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On the Theatre



History of the Theatre
History of the theater of Azerbaijan is old. Elements of theater, i.e. to play, read, act, talk, etc. aspects in this regard, so one judge that the history of Azerbaijani theater is more than three thousand years. The components pf theatre art - playwright, director, actor features - Kosa-Kosa, Joke, Kilimarası, Shah Salim game, etc. which gain the popularity among the people were staged in the square, as well as Kosa bride, Tapdiq shepherd, Deer Game, Witch small spectacles were performed. This square performances, as well as three-act comedy Lazy brother with moral and educational significance for the own period proves that Azerbaijani theater has  the independent history.
Naturally, the professional theater was formed late in comparison to other countries. It would be more accurate to link its reasons, mainly with historical, social, political conditions. In the article dated May 6, 1994, of artist Elchin Aslanov, published in the newspaper in Literature and Art Who created shabih (Fizuli and our national dramaturgy), it is said  that Azerbaijan professional theater has 500-year history, and that at least it begins  from shabih spectacles. The well-known composer U.Hajibeyov wrote that according to the historians and scientists, the beginning of all the national theatre was linked with religion. Then it continued and our shahsei» mystery had taken its image from shabih spectacles. Let us admit that the author of the article is when says that the literary text prepared on bases of poem of M. Fuzuli Leili and Majnun opera was prepared within the shahsey mystery – within the traditions of shabih performances. The secular theatre  which attracted attention as repeating of Western theatres in eastern version basing on comedies of M.F.Akhundov, the “Molier of Azerbaijan as called by governor of  The Caucasus  Voronsthov relates to 40-es of XIX century. This type of theater was established in 1848 in Shusha, and in 1850 in Lankaran and 1857-1858 in Shamakhy.


