The FINANCIAL — If you have sometimes walked in the center of Tbilisi, you would undoubtedly notice a young boy, playing musical puppet marionettes in the street. Synchronized movements of the puppets harmonized with music will definitely hook your attention.
Irakli Khostaria, a former student of Shota Rustaveli Theatre and Drama University has been involved in puppet shows for already a year and this year, his talent was appreciated in Turkey where he gained much success. As he says he has already received some special offers from Turkish theatres and festivals.
“I was on my fourth year at Shota Rustaveli Theatre and Drama University, on the faculty of Drama and Puppet, when I met a person with whom I decided to make marionette puppets for street performances. We even wanted to make a puppet theatre but for some reasons we didn’t manage to work together and I left. Now we work separately and I have my own plans about this little business. It’s already a year since I have been involved in puppet performances,” Khoshtaria says.
“My partner and I worked on creating puppet marionettes together. It’s quite a hard and time-consuming process. To create a single puppet requires for about 4-5 months, though it can be made within 2 weeks too. At the first place, we create drafts of the puppets, face, hands and foots of it is made from hard paper called Muliage. We conduct a lot of rehearsals together with puppets and only after the whole process we conduct performances in the street,” Khoshtaria told The FINANCIAL.
“Now I work on creating puppets on my own. My partner and I together created 3 puppets and I have only one puppet individually. We had a piano player puppet Sebastian, violin player Paganini, Stevie Wonder with white grand piano,” Khoshtaria says.
According to Khostaria, they mainly performed for people in the street.
“I made my first visit in Turkey together with my partner but this summer I decided to go alone and work independently. As Turkey is one of the best touristic destinations, therefore, lots of people attended my little street puppet performance and I managed to collect some tips.” Khoshtaria says.
“With my piano player Sebastian in Istanbul I received some offers to play in Turkish theatres and festivals. I became quite popular there; even media showed interest in me and my Marionette. One of Turkish designers came and asked me to perform on fashion show,” Khoshtaria says.
As Khoshtaria says, he has no competitor in Georgia since there aren’t any other musical puppets in the street but in Turkey there were some actor marionettes which offered sections from one of the plays. Though, they didn’t play on any of musical instruments.
“I won’t work in Turkey if I don’t have a good offer. I will create some more puppets and will make a performance in one of Georgian theatres. I have not selected the theatre yet although I work quite hard,” Khoshtaria says.
“At the moment, I am working on creating a Michael Jackson marionette, with which I will go back to Turkey and perform there. I have many ideas and plans but Michael Jackson puppet and Jazz band are in my nearest plans. I am invited to Istanbul Jazz festival where I will play my puppets with the help of my friends. This show will take about 30 to 40 minutes and will include musical performance as well as drama elements. I will create some special actor puppets for it,” Khoshtaria says.
According to Khoshtaria in Georgia its quite hard to receive enough profit from his little business for creating more puppets and preparing new shows, therefore, it’s worth going to Turkey for now.
“Of course I prefer to stay in Georgia, where I live in but it is quite hard to develop here. I have some goals which I want to achieve in life, besides, I love my job. I am confident in my skills, I know I am good at what I do, I am sure I will make better performances and impress my spectators,” Khoshtaria says.