History of theatre
Azerbaijan State Theater of Young Spectators - 90
November 6, 2018 is the 90th anniversary of the establishment of Azerbaijan State Theater of Young Spectators.
Baku Children's Theater officially started its activity by the Decision of the Commissariat of Public Enlightenment of Azerbaijan on September 20, 1928.
The first actors and directors of the theater were Aghadadash Gurbanov, Mammadaga Dadashov, Yusif Eminli, Mina Abdullayeva, Yusif Dadashov, Susanna Majidova, Cavahir Iskandarov, Suleyman Alasgarov, Huseynagha Sadikhov, Karim Hasanov, Zafar Nematov, Maharram Hashimov, Alimammad Atayev and others.
The Russian section of the theater started on November 6, 1928 with the same-name spectacle of the play "Five People" by N.Smirnov and S.Serbakov and the Azerbaijani section on January 30, 1930, "Against Red tie” by N.Ivanter.
From July 18, 1936, the Baku Children's Theater was renamed to "Azerbaijan State Theater of Young Spectators" according to the order of Commissariat of Public Enlightenment of Azerbaijan.
The Azerbaijan State Theater of Young Spectators was awarded the Republic Lenin Komsomol Prize Laureate in 1978 and the Order of Honor in 1979 during the period of its activity due to its exemplary service and important role in the aesthetic education of the younger generation and their growing in patriotic spirit.
The collective has been actively participating in international theater festivals held in several countries around the world since 2006. The theater successfully took part in Gala Concert of the II International Theater Festival, held in December 2006 in Podolsk, Moscow, with fragments from the operetta "Arshin Mal Alan" by Uzeyir Hajibeyli; with performances of "Good and Evil" by Nizami Ganjavi, "Mother Goose" by R.Rza, and "Play and dance" by I.Coshgun in April, 2007, in Children’s Festival held traditionally on April 23 in Alanya city of the Republic of Turkey; with the performance of “Grandma’s trick” by A.Oruj in April 2008 in Children's Festival of the 23rd April in Ankara and Igdir cities of the Republic of Turkey for the second time; with “Mother goose” by R.Rza and "Cat's House" by S.Marshak, in the capital of Belorus, Minsk from March 27 to April 4; and with "Destroyed Diaries" by I.Afandiyev and "Cat's house" by S.Marshak Dmitrov, Taldom and Dubna cities of Moscow in May since 2006. The theater successfully represented our country for the next time at the traditional 9th International Theater Festival of Turkic-speaking countries held in Kazan from May 26 to May 6, 2009 with “Pari Jadu” spectacle by Abdurrahim bay Hagverdiyev.
The collective was awarded with the best antique performance at the XII International Festival of Antique Art held in Simferopol on June 4-11, 2010, performing G. Figueredo's "Aesop".
The collective performed "Othello" in the 32nd International Festival "Fajr", held on February 4-8, 2011 in Kurgan, Iran, and returned to the homeland with success.
The collective successfully performed Susskind’s "Contrabass" mono performance at the Second International ArtOkraina mono and small-scale festival of performances held in Saint Petersburg on November 10-20, 2011.
The theater participated in the V Monodram International Theater Festival in Al-Fujairah Emirate (UAE) and presented our country with the mono performance "At last..." by Austrian dramatist and publicist Peter Turrin. Another delegation from the theater took part in the 33rd International Festival "Fajr", traditionally held in the Islamic Republic of Iran, From January 28 to February 2, 2012, and performed at the XVII International "Belaya Veja" theater festival held in Brest from 6 to 11 September of the same year with the performance "Don Rafaello trombonist".
According to the decision No 41 of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Azerbaijan of March 19, 2009, Azerbaijan State Youth Theater and decision of September 30, 2009 the Baku Camera Theater were joined to the Azerbaijan State Theater of Young Spectators. After major renovation and reconstruction in April of the same year, the theater continued its activity in the building, which was provided with new techniques and modern design.
The selection of the Children's and Youth Theaters of Azerbaijan State Theater of Young Spectators to ASSİTEJ (the International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People) in May 2011 was an important event in the field of theater exchange and integration into the world theater. The national center of the international organization was established in Azerbaijan after a while. The first meeting of the National Center was held with the participation of ASSİTEJ President Iveta Hardin in November 2011. In February 2012, the next ASSITEJ meeting was also held in Baku and the theater professionals from 22 countries that are members of ASSITEJ closely got acquainted with the activity of the State Theater of Young Spectators.
