Synetic Theater

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This article is about the theater company. For the video game company, see Synetic GmbH.
Synetic Theater
SyneticTheatre logo.gif
Theatre Logo
Formation 2001
Type Theatre group
Purpose Physical Theater: fusing drama, movement, dance, mime, and music
  • Arlington VA / Washington, D.C.
Artistic director(s)
Paata Tsikurishvili (Founder)
Notable members
Irina Tsikurishvili (Founder, Choreographer)

Synetic Theater is a non-profit physical theater company located in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. It performs at the Crystal City Theatre in Arlington Virginia. Its declared mission is to "redefine theatre by blending innovative techniques and movement, investing in artists’ growth, and creating unforgettable visceral experiences for every audience."[1] Since its formation its productions have received numerous awards.


Paata Tsikurishvili and Irina Tsikurishvili, Founding Artistic Director and Founding Choreographer of Synetic Theater

Founded in 2001,[2] Synetic Theater began as an artistic subgroup within the now defunct Stanislavsky Theater Studio which performed at the Church Street Theater in Washington, D.C. – the result of an artistic split by the husband and wife team of Paata and Irina Tsikurishvili from Andrei Malaev-Babel, the other co-head of The Stanislavsky Theater Studio.[3][4] It made its artistic debut in April 2002 with a wordless adaptation of Shakespeare's Hamlet, known as Hamlet…the rest is silence. The production was remounted the following season, receiving the Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Resident Play, Outstanding Choreography and Outstanding Director.[5] Despite the artistic split, Synetic Theater and The Stanislavsky Theater Studio continued to share resources and performance space into the following season, but in 2003, after a series of disagreements over financial matters, Synetic set off on its own. The following year Synetic merged with Classika Theater,[6] a children's theater based in Shirlington, Virginia.[7]

In 2014 Synetic Co-Founders Paata and Irina Tsikurishvili were honored as Washingtonians of the Year by Washingtonian Magazine for their contributions to the Washington theater community.[8]

Through its educational programs in the dramatic and visual arts, Synetic strives to build the audiences of tomorrow by fostering and promoting the overall development of children and adolescents, as well as use the freshness of its performance style to reawaken a fascination with theater and art that lies dormant in large sections of the American population. In a society that is increasingly immersed in the visually rich but often contextually tepid waters of television, movies, and the internet, Synetic seeks to re-introduce the theater as a place where everything old can become new again. Towards this goal, Synetic endeavors to increase its national and international exposure, captivating audiences around the globe, while maintaining the excellence of its artistic and educational programs.


The entrance to Synetic Theater's Crystal City Performance space in Arlington Virginia during production of Othello
Underground entrance to the Synetic Theater in Crystal City.

The Synetic Theater's offices and administrative spaces are located 2611 Jefferson Davis Hwy., St. 103 Arlington, VA 22202 in the Crystal City area of Arlington.[9] Until 2010 Synetic performed most of its shows in the Arlington County run Rosslyn Spectrum. In September 2010 it moved into the Crystal City Theatre space outfitted by the Arena Stage after the latter moved back into its newly renovated spaces in Washington D.C.[10] Between 2006–2010, it performed one show each spring in the Kennedy Center.[11] In the 2009–2010 season it produced the premiers of its "Silent Shakespeare" series at the Shakespeare Theatre Company's Lansburgh Theatre.[12] With the company's move to Crystal City, the relationship with the Shakespeare Theatre Company and the Lansburgh Theatre ended.


Paata Tsikurishvili as the Master and Irina Tsikurishvili as Margarita with Sarah Taurchini and Katherine Frattini as manuscript pages. From the 2010/2011 production of The Master and Margarita at the Lansburgh Theatre



  • Alice in Wonderland, Sep 30 - Nov 8, 2015.
  • As You Like It, Dec 9, 2015 – Jan 17, 2016.
  • Romeo and Juliet, Feb 17 - Mar 27, 2016.
  • The Man in the Iron Mask, May 11 - Jun 19, 2016.
  • Twelfth Night, July 13 - August 7, 2016.

