Tajik Theatre Day Date in the current year: November 7, 2022

Tajik Theatre Day Tajik Theatre Day has been celebrated annually since 1997. Its date, November 7, was chosen to commemorate the opening of the first professional theatre in Tajikistan that took place in 1929. Today it is known as the Abolqasem Lahouti Tajik Academic Drama Theatre.

The early history of Tahjik theatre is tightly interwoven with the history of Persian theatre since the territories of present-day Tajikistan, Iran and Afghanistan used to be part of the Persian Empire. Popular forms of the traditional Persian theatre included Naqqāli (a type of storytelling), Ta’zieh (religious theatre), different types of comical acts (Siah-Bazi, Ru Howzi, Kachalak Bazi, Baghal Bazi), Saye-Bazi (shadow theatre), etc.

Modern theatrical art in Tajikistan began to develop during the Soviet era. An important factor that contributed to its development was the translation of classical plays into Tajik. For example, Abolqasem Lahouti, a renowned Tajik writer, poet and playwright, translated Shakespeare’s plays into Tajik specifically for staging in local theatres.

The first republican theatre in Tajikistan opened in Dushanbe on November 7, 1929. In 1933, it was named after Abolqasem Lahouti to highlight his contribution to the development of Tajik theatre. Six years later, the theatre was awarded the title of academic. Initially, the theatre staged mainly Tajik plays. The first Western European play, Carlo Gozzi’s commedia dell’arte play Turandot, was staged in Dushanbe in 1934.

Today, there are seventeen professional theatres in Tajikistan. Six of them are located in Dushanbe: the Sadriddin Ayni Tajik Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre, the Mahmudjon Vakhidov State Youth Theatre, the Dushanbe Puppet Theatre, the Abolqasem Lahouti Tajik Academic Drama Theatre, the Akhorun Tajik State Experimental Theatre for Young Spectators, and the Vladimir Mayakovsky State Russian Academic Theatre.

Tajik theatres stage both classical and modern plays, operas and ballets. Plays can be performed in Tajik and in Russian. The best-known modern theatre directors in Tajikistan include Firdavs Kasimov, Bakhodur Miralibekov, Nozim Melikov, Davlat Ubaidulloev, Sulton Usmonov, and others.

In 2015, Tajikistani president Emomali Rahmon initiated an ambitious project — the construction of the National Theatre of Tajikistan, which was to become the largest theatre in Central Asia. The project of the theatre included three large auditoriums (with 2,500, 1,200 and 1,000 seats) and several smaller ones, as well as art and exhibition halls. The construction was to be completed by the fall of 2021 (the 30th anniversary of Tajikistan’s independence).

Tajik Theatre Day was officially established in 1997 following the adoption of the Law on Culture. It has been celebrated annually ever since. Tajik Theatre Day is usually marked by opening nights of new productions in the country’s theatres, concerts, industry award ceremonies, and other festive events celebrating Tajik theatre and all the people working in theatres across the country, from actors and directors to ushers and cloakroom attendants.

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Category

Cultural Observances

Country

Tajikistan

Tags

Tajik Theatre Day, holidays in Tajikistan, cultural holidays, Tajik theatre, theatre in Tajikistan