ARTISTS IN EXILE
Sokhumi State Drama Theatre was founded in 1885 in one of the picturesque towns of the Black Sea coast (Abkhazia, Georgia).
Abkhazia is one of the oldest and most beautiful parts of Georgia.
The Ancient State of Kolkhida (Colchis: the home in legend to Medea and the Argonauts) existed on the territory of Abkhazia.
Since its foundation, the theatre ceased to create professional work only once, in 1993, during the bloody war in Abkhazia. The Russian army occupied Abkhazia and expelled Georgians living there (a tragic event that led to Georgia having 400,000 internally displaced persons).
The Sokhumi Theatre troupe arrived in Tbilisi and continued to work in the capital of Georgia. Life in unbearable conditions did not break the theatre actors, and Sokhumi Theatre continued to work in exile. Unforgettable productions were performed, which preached peace, love and great human ideas. The actors’ fortunes were tragic. Some lost family members in the war. However, they have continued to work on stage. It has been 24 years since these sad events. A younger generation of actors has subsequently come to the company, but, still, the theatre group maintains its great dream to return to its homeland.
We strongly believe that our theatre staff has the most moral right to talk about peace, freedom and reconciliation, love of their country, exile, ethnic conflicts and religious confrontations. It’s an essential grain in our creativity.
Unfortunately, in its modern history, the Sokhumi Theatre knows the real horrors of war.