Recent productions[edit]


  • The Island of Dr. Moreau, Oct 1 - Nov 2, 2014.
  • Beauty and the Beast, Dec 3, 2014 – Jan 4, 2015.
  • Much Ado About Nothing, Feb 11 - Mar 15, 2015.
  • A Tale of Two Cities, May 13 - Jun 14, 2015.
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream, July 15 - August 9, 2015.

2013-2014[citation needed]

  • The Picture of Dorian Gray, Sept. 26, 2013 — Nov. 3, 2013
  • Twelfth Night, Jan. 9, 2014 — Feb 16, 2014
  • Hamlet ... the rest is silence, March 13, 2014 — April 6, 2014
  • Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog), May 8, 2014 — June 8, 2014


  • Jekyll & Hyde, September 20 — October 21, 2012
  • A Trip to the Moon, December 6, 2012 — January 6, 2013
  • The Tempest, February 21 — March 24, 2013
  • The Three Musketeers, May 9 — June 9, 2013
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream, July 24 - August 4, 2013


  • Speak No More: Silent Shakespeare Festival
    • Macbeth, September 14 – October 2, 2011 at Crystal City
    • Othello, October 19 – November 6, 2011 at Crystal City
    • Romeo And Juliet, November 25 – December 23, 2011 at Crystal City
  • New Movements – New Works, New Artists Festival
    • Genesis Reboot, February 9 – March 3, 2012 at Crystal City
    • "The Voice of Anne Frank", March 14 and March 19, 2012 at Crystal City
  • Taming Of The Shrew, March 31 – April 22, 2012 at the Lansburgh Theatre
  • Home Of The Soldier, May 23 – July 1, 2012 at Crystal City


  • King Arthur, September 30 – October 31, 2010 at Crystal City
  • The Master and Margarita, November 11 – December 12, 2010 at the Lansburgh Theatre
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream, January 25–30, 2011 at Crystal City
  • King Lear, March 24 – April 24, 2011 at the Lansburgh Theatre
  • Don Quixote, June 2 – July 3, 2011 at Crystal City

2009–2010 Season[18]

  • A Midsummer Night's Dream, September 17 – October 10, 2009 at Rosslyn Spectrum
  • Dracula, October 16 – November 15, 2009 at Rosslyn Spectrum
  • Antony and Cleopatra, January 28 – February 28, 2010 at Lansburgh Theatre
  • Metamorphosis, April 9 – May 22, 2010 at Rosslyn Spectrum
  • Othello, June 3 – July 3, 2010 at The John F. Kennedy Center

2008–2009 Season[18]

  • Host and Guest, September 26 – November 9, 2008 at Rosslyn Spectrum
  • Dante, February 6 – March 22, 2009 at Rosslyn Spectrum
  • Lysistrata, March 27 – April 5, 2009 at Georgetown University, April 11–26, 2009 at Rosslyn Spectrum
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream, May 28 – June 15, 2009 at The John F. Kennedy Center

Since many of Synetic's company members were from Georgia, Host and Guest was remounted in reaction to the Russian invasion of Georgia in August 2008.[19] The production replaced the originally scheduled stage adaptation of the vintage horror film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari


Significant Events[edit]

In 2010 Synetic Theater moved to the Crystal City Theatre in Arlington VA.[20]

Synetic Theater was invited to perform in Tbilisi, Georgia. Remount performances of King Lear and Host and Guest were presented at the Rustaveli Theatre 3-19 Nov 2012. The tour was supported by the U.S. Department of State, the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation and the Trust for Mutual Understanding.[21][22]

In 2013 Synetic raised funds for new studio space in Crystal City near the theater space. The studio has 3 classrooms that can be used for camps, classes and rehearsal space as well as a green room and a reception area.[20]

In 2014 Synetic Theater produced its 10th "silent Shakespeare" adaptation "Twelfth Night." [23]

In 2014, Synetic Theater's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream was invited to the 10th Festival Internacional in Chihuahua, Mexico. Subsequently they also performed at Teatro Victor Hugo Rascon Banda, Juarez, Mexico.[24]

Significant past productions[edit]

Silent Shakespeare Series[edit]

