YEREVAN – Armenia celebrated International Theater Day on March 27, with proper pomp and circumstance fit for the occasion. The 20th jubilee ceremony called the Artavazd Awards, dedicated to the memory of its founder director Yervand Ghazanchyan, took place at the National Academic Opera and Ballet Theater, attended by the Republic of Armenia Minister of Education, Science, Culture, Sports Vahram Dumanyan and Deputy Minister Ara Khzmalyan.
This was the first major event by far after so many months of confinement and a disastrous war! For Armenia, its artists and the new generation of actors and actresses, this event comes as an uplifting, much needed dose of optimism and positivity.
As Minister Dumanyan rightfully said in his address, “Under our present circumstances, this is a powerful stimulus and tool for overcoming post-war fatalistic and disheartened public frames of mind. The extent of your [theater representatives’] responsibility today is great and your mission is unprecedented.”
Next, the address to the theatrical world of this year’s representative of the International Theatre Institute, Helen Mirren, was read. The evening continued with high quality entertainment provided by some of the best soloists of the Yerevan Opera House and its orchestra conducted by Maestro Harutyun Arzumanyan.
Among the theater companies which won many awards was the Sos Sargsyan Hamazgayin Theater for Best Play (“Genesis of Victory” written by Sara Nalbandyan) and Best Young Actor (Narek Baghdasaryan in “Paplik”). It won Best Actress with Tatev Ghazaryan, Best Actor with Arman Navasartyan, Best Director with Narine Grigoryan, and Best Production with “Paplik.”
Another Best Director award was given to Vahe Shahverdyan (Apelian Drama Theater – City of Vanadzor).