Mission

Synetic redefines theater by blending innovative techniques and movement, investing in artists’ growth, and creating unforgettable visceral experiences for every audience.

 

Vision

That Synetic Theater is an internationally renowned physical theater company, producing work that creates cultural diplomacy, uplifts its community, and provides entertainment and enrichment to people of all ages and from all walks of life.

 

Values

Embrace our identity as an immigrant-founded organization whose art form is multicultural, universal, and transcends any one language.

Elevate artistry through highly professional and original productions, and our unique approach to storytelling, which has been developed and refined over the last 20 years. We are constantly exploring our craft, evolving as international leaders in physical theater, and pushing the boundaries of design, athleticism, and emotional honesty.

Build a family We are an international ensemble, driven and passionate individuals who support and motivate, each other while overcoming challenges, pushing our limits, and performing our highest-quality work.

Promote diversity by thoughtfully welcoming and celebrating people of different cultures, races, nationalities, ethnicities, ages, body types, gender identities, and skill sets who are united in their motivation and inspiration to collaborate, practice, and develop Synetic’s craft.

Stimulate audiences We craft stories that emotionally connect with our audience members – challenging, provoking, and entertaining them through visceral theatrical experiences that stir their consciousness and imagination.

 

What’s in a name?

SYNthesis: Combining distinct elements to form a whole
KinETIC: Pertaining to or imparting motion: active, dynamic, energetic
SYNETIC: A dynamic synthesis of the arts

Want to know more? Take a look at Synetic’s 2022-2027 Strategic Plan.

Synetic Theater emerged from the creative vision of founders Georgian immigrants Paata and Irina Tsikurishvili, who emigrated from the former Soviet country of Georgia in 1995.  Trained in dance, theatre, and film, the Tsikurishvilis combine traditions of the Caucasus with distinctly American styles to tell classic stories through movement, music, technology and visual arts. Synetic made its artistic debut in 2001, with its  first wordless Shakespeare production, Hamlet…the rest is silence, thrilling audiences with its athletic and high-voltage physical theatre. Synetic’s innovative take on Hamlet earned three Helen Hayes Awards: Outstanding Resident Play, Outstanding Choreography, and Outstanding Director.

Synetic would go on to win dozens more Helen Hayes Awards with over 100 nominations to date, recognition from the American Theatre Wing, and the honor of “Washingtonians of the Year” from Washingtonian Magazine for co-founders Paata and Irina Tsikurishvili. Unique in the US for its signature stagings of classic literary works, folktales, and devised works, Synetic leverages its original “Body of Mind” technique that combines athleticism, character-based storytelling, and stunning visuals. It has established itself as the region’s premier physical theater company and found its residential home as the flagship arts organization of South Arlington.

Synetic produces two to three main stage productions and one to two family series productions per season, while also running extensive professional and pre-professional training programs and a wide array of youth theater classes and camps, conducting community outreach programs and partnerships throughout the region, and touring world-class family and main stage productions locally and internationally. The theater serves more than 36,000 people a year.

The Tsikurishvilis’ History

Over thousands of years, Georgia has been occupied, controlled, and savaged by every major power in history. As a stepping stone between West and East, the Georgian people have had the fight for freedom in their blood. In 1989, the protests were at their height. Paata split his time between studying at the University of Film and Stage and being a professional actor with the Pantomime Theater. He remembers seeing people rushing past the theater, growing in numbers each day, protesting communism. Paata joined a massive hunger strike at the foot of Parliament demanding independence, a free election, and to be out from under the foot of the Russian superpower. The hunger strike worked, and Georgia had its first free election. However, the Soviets didn’t recognize Georgia’s independence. They came with tanks and soldiers to force the people into submission, and Paata and his friends became guerrilla fighters overnight.