Synetic is noted for performing well known Shakespeare plays without words. Hours long plays are pared to 90 minutes of highly stylized dance, movement, acrobatics, pantomime, music and story without a word being spoken.[25] In a letter to patrons in a program, Michael Kahn, the Artistic Director of the Shakespeare Theatre Company, says: "Synetic's signature blend of music, movement, and dance represents a novel approach to Shakespeare"[26] In the Directors Notes of The Tempest program Paata Tsisurishvili stated "Since our first production in 2002, I have often been asked, without the language, is what we do really Shakespeare? I believe it is. Since Shakespeare has been translated into multiple languages, his words having found multiple expressions and becoming a truly universal institution in the process, we believe the language of movement is no less valid method of exploring his work than any other. As Shakespeare himself painted with words, we attempt to paint his words with our images, offering an archetypical Shakespeare that we know, as one reviewer put it, 'in our bones'"[27]

Productions are regularly remounted in the years following their initial production.

The series includes the following well reviewed and award winning productions:

Play Initial Production Reviewed
Hamlet…the rest is silence^ April 2002 The Washington Post[28]
Macbeth^ January 2007 The Washington Post[29]
Romeo and Juliet^ January 2008 The Washington Post[30]
A Midsummer Night's Dream^ May 2009 The Washington Post[31]
Antony and Cleopatra January 2010 The Washington Post[32][33][34]
Othello June 2010 The Washington Post[35]
King Lear March 2011 The Washington Post[36]
The Taming of the Shrew March 2012 The Washington Post[37]
The Tempest February 2013 The Washington Post[38]
Twelfth Night January 2014 The Washington Post[39]
Much Ado About Nothing February 2015 The Washington Post[40]

^ – Helen Hayes Award Winner

– Named one of the year's "10 best" by the Washington Post[34]

In January 2011 A Midsummer Night's Dream was remounted by invitation at the '62 Center for Theatre and Dance at Williams College in Williamstown, MA,[41]

Classic Literature series[edit]

Play Initial Production Reviewed
Host and Guest 2002 The Washington Post[42]
Dracula September 2005 The Washington Post[43]
Frankenstein September 2006 The Washington Post[44]
The Dybbuk

(joint with Theater J)

February 2006 The Washington Post[45]
Faust June 2006 The Washington Post[46]
Carmen May 2009 The Washington Post[47]
Don Quixote June 2011 The Washington City Paper[48]
The Three Musketeers May 2013 The Washington Post[49]

The Washington Post named Host and Guest as one of the ten best performances of the decade.[50] The Harriman Institute at Columbia University requested its presentation it at the university's Miller Theatre[51]


Overall, Synetic has earned a large number of Helen Hayes Nominations and won many Helen Hayes Awards in ten seasons. Most of the awards have been for its wordless Shakespearean repertoire.[5][52] Its more prestigious awards include:

  • 2012 Outstanding Choreography, Resident Production, Ben Cunis, Irina Tsikurishvili King Lear.[52]
  • 2012 Outstanding Ensemble, Resident Play, King Lear.[52]
  • 2011 Outstanding Director: Resident Play, Paata Tsikurishvili, Othello.[5]
  • 2011 The Canadian Embassy Award for Outstanding Ensemble, Resident Play, Othell.[5]
  • 2011 Outstanding Costume Designer: Resident Play, Anastasia Simes, Othello.[5]
  • 2011 Outstanding Lighting Design: Resident Play, Colin Bills, Master & Margarita.[5]
  • 2010 The Canadian Embassy Award for Outstanding Ensemble, Resident Play, A Midsummer Night's Dream.[52]
  • 2009 The Canadian Embassy Award for Outstanding Ensemble, Resident Play, Romeo and Juliet.[5]
  • 2009 Outstanding Director: Resident Play, Paata Tsikurishvili, Romeo and Juliet.[5]
  • 2009 Outstanding Choreography: Resident Production, Irina Tsikurishvili, Carmen.[5]
  • 2008 Outstanding Resident Play, Macbeth.[5]
  • 2008 The Canadian Embassy Award for Outstanding Ensemble, Resident Play, Hamlet … the rest is silence.[5]
  • 2008 Outstanding Director: Resident Play, Paata Tsikurishvili, Macbeth.[5]
  • 2008 Outstanding Choreography: Resident Production, Irina Tsikurishvili, Macbeth.[5]
  • 2008 Outstanding Sound Design: Resident Production, Paata Tsikurishvili, iriakli kavsadze Macbeth.[5]
  • 2008 Outstanding Supporting Actor: Resident Production, Phillip Fletcher, Macbeth.[5]
  • 2007 Outstanding Choreography: Resident Production, Irina Tsikurishvili, Frankenstein.[5]
  • 2005 Outstanding Choreography: Resident Production, Irina Tsikurishvili, The Master and Margarita.[5]
  • 2003 Outstanding Resident Play, Hamlet … the rest is silence.[5]
  • 2003 Outstanding Director: Resident Play, Paata Tsikurishvili, Hamlet … the rest is silence.[5]
  • 2003 Outstanding Choreography: Resident Production, Irina Tsikurishvili, Hamlet … the rest is silence.[5]

