The Yerevan International Shakespeare Festival named after Vahram Papazian was founded in 2004 by director Hakob Ghazanchian and Shakespeare scholar Andrzej Żurowski. For the first three years, only festivals of monodrama performances were held and the mono performances with a Shakespearean subject were invited to Yerevan. Since 2004, the festival has been expanded and, in parallel with mono performances, big performances were also invited to Yerevan. The festival organisers are currently thinking of returning to the solo format, since that type of performance is a unique and rare Shakespeare laboratory, not only for the actors and the director but for the audience as well. For the last few years, during the Yerevan International Shakespeare Festivals named after Vahram Papazian we have presented the theatre groups of P. Brook, D. Donnellan and I. Brook, the theatres of Sh. Rustavelli and S. Abashidze (Tbilisi), the Artistic theatre named after A. Chekhov and „Et Cetera” theatre (Moscow), as well as famous actors and directors from various countries of the world.
In 2014 people all over the world will be celebrating 450th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s Birthday. The president of Theatre Workers Union Hakob Ghazanchyan speaking about Shakespeare International festival in Yerevan told, ”The festival takes place 19th -22nd of March, 2014. Armenian theatre being stricktly linked with the Great Englishman, continues to refer to his heritage every year staging new performances. This year Shakespeare International Festival after V. Papazyan will be dedicated to Shakespeare’s anniversary. Within the frames of the festival directors of European Shakespeare Festival Network will visit Yerevan”.
During the festival the Armenian – Georgian International project ”King Lear” will be premiered. Hakob Ghazanchyan is the director of the performance. Several performances based on Shakespeare’s works will be shown. International conference ”Shakespeare in the crossroads of contemporary theatre” will take place within the frames of the festival.