Theater colossus fired after criticizing Saakashvili

One of the world’s greatest theater directors – Georgia’s Robert Sturua – has been fired from his job as artistic director of the Rustaveli State Drama Theater in Tbilisi, after three decades of outstanding work.

­The 73-year-old award-winning artist broke the news on a popular social networking site, posting an official order for his dismissal signed by the Georgian Minister of Culture, Nicholas Rurua.

Although the official reason for his dismissal has not been stated, it appears likely that one of the world’s most accomplished living directors was being punished for his harsh criticism of the Georgian President, Mikhail Saakashvili.

The artist never hid his disapproval of the present Georgian authorities which, as he put it, “couldn’t stomach” his criticism.

Sturua was quoted as saying that “the Georgian people should renounce the country’s leadership just like the Germans renounced Hitler,” he told Georgian weekly, All News, during an interview earlier this year.

The creator of such masterpieces as Caucasian Chalk Circle and The Good Person of Szechwan, Sturua made his name as the author of signature interpretations of Brecht, Beckett and Shakespeare.

His signature Hamlet staged at London’s Riverside Studio back in the 1990s was hailed as one of ten best Shakespeare productions of the last 50 years by the Shakespeare International Association.

Sturua has staged a number of productions in the Russian capital where his one-off performances are booked months in advance.

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