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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Georgian Theaters Boycott Festival

Despite a plea from the organizing committee of the First International Chekhov Theater Festival, the Mardzhanishvili and Rustaveli theaters of Tbilisi, Georgia, have backed out of the festival for political reasons, a committee spokeswoman said "Monday.

On Saturday, the festival committee received a declaration from the

Georgian Theater Union stating that, "reactionary forces in the Russian administration, supported by the Russian parliament, the Russian armed forces and with the silent agreement of B. N. Yeltsin, are carrying out a campaign of aggression against the sovereign Georgian state".

Citing distorted reports in the Russian media and the "astonishing silence" of their Russian theater colleagues who have declined "to raise their voice in the defense of justice and humanitarianism", the Georgians declared it impossible to take part in the Moscow festival.

The Mardzhanishvili Theater was scheduled to perform "The Keepers of the Grail" Oct. 18 and Oct. 19.

The Rustaveli Theater was to have performed "Life is a Dream", Oct. 21 - and Oct. 22.