Voronstov, a Georgian playwright and poet Giorgi Eristavi (1813-1864) established the first Georgian professional theatre.
No copies found in Worldcat.