Doing well with little

Copyright Keith Kenney, 2011

Susanna and I enjoyed the Georgian opera “Darispan’s Trouble” about a man (Darispan) and an unrelated woman (Pelagia) who have daughters. The two parents are having difficulties finding husbands for their daughters because they are poor and cannot offer a dowry. When a potential husband arrives, Darispan and Pelagia compete to attract the suitor’s attention for their daughters. Various comedic follies occur and the play/opera ends in tragedy when everyone discovers the suitor is already engaged to another woman. The acting, set design, costumes, and directing were very good, despite the obstacles that had to be overcome.

The Tbilisi Opera House is still being renovated so we saw the performance at the Georgian Government Chancellery Hall, which has a small stage.  The orchestra was positioned behind the actors rather than in front. The set was very simple—a small table with a few chairs and a lamp. Actors had to enter and exit via the aisles in the audience seating area. Two bright lights on stands at both sides of the stage illuminated the actors and set. An image was projected on a large screen behind the stage. The chorus consisted of women dressed in black who remained on the floor to the sides of the stage. And it all worked just fine.

Creativity often occurs when a person is forced to solve a problem with inadequate resources. A lot of creativity was on display at “Darispan’s Trouble.”


About keithrkenney
Keith Kenney is a professor of visual communication at the University of South Carolina. He is living in Tbilisi, Georgia, for a year. This blog is about several topics. "CSJMM-Journalism" is about the students, faculty and staff members of the Caucasus School of Journalism and Media Management in Tbilisi, Georgia. "USC-Journalism" is about the students, faculty and staff members of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications (SJMC) at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC. CSJMM and SJMC are recipients of a "Journalism School Partnership" program grant from the US Department of State. The purpose of this $750,000 grant is to improve CSJMM and ensure its sustainability. "Tbilisi, Georgia" is about Susanna Melo and my experiences in Tbilisi. "Columbia, SC" will be about our experiences in our home town--Columbia--when we return home. "Georgia" is about Susanna and my experiences when we travel in Georgia outside of Tbilisi. "United States" is about our experiences traveling in the US. "Films and Photography" is about two documentary films I'm working on in Georgia. One story follows how Adishi handles the rapid tourism that is being developed in Svaneti. The other story follows Tamaz Jalagania, who is a craftsman of swords and guns, an opera singer, and an extraordinary storyteller. "Scholarship" is about my current books, articles, reviews, and grants.

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