When Paata met dancer and actress Irina (Ira) Kvetenadze, they remained hopeful and rebellious. But shortly after their son Vato was born in May 1991, daily life began to fall apart. By September, the Soviets had cut off the electricity and gas, sending Georgia into cold and darkness. With no running water, Ira would walk with her infant son down nine flights of stairs to gather snow to boil for water, then made her way back up the stairs with a bucket in one hand and her baby in the other. While she focused on feeding their baby and keeping him warm, Paata focused on staying alive. The local police turned into a corrupt militia, the Soviets pushed through the streets, and the guerrilla fighters who had worked as teams turned into gangs and waged war against each other. Paata recalls having friends shot out from his embrace, Ira remembers stepping over bodies on the street, and Vato’s first memories are gunshots and hunger. With the Pantomime Theater, Paata sought safety in Germany; in Georgia, men were the targets of warfare. In 1995 Paata collected his family and fled to the United States.

Landing in the DC area, Paata and Ira busked on the street, passing the hat for money to buy food. Neither of them spoke English, but they began memorizing the dialogue of plays. They sought out other immigrant artists and eventually co-founded the Stanislavsky Theater Studio with Andrei Malaev Babel, a Russian artist, and director with a background in Russian physical theater techniques. With 175 embassies, ambassador’s residences, and international cultural centers, DC is one of the most culturally diverse cities in the nation, yet there was no other theater like Stanislavsky Theater Studio in the extended DC region, and it gained attention. After a few performances, it was clear that Paata and Irina were offering a signature style that needed its own grounds to flourish. They formed their own company, Synetic Theater, named by combining the words ‘synthesis’ and ‘kinetic’ – a dynamic combination of physical art forms.

Taking the Washington, D.C. area by storm, Synetic Theater has created 88 original works in a twenty-year history, won countless awards, and received over 120 Helen Hayes nominations. Vato has become a powerhouse performer and director, following in his parents’ footsteps. These indigenous Georgians have created hundreds of jobs; their highly stylized vision has offered a playground to some of the nation’s top designers in costumes, projections, set design, and lighting. Synetic prides itself on cultivating an international corps for artists, some of whom stay with the company for years or decades.

Synetic has a large classical repertoire and also produces international stories never before seen by an American audience.

Synetic Theater has become a monument in the American theater landscape, known for athleticism, character-based storytelling, and stunning visuals presentations. With a large classical repertoire familiar across the globe and a showcase for international stories never before seen by an American audience, Synetic continues to deepen its reach. Synetic Theater’s artistry revolves around the practice of Host & Guest, meaning that everyone is welcome at the table, to share in the host’s meal, and especially all are welcome to create art.

Synetic Theater has consistently produced highly acclaimed plays since its inception in 2001.

In 2010, Synetic was awarded a grant by the New York Theatre Wing as a top emerging Theatre Company.

Paata and Irina Tsikurishvili were named Washingtonians of the Year in 2013 by Washingtonian Magazine.

In Washington D.C., Synetic has received a total of 34 Helen Hayes Awards and an impressive 142 nominations. Below is a full list of awards and nominations thus far.

Helen Hayes Awards & Nominations

2020

  • Nomination, Outstanding Choreography in a Play, Irina Tsikurishvili, Cyrano de Bergerac
  • Nomination, Outstanding Costume Design, Alison Samatha Johnson, Cyrano de Bergerac
  • Nomination, Outstanding Lighting Design, Brian S. Allard, Cyrano de Bergerac
  • Nomination, Outstanding Direction in a Play, Vato Tsikurishvili, Cyrano de Bergerac
  • Nomination, Outstanding Ensemble in a Play, Cyrano de Bergerac
  • Nomination, James MacArthur Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play, Cyrano de Bergerac
  • Nomination, Robert Prosky Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play, Cyrano de Bergerac
  • Nomination, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play, Maryam Najafzada, Cyrano de Bergerac
  • Nomination, Outstanding Production of a Play, Cyrano de Bergerac

