Mission of the Festival
Every single festival has its own special signature, a special atmosphere and, accordingly, a program through which it establishes communication between the audience and the performers.
We thought a lot about these components when launching the festival and do it even now-what should a festival be like in order to become an important part of Tbilisi's cultural life, to take its place in the specific environment and map of the world festivals. Yet this is a constant question in today's exceptionally fast-changing world. Some festivals appear and then disappear, some develop and grow into important international cultural events.
The mission of the Tbilisi International Theater Festival is to integrate Georgia into the international cultural map, enriching cultural life of Tbilisi and Georgia with the most challenging, interesting and important works of modern theatre art and culture;
The goals of the festival are:
Presenting the trends of performing arts and cultural innovations in the form of theatrical performances, musical and artistic works and in this way creating an international cultural center in Georgia for people of all generations and ages;
Promotion of Tbilisi in the international cultural, tourist and economic spheres, increasing interest in city of Tbilisi;
To create an interaction between the international "SHOWCASE" and the Georgian audience;
To enhance cultural tourism;
To participate in the cultural, economic and educational development of the country’s society;
Tbilisi becomes a true cultural capital from September to November—music, theater, cinema, and modern art—international festivals of all kinds are held here—cultural life is a calling card of the country and its artistic capital.
With these festivals, cultural events, we constantly appear on all kinds of world maps as a reliable and important partner.
One of the main events of autumn in Tbilisi- our International Theater Festival - today is one of the centers of cultural life in the Caucasus and Black Sea countries and one of the most attractive places for theater life in the world.
Since its establishment, our goal was to become one of the main "players" on the international cultural field, and we achieved this goal through the international program and the program of Georgian performances - we have permanent partners—international institutions abroad; international press; and development perspectives that emerge and evolve over the years.
Festivals enrich the cultural landscape. Every festival has its own individual "handwriting” and all of them attempt to give rise to discussions. Discussions - on art’s different forms and content, new approaches, different visions; on the new, unknown artistic worlds and possibilities.
We think Tbilisi International Theater Festival has become a very special instrument of communication. This has always been its main purpose.
Our festival has several programs:
Program of Georgian performances
Exhibitions, festival club and other interesting events.
The main international program of the festival is being organized during the year on the basis of an invitation from the festival’s organizers only.
The selection includes those performances whose artistic appearance is innovative, refined, and carries a special value: idea, text, relevance - all this affects the selection of the performances and the "dramaturgy" of the festival in general.
In the end - every year the program is a kind of "story" that represents the reality of today's world, the human reality, everything that worries or excites us, everything that can be seen in human eyes and helps us to connect with the audience.
"With a delicate sense of reality"—this is our slogan.
The "NEW" program
The festival presented the program "NEW" in 2011. The program is competitive and is presented in several international theater portals. The idea of the program was born on the basis of the numerous offers that the festival had received since 2009. The program is based on applications.
GEORGIAN SHOWCASE - program of Georgian performances
The program of Georgian performances is the most "nurtured” project of the festival and aims at popularizing Georgian modern theater.
Every year, the festival presents new performances of Georgian theater, which are attended by festival directors, organizers, critics, art dealers, and theater directors from Europe, Asia, and US.
During the 13 years of the festival, we had active international and Georgian press and media.
The festival is considered a stable and important partner in international theater circles.
In 2022, our festival became a member of the European Theater Convention.
The festival has been a member of the Association of European Festivals since 2011. However, since 2015, it left this membership. Since 2016, the festival has become a member of another organization: EUROPE FOR FESTIVALS, FESTIVALS FOR EUROPE.
The festival is integrated into almost all international portals of theater and festivals: : IETM international network for contemporary performing arts, European Festivals Association, On The Move (Cultural Mobility Information Network), European Association for Theatre Culture.
The Festival's partner international organizations over the years:
British Council, Goethe Institute, Adam Mickiewicz Institute, Polish Ministry of Culture, Romanian Ministry of Culture, Dumas Center in Tbilisi, Japanese and Korean Cultural Management Service, Swedish Institute, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia, Embassy of Iran, Polish Ministry of Culture, Danish Cultural Development Agency, Norwegian Development Agency, Japan Foundation, Goethe Institute, German State Programs.
What they write about the festival:
,, I myself represent the festival, which recently celebrated its 53rd anniversary, and I cannot hide my admiration and amazement at how the Tbilisi International Theater Festival managed to gain unprecedented prestige and an international reputation in such a short period of time. The importance of this achievement is increased by the geographical location of Tbilisi - it is a bridge between countries and cultures, between the West and the East. A mixture of unique Georgian theater, well-known traditions and hospitality, and enthusiastic, professional staff — all this together is a prelude to the success of an excellent international festival. " Yossi Tal-gan, Israeli festival and theater advisor, Jerusalem.
,,Just like any other international theater festival, the Tbilisi festival is a kind of window into Georgia for the citizens of the world. The festival does not have substantial financial possibilities, but the desire to share the countless treasures of world theater with the audience is great! I think, this festival today is a great example of how to be smart, diverse, unexpected, and generous, and consider the needs of broad audience, despite having quite limited funds. Tbilisi can be proud of this festival. And the world, in turn, can be proud that, thanks to this festival, it once again discovered the city of Tbilisi-the city with the greatest theatrical traditions and infinite creative forces. " Roman Dolzhansky, Theater critic, art director of the NET (New European Theater) Festival
Tbilisi International is a combiner, a link or a bridge between the theaters of Europe and Asia.
The festival promises to develop into a major event in the European festival calendar.