Armenian Culture, Science and Education Development Foundation

“We would like to go back to our former building, but “Tumo” Centre “laid hands” on it ”. Levon Baghdasaryan

levon baghdasaryan

The first children’s theater, Gyumri Puppet Theatre keeps on introducing to children 14 performances in its capabilities. About 30 years ago by the “light hand” of Soviet government’s “authorities” from large and comfortable building in “Gorka” park, theater moved to Abovian Street, the former “Nairi” restaurant’s pub and “stayed there”. It stayed in an attempt to adopt the building’s discomfort and problems, which tries to solve the theater’s directors, at the head of artistic director and director Levon Baghdasaryan. In interview with Culture.AM Mr. Baghdasaryan noted that one of the major issues associated with the repairs. 

– With the municipality’s and our efforts, we tried to repair the roof, walls, we have done a lot of work, now we try to make the interior work, change the door, then we’ll see. We have not outside income. Our fees are based on the amounts received from tickets sales.

However, Levon Baghdasaryan said that the primary task is the place of the theater. According to him, the municipality is trying to introduce proposals to find a new place, but still can’t find a suitable place.

– We would like to return to our previous building, in the midst of the park. It’s a huge space, a theater building, a former building of the Dramatic Theater. It was possible to create a world of fairy tales, stations, station-theater-station marry-go-round, a word “Gyumri land”. But Tumo Center “put its hand” on the theater building, which was, I think, will never be used, the building was taken down, but still we don’t see a result of their work.

For now, whether we like or not, we have this, but we are considering options, where can be moved.

Another problem of Puppet Theatre is minimum salary, which is about 55,000 drams and this is why the theater has a problem with actors.

Who will agree to work with 55000 drams, in Yerevan, actors at least have opportunity to be starred in the movies, serials for instance. They are people, they have families or they want to marry. In addition to all this, our dolls are big, it would be easier for us to play with a little dolls, because the place is small. This is another problem for employees.

To our overview that in fact a theatre worker can’t survive without second job, Mr. Baghdasaryan said.

-Of course, no. I myself a petitioner to find another job: one teaches a dance, another teaches singing, they will eventually express themselves.

The solution of improving theater activities linked exclusively with the progress of our country, said Levon Baghdasaryan.

I can’t imagine a local solution. I am determined to the progress of country. When the situation of the country improves, the condition of Gyumri Puppet Theater will be also improved. There is always room for a better.

But in all this there is an advantage. Gyumri Puppet Theater has a permanent audience.

-The schoolchildren, especially first and third grade pupils are our audience. We have no problem in attracting audience. This looks like a school project, a subject, a didactic way of teaching.

And from coming programs the head of the theater singles out the “Puppet Show”.

-We have a great program, which calls ‘’Puppet Show’’. There is no need of language skills, it introduces different nations’ songs, dances and culture in general.

Now we are negotiating with embassies, in order to be able to present the project in abroad. The program is so flexible that if we go to Poland, we can present their culture, if we go to America, we can present theirs. If the program works, will be a very good income for the theater.

Photo from Spyur Information System





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