2019

  • Winner, Outstanding Choreography in a Play, Irina Tsikurishvili, Sleepy Hollow
  • Nomination, Outstanding Choreography in a Play, Irina Tsikurishvili, The Trial
  • Nomination, Outstanding Choreography in a Play, Tori Bertocci, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
  • Nomination, Outstanding Costume Design, Erik Teague, Sleepy Hollow
  • Winner, Outstanding Costume Design, Erik Teague, The Trial
  • Winner, Outstanding Lighting Design, Brian S. Allard, Titus Andronicus
  • Nomination, Outstanding Lighting Design, Brian S. Allard, The Trial
  • Nomination, Outstanding Set Design, Daniel Pinha, The Trial
  • Nomination, James MacArthur Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play, Ryan Tumulty, The Trial
  • Nomination, Outstanding Original Play or Musical Adaptation, Nathan Weinberger, Sleepy Hollow
  • Nomination, Outstanding Production for Young Audiences, My Father’s Dragon

2018

  • Nomination, Outstanding Choreography, Resident Play, Irina Tsikurishvili (Choreographer), Vato Tsikurishvili (Fight Choreographer), The Adventures of Peter Pan
  • Nomination, Outstanding Costume Design, Resident Play, Kendra Rai, The Adventures of Peter Pan
  • Nomination, Outstanding  Play or Musical Adaptation, Nathan Weinberger, The Hunchback of Notre Dame

2017

  • Nomination, Outstanding Choreography, Resident Play, Irina Tsikurishvili (Choreographer), Ben Cunis & Vato Tsikurishvili (Fight Choreographers), The Man in the Iron Mask
  • Nomination, Outstanding Costume Design, Resident Play, Erik Teague, The Man in the Iron Mask

2016

  • Nomination, Outstanding Choreography, Resident Play, Ben Cunis & Irina Tsikurishvili, Much Ado About Nothing
  • Nomination, Outstanding Lead Actress, Resident Play, Irina Tsikurishvili, Much Ado About Nothing
  • Nomination, The James MacArthur Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor, Resident Play, Vato Tsikurishvili, Much Ado About Nothing
  • Nomination, Outstanding Costume Design, Resident Play, Kendra Rai, Alice in Wonderland

2015

  • Nomination, Outstanding Supporting Actress, Resident Play, Irina Kavsadze, Twelfth Night
  • Nomination, The James MacArthur Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor, Resident Play, Irakli Kavsadze, Twelfth Night
  • Nomination, The James MacArthur Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor, Resident Play, Alex Mills, Three Men in a Boat (To say nothing of the dog)
  • Nomination, Outstanding Lead Actress, Resident Play, Irina Tsikurishvili, Twelfth Night
  • Nomination, Outstanding Lead Actor, Resident Play, Ben Cunis, Twelfth Night
  • Nomination, Outstanding Sound Design, Resident Production,  Thomas Sowers and Konstantine Lortkipanidze, The Island of Dr. Moreau
  • Nomination, Outstanding Sound Design, Resident Production, Thomas Sowers and Konstantine Lortkipanidze, Twelfth Night
  • Nomination, Outstanding Lighting Design, Resident Production, Colin K. Bills, Twelfth Night
  • Nomination, Outstanding Lighting Design, Resident Production, Brittany Diliberto and Riki K., The Island of Dr. Moreau
  • Nomination, Outstanding Costume Design, Resident Production, Kendra Rai, Beauty and the Beast
  • Winner, Outstanding Costume Design, Resident Production, Kendra Rai, The Island of Dr. Moreau
  • Nomination, Outstanding Costume Design, Resident Production, Kendra Rai, Twelfth Night
  • Nomination, Outstanding Set Design, Resident Production, Phil Charlwood, The Island of Dr. Moreau
  • Nomination, Outstanding Choreography in a Play, Irina Tskikurishvili, Beauty and the Beast
  • Winner, Outstanding Choreography in a Play, Irina Tsikurishvili and Ben Cunis, Twelfth Night
  • Nomination, Outstanding Director, Resident Production, Paata Tsikurishvili, Twelfth Night
  • Nomination, Outstanding Ensemble, Resident Production, The Island of Dr. Moreau
  • Winner, Outstanding Ensemble, Resident Production, Twelfth Night
  • Nomination, Outstanding Play or Musical Adaptation, Ben and Peter Cunis, Beauty and the Beast
  • Nomination, Outstanding Play or Musical Adaptation, Nathan Weinberger and Lloyd Rose, The Island of Dr. Moreau
  • Nomination, Outstanding Play or Musical Adaptation, Three Men in a Boat (To say nothing of the dog)
  • Nomination, Outstanding Resident Production, Twelfth Night

