Mardzhanishvili, Konstantin Aleksandrovich

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Mardzhanishvili, Konstantin (Kote) Aleksandrovich


(K. A. Mardzhanov). Born May 28 (June 9), 1872, in Kvareli, Georgia; died Apr. 17, 1933, in Moscow. Soviet director. People’s Artist of the Georgian SSR (1931).

Mardzhanishvili began his theatrical career in Kutaisi in 1893. In 1897 he began working in Russian theaters, including the Moscow Art Theater (1910-13), where his directorial talent was formed and where he further developed the democratic and progressive attitudes that he had acquired from his associations with the founders of realism in the Georgian theater. He founded the Free Theater in Moscow (1913-14), where he strove to realize the concept of synthetic art, which included all forms of theater (drama, dance, pantomime, singing).

In 1919, Mardzhanishvili staged Lope de Vega’s The Sheep Well in Kiev; the production was filled with heroic spirit and revolutionary fervor. In 1920 he founded the Theater of Comic Opera in Petrograd and took part in the staging of mass theatrical spectacles. He returned to Georgia in 1922. Mardzhanishvili’s production of the revolutionary-heroic drama The Sheep Well for the Sh. Rustaveli Theater in Tbilisj in 1922 heralded the beginning of the ideological and cultural renewal of the Georgian theater.

In 1928, Mardzhanishvili founded the Second State Drama Theater of Georgia in Kutaisi (now the K. A. Mardzhanishvili Georgian Theater in Tbilisi). There he continued his efforts to create a theater that would unite highly skilled and versatile actors. Mardzhanishvili also continued to train a new generation of actors. From 1924 to 1929 he worked as a director in the Georgian cinema; his films included Stormy Petrels, Samanishvili’s Stepmother, and The Communard’s Pipe.

In the last years of his life, without breaking his ties with Georgia, Mardzhanishvili staged productions in Moscow theaters. Mardzhanishvili was a profoundly national artist; his work reflected the mutual influences of the Russian and Georgian theaters. He strove for an art that was in tune with modern life and the advanced ideas of his epoch. The traditions of Mardzhanishvili have been and continue to be developed by his students T. I. Chavchavadze, U. V. Chkheidze, Sh. K. Gambashidze, A. V. Akhmeteli, S. A. Zakariadze, A. A. Vasadze, A. A. Khorava, V. I. Andzhaparidze, and D. K. Antadze.


Kote Marjanishvili: Shemok’medebit’i memkvidreobi, vol. 1. Tbilisi, 1972.
Kote Mardzhanishvili: Vospominaniia, Stat’i, vols. 1-2, Tbilisi, 1958-66.


Kryzhitskii, G. K. K. A. Mardzhanov. Moscow-Leningrad, 1946.
Kryzhitskii, G. K. K. Mardzhanov i russkii teatr. Moscow, 1954.
Gugushvili, E. N. Put’ rezhissera. Tbilisi, 1972.
Kote Marjanishvilis sax. Saxelmcip’o t’eatri: 1928-1938. Saiubileo krebuli. Tbilisi, 1939.
Buxnikashvili, G. Kote Marjanishvili. Tbilisi, 1947.
Kote Marjanishvili, krebuli. Tbilisi, 1961.
Xaratishvili, G. Kote Marjanishvili rusul teatrshi. Tbilisi, 1971.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.