Armenian Academic Theater

Armenian Academic Theater

 

(full name, G. Sundukian Armenian Academic Theater), a dramatic theater established in Yerevan in 1921 under the name First State Theater of Armenia.

The theater opened in January 1922 with the performance of Pepo by Sundukian. The actors O. A. Abelian, G. K.

Avetian, O. N. Gulazian, G. V. Gabrielian, Asmik, I. S. Alikhanian, A. T. Voskanian, V. B. Vagarshian, R. N. Nersesian, M. G. Manvelian, and others worked in the theater during the early years of its existence. Leading directors included L. A. Kalantar, A. S. Burdzhalian, and later, A. K. Gulakian. The finest international, Russian, and Armenian drama classics have been staged, including The Taming of the Shrew (1923), Othello (1926), and Hamlet (1942) by Shakespeare; Le Malade imaginaire by Moliere (1923); Lucrative Appointment (1929) and The Storm (1935) by Ostrovskii; Masquerade by Lermontov (1949); The Living Corpse by Tolstoy and The Cherry Orchard by Chekhov (both in 1951); The Idiot (after Dostoevsky, 1968); Egor Bulychov and Others by Gorky (1933, 1952); Uncle Bagdasar by Paronian (1954); Khatabala by Sundukian (1927); Kum Morgana (1927), Because of Honor (1939), and Namus (1955) by Shirvanzade; and Chaos (after Shirvanzade, 1959). Modern Armenian and Russian dramas have also been staged. These include In the Ring by Vagarshian (1930), Napoleon Korkotian by Demirchian (1934), Cliff by Papazian (1944), Testing Ground by Zarian (1953), On the Bridge by Borian (1964), Sixty Years and Three Hours by Araksmanian (1965), Liubov’ larovaia by Trenev (1927), Man With a Gun (1938) and Pathetic Third (1960) by Pogodin, Russian People by Simonov (1942), Front by Korneichuk (1942), The Young Guard by Fadeev (1947), and Break by Lavrenev (1967).

The Sundukian Theater is the leading drama theater in the Armenian SSR. The work of actors and directors, many of whom achieved fame even outside the boundaries of the republic, was shaped here. The activity of the theater has contributed much to the popularization of the classical repertoire and to the development of Armenian Soviet dramaturgy.

The theater was named after G. Sundukian in 1937, and in 1956 the collective was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor. In 1969 the theater company included People’s Artists of the USSR A. M. Avetisian and G. D. Dzhanibekian and People’s Artists of the Armenian SSR O. S. Avakian, A. A. Arazian, A. M. and G. S. Arutiunian, A. A. Asrian, V. K. Varderesian, T. O. Dilakian, V. Kh. Marguni, B. P. Nersesian, M. M. Simonian, V. Kh. Stepanian, G. Kh. Khazhakian, and Zh. S. Eloian. The chief director is People’s Artist of the USSR V. M. Adzhemian.

In 1960 the theater received the title Academic.

B. B. ARUTIUNIAN

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