2014

  • Winner, Outstanding Movement, Resident Play, Irina Tsikurishvili and Ben Cunis, The Three Musketeers
  • Nomination, Outstanding Lighting Design, Resident Production, Andrew F. Griffin, The Tempest

2012

  • Winner, Outstanding Ensemble, Resident Play, King Lear
  • Winner, Outstanding Choreography, Resident Production, Ben Cunis and Irina Tsikurishvili, King Lear
  • Winner, Outstanding Sound Design, Resident Production, Konstantine Lortkipanidze and Irakli Kavsadze, King Lear
  • Winner, Outstanding Lighting Design, Resident Production, Andrew F. Griffin, King Lear
  • Nomination, Outstanding Resident Play, King Lear
  • Nomination, Outstanding Director, Resident Play, Paata Tsikurishvili, King Lear
  • Nomination, Outstanding Set Design, Resident Production, Phil Charlwood, King Lear
  • Nomination, Outstanding Costume Design, Resident Production, Georgi Alexi-Meskhishvili, King Lear
  • Nomination, Outstanding Supporting Actress, Resident Play, Mirenka Cechová, King Lear
  • Nomination, The James MacArthur Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor, Resident Play, Ben Cunis, King Lear
  • Nomination, The James MacArthur Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor, Resident Play, Chris Dinolfo, King Lear
  • Nomination, The James MacArthur Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor, Resident Play, Philip Fletcher, King Lear
  • Nomination, Outstanding Lead Actress, Resident Play, Ira Koval, King Lear
  • Nomination, Outstanding Lead Actress, Resident Play, Irina Tsikurishvili, King Lear
  • Nomination, The Robert Prosky Award for Outstanding Lead Actor, Resident Play, Irakli Kavsadze, King Lear

2011

  • Winner, Outstanding Director, Resident Play, Paata Tsikurishvili, Othello
  • Winner, Outstanding Ensemble, Resident Play, Othello
  • Winner, Outstanding Costume Design, Resident Production, Anastasia R. Simes, Othello
  • Winner, Outstanding Lighting Design, Resident Production, Colin K. Bills, The Master and Margarita
  • Nomination, Outstanding Lighting Design, Resident Production, Colin K. Bills, Antony and Cleopatra
  • Nomination, Outstanding Sound Design, Resident Production,  Irakli Kavsadze and Konstantine Lortkipanidze, Othello
  • Nomination, Outstanding Choreography, Resident Production,  Irina Tsikurishvili and Ben Cunis, King Arthur
  • Nomination, Outstanding Choreography, Resident Production,  Irina Tsikurishvili, Othello
  • Nomination, Outstanding Musical Direction, Resident Production, Konstantine Lortkipanidze, Othello
  • Nomination, Outstanding Lead Actor, Resident Play, Philip Fletcher, Othello
  • Nomination, Outstanding Lead Actor, Resident Play, Alex Mills, Othello
  • Nomination, Outstanding Director, Resident Play, Paata Tsikurishvili, The Master and Margarita
  • Nomination, Outstanding Resident Play, The Master and Margarita
  • Nomination, Outstanding Resident Play, Othello

2010

  • Winner, Outstanding Production, Theatre for Young Audiences, The Tale of the Fisherman and the Golden Fish
  • Winner, Outstanding Ensemble, Resident Play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • Nomination, Outstanding Lighting Design, Resident Production, Andrew F. Griffin, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • Nomination, Outstanding Sound Design, Resident Production, Konstantine Lortkipanidze, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • Nomination, Outstanding Costume Design, Resident Production, Anastasia Ryurikov Simes, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • Nomination, Outstanding Costume Design, Resident Production, Anastasia Ryurikov Simes, Dante
  • Nomination, Outstanding Choreography, Resident Production, Irina Tsikurishvili, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • Nomination, Outstanding Choreography, Resident Production, Irina Tsikurishvili, Dante
  • Nomination, Outstanding Choreography, Resident Production, Irina Tsikurishvili and Ben Cunis, Dracula
  • Nomination, Outstanding Supporting Actor, Resident Play, Irakli Kavsadze, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • Nomination, Outstanding Supporting Actor, Resident Play, Alex Mills, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • Nomination, Outstanding Director, Resident Play, Paata Tsikurishvili, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • Nomination, Outstanding Resident Play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