Other items of note[edit]

The name Synetic was coined by founding artistic director Paata Tsikurishvili from the words Synthesis (the coming together of distinct elements to form a whole) and Kinetic (pertaining to or imparting motion; active ... dynamic ...) yielding "Synetic Theater – a Dynamic Synthesis of the Arts"[53]

Synetic Theater is a member of the League of Washington Theaters (LOWT).[54]

See also[edit]

Helen Hayes Award


  1. ^ "Synetic Theater – About". Synetic Theater. Retrieved December 7, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Synetic Theater – About". Retrieved December 4, 2009. 
  3. ^ Horwitz, Jane (June 3, 2003). "Synetic Theater to Set Out on Its Own". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 4, 2009. 
  4. ^ "Stanislavsky Theater Studio's Golden Theater: Pantomime for Youth". The Kennedy Center. 2003. Retrieved February 6, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t "Helen Hayes Awards Search Recipients – Synetic". Retrieved November 1, 2009. 
  6. ^ Horwitz, Jane (August 31, 2004). "Classika-Synetic: The Merger as Reunion". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 4, 2009. 
  7. ^ "Classika Theater". Retrieved December 4, 2009. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ Synetic Theater. "Directions". Retrieved September 7, 2011. 
  10. ^ "Synetic Theater Takes The Stage In Crystal City". Retrieved January 24, 2011. 
  11. ^ The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (March 1, 2006). "The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announces a New Five-Year Partnership with Synetic Theater". Retrieved November 11, 2009. 
  12. ^ "Synetic Theater announces a new alliance with The Shakespeare Theatre Company during their Leadership Repertory" (PDF). May 4, 2009. Retrieved November 11, 2009. 
  13. ^ "2015/16 Synetic Season Subscription". Synetic Theatre. Retrieved 28 May 2015.  External link in |website= (help)
  14. ^ "2014/15 Synetic Season Subscription". Synetic Theatre. Retrieved 10 June 2014.  External link in |website= (help)
  15. ^ Synetic Theater. "2012/13 Season". Retrieved 28 October 2012. 
  16. ^ "Synetic Theatre 2011–12 Main Stage Season" (PDF). Retrieved 26 August 2011. 
  17. ^ "Synetic Theatre Season 2010–11". Retrieved August 26, 2011. 
  18. ^ a b "Synetic Theatre Season". Retrieved November 27, 2009. 
  19. ^ Marks, Peter (August 20, 2008). "Synetic Theater Stages a Reaction To Georgia War". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 6, 2010. 
  20. ^ a b
  21. ^ "Synetic Theater Off to Republic of Georgia for Week of Performances". 27 October 2012. Retrieved 28 October 2012. 
  22. ^ Goldstein,, Jessica (30 October 2012). "Backstage: Crystal City's Synetic Theater has Georgia trip on its mind". The Washington Post. Retrieved 31 October 2012. 
  23. ^,1172301.html
  24. ^ "Synetic Theater to Bring A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM to Mexico". Retrieved 24 December 2014.  External link in |website= (help)
  25. ^ Healy, Patrick (January 21, 2011). "Hamlet (and Others) as the Strong, Silent Type". The New York Times. Retrieved January 24, 2011. 
  26. ^ Kahn, Michael (January 28, 2010). Letter in Synetic Theater's Antony and Cleopatra Program. Washington, D.C.: Harmon Center for the Arts. 
  27. ^ Tsikurishvili, Patta (21 February – 24 March 2013). "Directors Notes". The Synetic Theater The Tempest Program Book. 
  28. ^ Triplett, William (April 8, 2002). "Synetic's 'Hamlet': The Rest Is Silence". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 26, 2009. 
  29. ^ Toscano, Michael J. (February 22, 2007). "Synetic Theater's 'Macbeth' Leaves the Actors Speechless". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 26, 2009. 