The repertoire policy of the theater, which is renovated and equipped with all kinds of equipment, is taken seriously and they have appealed to the most interesting works of modern Azerbaijan drama as well as of the world classics in a short period of time. During the years, the theater has successfully staged such spectacles as Sheikh Sanan (Huseyn Javid), Aydin (Jafar Jabbarli), "Road to Mekkah" (Jalil Mammadguluzadeh), "Cherry Garden" (Anton Chekhov), Othello (William Shakespeare), "Aesop" (Guillermo Figueredo), "Hekayati khirs gouldour basan" (Mirza Fatali Akhundov), "Victoria" (Hamsun), "The trick of the Witch" (Y. Schwartz), "Aladdin’s magic lamp" (Arabic folk tale), "The Last train or Dogs" (I.Fahmi, O.Kazimi), "Nutcracker" (E.T.A. Hofmann), "Sleeping Beauty" (B.Marvin), "Adventures of Oliver Twist" (Dickens), "My White Dove" (Tamara Valiyeva), “I love you - MSS" (Ali Amirli), "The destroyed diaries" (IlyasAfandiyev), "Romeo and Juliet" (William Shakespeare), "Pretty Fatma" (T.Valiyeva), "The stories of Buzovna district" (Elchin), "The tale of Prince Caspian" (K.Aghabalayev), "Alinja tower" (Dilsuz), "Blackish girl" (Suleyman Sani Akhundov and Abdullah Shaig), "Tale of four twins" (P.Panchev)," I came, Girls" (“War” Lars Noren), "Adventures of Buratino" (A.Tolstoy), "Small Karlsson who lives on the roof" (Astrid Lindgren)," Italian happiness "(D.Fo, P. Filippo), "Talking doll"(Abdullah Shaig),"The other side of fence"(Ali Amirli)," The Little Red Riding Hood" (Y. Schwartz), "The Adventures of Goghal" (Russian folk tale), "Finally ended" (P.Turrini), "Contrabass" (P. Susskind), "Diary of a Madman" (Gogol), "Without word" (S.Beckett), "Tale of a One Night", “The end of the ending” (R.Aghayev), "A basket of loneliness" (M.Vahidzadeh), "Punishment" (Tamara Valiyeva), "Naughty goat" (P.Nuraliyeva), "The Ugly duckling" (Hans Christian Andersen), "The rabbit’s birthday” (Kh. Alibeyli), “Miracle Radish” (Russian folk tale), “PippiLongstocking” (Astrid Lindgren), “Ayjan” (Kh.Alibeyli), “Grinch” (R.Hovard), “Chipollino” (J.Rodari), "Gulliver in the land of lilliputians” (J.Swift), "The Beauty Queen of Leenane", A skull in Connemara", "The Lonesome West" (Martin McDonagh), "Valeh's tale with yellow shirted (IlyasAfandiyev), "White Death" (V.Sigarev) "Richard III" (William Shakespeare), "Heritage" (H.Miralabov), "The letters of devil from hell" (Abdurrahim bay Hagverdiyev), "Arzu and Murad" (S.Elsevar), "Hotel owner" (K.Goldoni), "Leyli and Majnun" (M. Fuzuli), "Train without destination" (Ali Amirli), "Unfinished" (Y.Abramov, L.Bayim), "Nigar’s love" ("Koroghlu" epos).
The theater, which has invaluable service in moral upbringing of the younger generation, the formation of their outlook and education in the spirit of love, has signed a number of important projects in this direction. Thus, together with leading educational institutions of the country it has realized such projects as "The theater, education and morality", "We love the theater", "The first student card, the joy of the first acquaintance with the theater", "The personalities in the Heights", spotlighting the great personalities of the country, "Martyrs are immortal, homeland is indivisible" dedicated to the dear memory of our martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the sake of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. In addition, the theater realized a project "I want to talk about theater" to enlighten children and youth about Azerbaijan theater that has old and rich history, its development, international relations, attention and care provided by the state to the theater and artistic people, within frames of the State Program on “Azerbaijan theater during 2009-2012 years”, Great Leader Heydar Aliyev’s 90th birthday anniversary, 140th anniversary of Azerbaijan National World Professional Theater and 85th anniversary of Azerbaijan State Theater of Young Spectators. The project, covering secondary schools in Baku, was welcomed with great interest.
