Gunia, Valerian Levanovich
Born Jan. 9 (21), 1862, in the village of Eki, in present-day Tskhakaia Raion, Georgian SSR; died July 31, 1938, in Tbilisi. Soviet Georgian actor, playwright, and director; People’s Artist of the Georgian SSR (1933). Born into a noble family.
Gunia attended the Petrovskoe Agricultural Academy in Moscow. He became a member of the Georgian drama company in Tbilisi in 1882. He staged plays and chose roles for himself that expressed the ideas of the struggle for national liberation—for instance, Gela in The Little Kakhetian by Tsereteli. His best roles also include King Lear and Othello in the plays by Shakespeare, Kako in The Brigand Kako (based on the work by Chavchavadze), Oedipus in Oedipus Rex by Sophocles, Kean in the play of the same name by Dumas père, Otar-Beg in The Betrayal by Sumbatov-Iuzhin, and Bersenev in The Break by Lavrenev. Gunia founded several Georgian theatrical companies. He wrote plays (The Illegitimate Child, 1882, his first), adaptations of literary works for the stage, and librettos for the operas Daisi by Paliashvili and Diñara by Arakishvili. He was editor of the newspaper Teatri (1886) and other periodicals and a critic. After the establishment of Soviet power in Georgia (1921), Gunia became one of the active figures of the Soviet Georgian theater. He began his motion-picture career in 1913.
WORKSK’art’uli t’eatri (1879–1889). Tbilisi, 1889.
Dramebi da komediebi, vol. 1. Tbilisi, 1893.
Statiebi da cerilebi. Tbilisi, 1953.
REFERENCESMadlobis dge: Saiubileo almanaxi. Tbilisi, 1917.
Janelize, D. Saxioba. Tbilisi, 1958.
Misive. Valerian Gunia. Tbilisi, 1963.