  30. ^ Marks, Peter (January 29, 2008). "'Romeo and Juliet': Such Sweet Sorrow". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 26, 2009. 
  31. ^ Marks, Peter (June 1, 2009). "Synetic's Wordless, Wondrous 'Midsummer'". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 26, 2009. 
  32. ^ Ramanathan, Lavanya (January 29, 2010). "Synetic Theater's 'Antony and Cleopatra' is silent". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 6, 2010. 
  33. ^ Marks, Peter (February 4, 2010). "Review: The rising passion, and artistry, of Synetic's 'Antony and Cleopatra'". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 6, 2010. 
  34. ^ a b Marks, Peter (December 18, 2010). "Peter Marks' Top 10 of 2010". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 18, 2011. 
  35. ^ Marks, Peter (April 1, 2011). "Peter Marks reviews Synetic Theater's 'King Lear'". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 26, 2011. 
  36. ^ Marks, Peter (June 9, 2010). "THEATER REVIEW: Silently but eloquently, Synetic Theater captures fury and passion of 'Othello'". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 18, 2011. 
  37. ^ Marks, Peter (2 April 2012). "A 'Shrew' on two fleet feet from Synetic Theater". Retrieved 28 October 2012. 
  38. ^ Marks, Peter (28 February 2013). "A frothy new 'Tempest' bubbling to the surface". The Washington Post. Retrieved 8 March 2013. 
  39. ^ Marks, Peter (1 January 2014). "Synetic Theater offers a saucy, dancing 'Twelfth Night'". 
  40. ^ Wren, Celia (23 February 2015). "A good bet: 'Much Ado About Nothing' at Synetic Theater". 
  41. ^ "Synetic Theater A Midsummer Night's Dream". Retrieved January 24, 2011. 
  42. ^ Marks, Peter (September 29, 2008). "'Host and Guest': Back With a Vengeance". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 3, 2009. 
  43. ^ Traiger, Lisa (September 9, 2005). "'Dracula' in the Flesh and Blood". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 3, 2009. 
  44. ^ Marks, Peter (September 16, 2006). "'Frankenstein': Synetic Creates A Monster To Remember". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 3, 2009. 
  45. ^ Marks, Peter (February 17, 2006). "'Dybbuk' Possesses Dazzling Moments". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 3, 2009. 
  46. ^ Marks, Peter (May 2, 2006). "Dances With the Devil; Synetic's 'Faust' Turns Up the Heat". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 3, 2009. 
  47. ^ Marks, Peter (June 2, 2008). "From Synetic, A 'Carmen' That's Lithe On Its Feet". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 3, 2009. 
  48. ^ Ritzel, Rebecca (June 10, 2011). "Synetic Theater lilts at windmills". The Washington City Paper. Retrieved August 26, 2011. 
  49. ^ Pressley, Nelson (16 May 2013). "'Three Musketeers' at Synetic goes full throttle on the senses". The Washington Post. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  50. ^ Marks, Peter (December 27, 2009). "Best of the decade: Theater". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 6, 2010. 
  51. ^ "Synetic Theater to Perform Post's "Best of Decade" Host and Guest in New York City" (PDF). Press Release. Synetic Theater. February 3, 2010. Retrieved February 6, 2010. 
  52. ^ a b c d Reorganized Helen Hays Awards Web Site. "HHA Nominees & Recipients". Theatre Washington. Retrieved 8 March 2013. 
  53. ^ The Kennedy Center Playbill – Synetic Theater presents Carmen. Washington, D.C.: The John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. June 2008. 
  54. ^ "Members of the League of Washington Theatres". Retrieved November 11, 2009. 

External links[edit]