Sunday, February 24, 2008

Staff reductions at the Marjanishvili Theatre

The Tbilisi home of the wonderful 'Doctor despite himself' (Moliere), 'Midsummer Night's Dream', and 'Threepenny Opera' faces staff reductions, the Messenger tells us. These things happen, of course. It's never nice, though, and especially since the theatre, like most other theatres in Tbilisi, has recently been done up expensively. Admittedly also at least one actress is not entirely pulling her weight - like, she can't act.

But the reasoning is strange.

“Until now, the theatre did not have a fund for salaries. We were
meeting expenses either through loans or other resources. Now, the
theater has state funding and salaries can be raised”, the theatre's artistic director said.

So.... when they had no salary fund, they could afford to employ more actors than now, when they have a salary fund? They covered their running costs by loans? It makes your hair stand on end.

They are planning to give the remaining actors a raise. Erm, forgive me, but wouldn't there have been another solution - like all of them agreeing to continue on their existing salaries and having more jobs, or is that too simplistic?

Maybe there were other reasons for the cull?

A friend reported that during the curtain call of the most recent performance of the Moliere, one of the actors looked 'livid'. To be fair, I've never seen him happy while taking the curtain (though he acts a happy little camper during the play, mostly), but maybe the news had just got out? Though he is also Puck in the Midsummer Night's Dream - surely he could not be asked to go...