This is a fact that the national theater has a huge role in the revival of the nation, reflection of own life of the nation. A solid foundation for the National Theatre was laid by works of M.F. Akhundov. This aspect should also be noted that the ancient Greek theater began its activity with tragedy. But the theater of Azerbaijan with the comedy. If taking into account that in the middle of the XIX century it was very difficult to explain the formation of the genre of comedy in Azerbaijan literature and comicality problem from the position of the progressive aesthetic thought, and it demanded heroism, then the meaning and importance of this activity would increase significantly. The difficulty was connected not just with theoretical features of comedy genre but also with strong control of police and the censor. It was not easy to talk about aesthetic and social function of the laugh. The simple laugh aimed at heads of the society was classified as “violating public calmness, safety and order. Therefore, M.F.Akhundov and the Azerbaijani dramatists followed him touched upon the main issues of comicality, laugh and commented it as “improving moral and beating evil deeds”. 
Azerbaijan secular professional theater began its activity with comedy. It was based on M. F. Akhundov’s five immortal comedies. On March 10, 1873 (old style 22) with initiative and participation of Hasan bey Zardabi and Najaf bey Vezirov the first play was demonstrated by the students of the real school on Mirza Fatali Akhundov’s Vizier of Lankaran khan.  From the very beginning Azerbaijani theatre developed on realistic basis, standing in a position of high morality, and became the main source of universal ideas and so gained style, form and methods.
One month and seven days after spectacle of “Vizier of Lankaran khan  M.F.Akhundov’s Haji Gara  comedy was demonstrated to audience. Kaspi newspaper (in 1873) has reported that They write from Baku that on April 17 in the hall of Baku society amateurs demonstrated the second theater performance for the purpose of a charity. This time, M.F.Akhundov’s Sarguzeshti-mardikhasis - a five-act comedy was staged.
The theater of Azerbaijan was developing, and entered in the people\'s lives. Its map also becomes expended from year to year. In 1921, the creation of “The theater of promotion and criticism was a significant event in the cultural life of the city. Baku Theatre School was opened in 1923 and its students during the following years played an important role in the development of a national theater. Children\'s Theatre opened in 1929 in Baku. In 1937, in few regions of the republic the State Theaters were established. Unfortunately, the theaters in 1949, was closed totally (except Guba, Ganja and Nakhchivan State theaters). Those theater groups worked under the name of circle of drama for a long time. In 1958, they continued to work as the people\'s theaters.
The theater of Azerbaijan began a new stage in the 1960-es. In 1964, artist T. Salahov and composer G.Garayev staged W. Shakespeare’s Antonio and Cleopatra work. So, the theater and the grand, light and humanist performance was created. In this play the efforts of innovation in the theater showed itself. This was a high scene culture, a healthy spirit of innovation and modernity in T. Kazimov’s performance made in same year November, with play named You are always with me, and it was the author’s as well as theater’s great achievement.
After You are always with me performances like False (1965), The Dead (1966), Without You (1967), Hamlet (1968) had inspired the Azerbaijan stage.
At the end of 1960, among the achievements of Azerbaijani theater the good sign was joining of new talented young dramatists in the theater. In 1969, Bakhtiyar Vahabzade coming to the Academic Drama theater with Second voice in following years had enriched the repertoire of the theatre with plays like After rain, Ways will traces”, Sword cutting self.
In 70-es Nabi Khazri started his activity with “If you not take care play in following years continued it successfully with creative works like Echo, Mirza Shafi Vazeh, Sword in soil”, Burla Khatun. Anar coming in theatre with  play The Last Night of the last year , which successfully demonstrated in Azerbaijan State Theater of Young Spectators  had proved self as good dramatist with plays like The summer days of city,  Man of man, Desert dreams, I came to you, Tahmina and Zaur. N. Hasanzade’s Atabek, Pompey’s march brought to the author and theater the success.
In the 1980-es with The song left in the mountains, Khurshid Banu Natavan, Devil, Atabek, Cry for help, Sword on soil, Bride of Fire, Sheikh Khiyabani, etc. heroic performances the theatre stepped on the new stage of development.
During this period, the most significant event in Azerbaijan Theater was observed in the process of improvement in terms of style and genre. Theatre critics based on actual material of this period had expanded its borders, increased scientific-theoretical, aesthetic quality. And Azerbaijan theater critics interfered in the process of theater within its cope and tried for its progress.
It is a good fact that the Yugh, Miniature, Pantomime, Municipality, Chamber Youth theaters, which formed after 1990 could consolidate themselves. They were distinguished with variety of genres of art, forms, and styles with richness of styles.
Since 1990, plays of modern and classic Azerbaijani writers, Russian and world dramatists were performed in theatre of Azerbaijan.
During 70 years of former Soviet Union the theater of Azerbaijan had been in tour only in the territory of the USSR - Moscow, Leningrad, Minsk, Kiev, Tbilisi, Yerevan, Tashkent, etc. places. 71 years after tour of Tbilisi Theatre of Azerbaijan to Turkey in 1919 Azerbaijan State Academic Drama Theatre went on tour in organized form to Turkey. Well-known playwright Ilyas Efandiyev’s Our strange fate and Lovers’ meet in hell performances were demonstrated. Azerbaijan State Academic National Drama Theater went on tour to Turkey for the second time in 1998. 
 In 1992 tour of the theatre successfully passed in Germany. In addition, Baku Pantomime Theater, Ganja State Puppet Theater, the Municipal Theater of Baku were on tour in Turkey for many times.
During The world theater process in the XXI century: problems, perspectives, alternatives, the Baku International Theatre Conference held in Azerbaijan on November 8-12, 2010 was one of the significant events in the world of the theater. The well-known theater professionals, directors and dramatists, culture experts of European, Asian and American continents participated at this conference. Among invited guests at  the International scientific-practical conference held in Azerbaijan for the first time  the well-known theatrical personalities from countries such as the United States, Canada, Turkey, England, France, Germany, Georgia, Russia, Belarus, Estonia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, Moldova, Austria, Greece, Korea, Tunisia , Oman, Montenegro, China, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Singapore, as Kuwait joined, too.
The last 125 years since the establishment of the Azerbaijani Theater strong theater groups were formed in the country. Now, the Azerbaijan State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre named after M.F.Akhundov, Azerbaijan State Russian Drama Theater named after S. Vurgun, Azerbaijan State Musical Comedy Theatre named after Sh.Gurbanov (was founded such as the State Theater in 1938), Azerbaijan State Theater of Young Spectators (base was laid in 1929), Azerbaijan State Puppet Theatre named after A. Shaig, Municipal Theater, Theater of Youth, Education Theatre, Yugh Theater, Chamber Theater, Theater Pantomime function in Baku,. Nakhchivan, Ganja, Lankaran, Ganja, Aghdam, Mingachevir cities also have state theaters.
Besides it Music Theater, Mugham Theater, Opera Studio named after Sh.Mammadova, Ganja State Poetry Theater of Nizami, Ganja puppet theater, the musical drama theatre  of Shusha, Sheki satire theater, Yerevan Azerbaijan theater, Nakhchivan Javid poetry theater,  Gusar Drama Theater, Fuzuli Drama Theater, the Puppet theater, Kazakh Drama Theater have been operating, too in republic.

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