David Bakhtadze: behind the curtain
Author: By Alexander Miminoshvili
The play Gotcha by the well-known British playwright Barry Keefe has been staged many times by Georgia’s young talented director David Bakhtadze. In the interview with Georgia Today he shares his interpretations and what take to become a theater director.
Q: David, at Nodar Dumbadze State Children’s Theater in Tbilisi, I saw your performance and I was a bit surprised because although it looked much the same as your previous production of two years ago at Kote Marjanishvili theatre, the play sounded different. What I mean is that these are not merely different actors. (I should add that the acting at the Marjanishvili had been excellent). The interpretation of the play was different too. How do your productions stir such a lot of emotions and discussion?
A: Yes, you have noted rightly that this time I staged the play in another way. The fact is that in the previous production, a political aspect of the play was brought to the foreground while this time I focused on the spiritual motives of the characters, touching upon the universal human problems.
But what really matters in the new interpretation of the play is a conflict between the pupils and teachers, their contemptuous attitude to them, complete unwillingness to understand the younger generation, moralistic twaddle, hypocrisy, which finally brings the young man to extremes. Such an approach of tarring everyone with the same brush is out of place in a civilized society, one’s individuality should be respected. Unfortunately, it’s not always the case, not only in totalitarian or authoritarian regimes, but in the developed world, too.
Q: Here, once again I would like to mention the excellent acting at both Marjanishvili theatres of two years ago, where the play ran for two seasons, and the one in the Dumbadze theatre…
A: Yes, you are right, if only they were as well-paid as those in Hollywood! (Laughs). Without the worthy work of actors like Vano Dugladze (the pupil), Nino Kikacheishvili (the literature teacher), Kakha Gabilaia (the director), Givi Machavariani (the artist), and Levan Kapanadze (the music designer) I would have been unable to put on such an appealing play.