The opening ceremony of the small stage of the theater was held in December 2013. First nights of "Without word" by S.Beckett, "A basket of loneliness" by M.Vahidzadeh and "One night's tale" by R.Aghayev were performed on the stage considered for mono and small volume spectacles. In recent years, three more performances - "The end of the ending" (R.Aghayev) and "Bride in love with Vourghun" (Z. Ziyadoglu), "Punishment" (T.Valiyeva) have been both demonstrated for the capital’s spectators and in the International Theater Festivals held in foreign countries.
During these years, mutual artistic relationships with world theaters have been continued successfully. So, in November 2012, the Astrakhan State Theater of Young Spectators of the Russian Federation and in March 2013, the National Drama Theater named after B.Basangov of the Republic of Kalmykia visited Baku. The Azerbaijan State Theater of Young Spectators visited the Astrakhan State Young Spectators of the Russian Federation and the National Drama Theater named after B.Basangov of the Republic of Kalmykia from September 29 to October 7, 2013, in accordance with the agreement on mutual tours between the theater authorities and performed “Mother Goose” by RasulRza and "War" by L.Nouren on the stage.
The theater collective participated Colombo International Mono-spectacles Festival organized by Shri-Lanka Centre of ASSITEJ in 2013, from the 26th of March until the 4th of April and performed “Contrabass” play by P. Susskind. The director of the theater gave a speech on “Azerbaijan National Professional Theater – 140” and “International Relations of Azerbaijani Theater with World Theaters and Integration into World Theater” at the international conference held at the Eastern University in Batticaloa, Sri Lanka.
In 2013, the artistic relations of the Azerbaijan State Theater of Young Spectators became stronger and made a bridge for future with Kalmyk National Drama Theater named after B.Basangov of the Russian Federation and the Astrakhan State Theater of Young Spectators and the number of reciprocal tours has steadily increased and continues till our days.
Today, the mutual artistic agreement with Kalmyk National Drama Theater has opened a new page for both theaters. Hot relationships, mutual understandings transformed the tours into exchanges of directors and actors/actresses. The chief director of the Azerbaijan State Theater of Young Spectators, Honored Art Worker Bahram Osmanov has prepared "Loving Woman" (A.Amirli) and "Wait for me" (S.Balikov) performances on the stage of the Kalmyk National Drama Theater and the artistic director of Kalmyk Theater Boris Manciyev prepared and delivered "Letters of devil from hell" (A.Hagverdiyev) and "Relatives" (V.Shugrayeva, A. Amirli) on the stage of the Azerbaijan State Theater of Young Spectators.
The theater successfully participated with Swedish playwright Lars Noren's "I came, Girls" ("War") performance in the I Sheki International Theater Festival held in September 2014; Samuel Beckett's "Without words" performance at the 19th "Belaya Veja" ("White Castle") International Theater Festival in Brest, Belarus from September 12 to 20; " The Lonesome West", which is part of the trilogy of Leenane at the I International Martin McDonagh Festival, held in Perm, Russia, on October 7-14; “Old Clown” by MatteyVishnek at the XVII Black Sea International Theater Festival in Trabzon, Turkey held from April 29 to May 2, 2016; Gogol’s “Diary of a Madman” at the XXI International Youth Theater Festival "Russian Classics" in Lobnya, Moscow, Russia May 21 to 26; Lars Noren’s “I came, Girls” at VIII International Theater Festival “GostinyDvor” held in Orenburg, Russian Federation from May 27 to June 2; Mirza FataliAkhundzadeh’s “HekayatikhirsGouldourbasan” spectacle in Great Britain with the invitation of “UMUD Ltd Company” from May 28 to June 3; "Queen of Beauty" at the II International Martin McDonagh Festival in October 1-7, 2016; Beckett’s “Without word” at the XI International Mono-spectacles Festival "Atspindys" held in Vilnius and Visaginas on October 11-17; Gogol’s “Diary of a Madman” at the VIII International Theater Festival-laboratory "MOLDFEST.RAMPA.RU" on November 21-26; P.Nouraliyeva’s “Naughty goat” at the Georgian State Theater of Professional Young Spectators, Vladikavkaz State Theater of Young Spectators and the Chechen State Theater of Young Spectators on April 19-30, 2017; Gogol’s “Diary of a Madman” at the III International Theater Festival "Hot Heart", held on April 20-26, 2017 Kineshma, Ivanovo Oblast, Russian Federation; “Hello from the stage” in Astana and Noren’s “I came, Girls” at the V International Theater Festival on June 12-18; Susskind’s “Contrabass” at the 14th International Folks Art Festival “Friendship Wreath” held in Bobruysk, Mogilevsk Oblast, Belarus. Azerbaijan State Theater of Young Spectators successfully represented Tamara Valiyeva’s "Punishment"in the 6th International Festival “Tuganlig” of Turkic speaking theaters on September 7 to 14, 2017; Abdullah Shaig’s “Tik-tik khanim“ at the 1stInternational Theater Festival "Keyeda" for children and youth held in Elista (Republic of Kalmykia) of Russian Federation held on September 30 to October 6; “Contrabass” mono performance at the“Maria” International Mono Performances held in Kyev, Ukraine on October 3-9 and at the 5thInternational Theater Festival "Northern Meetings” held in Nizhnevartovsk, Russia, on October 25-28. Our country was successfully represented with Tamara Valiyeva’s performance “Punishment” at the 36th International Theater Festival “Fajr” held in Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran on January 18 to 28, 2018 and 8th International Theater Olympics organized in India on March 3 to 8, 2018.
The collective returned to homeland with diplomas, awards and new artistic proposals from all international events.
During all these years, a special attention was paid to the exchange of experience and development of professional level of artistic team of the theater. That’s the reason why we hear the voices of our theater’s actors and artistic staff from summer schools, international laboratories, master classes, and different theatrical performances held in different countries of the world.
The theater is also progressive in terms of establishing mutual artistic contacts by inviting well-known theater professionals from different countries to Azerbaijan.
At present, serious artistic work is going on in the theater. In addition to preparing new performances, we negotiate with organizers of the festivals to be held in several countries to approve our attendance as well. State Theater of Young Spectators, which is an integral part of Azerbaijan's national theater, has produced a number of talented actors. Many of them later continued their activity at the Azerbaijan State Academic National Drama Theater. People’s artists Aghadadash Gourbanov, Aliagha Aghayev, SuleymanAlasgarov, FirangizSharifova, YusifValiyev, HuseynaghaSadikhov, LutfiMammadbayov, Alexey Lejnyov, Georgy Sykankov, KhuramanHajiyeva, GulshanGurbanova, SolmazGurbanova; merited artists MammadaghaDadashov, Osman Hajibayov, RahilaMalikova, Susanna Majidova, MefkhuraYermakova, FirdovsiNaibov, Tamara Razumovskaya, AnatoliyDobronetsky, Arnold Kharchenko, JavahirIskandarova, RukhsaraAghayeva, Mubariz Pashayev, AzerMirzayev and other late actors could print their names in the history of Azerbaijan with large letters.
The successful followers of the above-mentioned professionals are acting interesting performances at the State Theater of Young Spectators today.
Nowadays Honoured Art worker Bahram Osmanov, People’s Artists Jannat Salimova, Vagif Asadov, Honored Artist Nijat Kazimov, Honored Art Worker Aghalar Idrisoglu and young director Gulnar Hajiyeva have replaced such directors as People’s Artists Alexander Tuganov, Maharram Hashimov, Tofig Kazimov, Agakishi Kazimov, Azerpasha Nematov, Honored Art Workers Zafar Nematov, Huseyn Sultanov, Ulduz Rafili-Aliyeva, honored artist Karim Hasanov, who once produced interesting spectacles in the theater.
Due to the long-term effective activities in the development of Azerbaijan National Theater, at present 5 People’s Artists of the Republic of Azerbaijan, 22 Merited Artists of the Republic of Azerbaijan, 2 Honored Art Workers of the Republic of Kalmykia, 2 Merited Artists of the Republic of Kalmykia, 3 Honoured Art Workers of the Republic of Azerbaijan, 3 President Stipend winners, 6 President Award winners work at the theater. Moreover, during these years 11 employees of the theater were awarded with the “Honorary Cultural Worker” badge established by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
The 90-year-old Azerbaijan State Theater of Young Spectators is always loyal to its tradition and delights its audience with new exciting performances covering all age groups.