2009

  • Winner, Outstanding Choreography, Resident Production, Irina Tsikurishvili, Carmen
  • Winner, Outstanding Director, Paata Tsikurishvili, Resident Play, Romeo and Juliet
  • Winner, Outstanding Ensemble, Resident Play, Romeo and Juliet
  • Nomination, Outstanding Choreography, Resident Production, Irina Tsikurishvili, Romeo and Juliet
  • Nomination, Outstanding Musical Direction, Resident Production, Konstantine Lortkipanidze, Host and Guest
  • Nomination, Outstanding Set Design, Resident Production, Anastasia Ryurikov Simes, Romeo and Juliet
  • Nomination, Outstanding Sound Design, Resident Production, Irakli Kavsadze and Konstantine Lortkipanidze, Romeo and Juliet
  • Nomination, Outstanding Ensemble, Resident Play, Carmen
  • Nomination, Outstanding Resident Play, Romeo and Juliet

2008

  • Winner, Outstanding Ensemble, Resident Play, Hamlet…the rest is silence
  • Winner, Outstanding Resident Play, Macbeth
  • Winner, Outstanding Choreography, Resident Production, Irina Tsikurishvili, Macbeth
  • Winner, Outstanding Director, Resident Play, Paata Tsikurishvili, Macbeth
  • Winner, Outstanding Sound Design, Resident Production, Paata Tsikurishvili and Irakli Kavsadze, Macbeth
  • Winner, Outstanding Supporting Actor, Resident Play, Philip Fletcher, Macbeth
  • Nomination, Outstanding Choreography, Resident Production, Irina Tsikurishvili, Hamlet…the rest is silence
  • Nomination, Outstanding Choreography, Resident Production, Irina Tsikurishvili, The Fall of the House of Usher
  • Nomination, Outstanding Costume Design, Resident Production, Anastasia Ryurikov Simes, Macbeth
  • Nomination, Outstanding Director, Resident Play, Paata Tsikurishvili, Hamlet…the rest is silence
  • Nomination, Outstanding Lead Actor, Resident Play, Irakli Kavsadze, Macbeth
  • Nomination, Outstanding Lead Actress, Resident Play, Irina Tsikurishvili, Macbeth
  • Nomination, Outstanding Lighting Design, Resident Production, Colin K. Bills, Macbeth
  • Nomination, Outstanding Set Design, Resident Production, Anastasia Ryurikov Simes, Macbeth
  • Nomination, Outstanding Supporting Actress, Resident Play, Salma Qarnain, Macbeth

2007

  • Winner, Outstanding Choreography, Resident Production, Irina Tsikurishvili, Frankenstein
  • Nomination, Outstanding Choreography, Resident Production, Irina Tsikurishvili, The Dybbuk
  • Nomination, Outstanding Choreography, Resident Production, Irina Tsikurishvili, Faust
  • Nomination, Outstanding Director, Resident Play, Paata Tsikurishvili, Frankenstein
  • Nomination, Outstanding Lighting Design, Resident Production, Colin K. Bills, The Dybbuk
  • Nomination, Outstanding Lighting Design, Resident Production, Colin K. Bills, Frankenstein
  • Nomination, Outstanding Sound Design, Resident Production, Irakli Kavsadze, Frankenstein
  • Nomination, Outstanding Sound Design, Resident Production, Paata Tsikurishvili, Frankenstein
  • Nomination, Outstanding Ensemble, Resident Play, Frankenstein
  • Nomination, Outstanding Resident Play, Frankenstein

2006

  • Nomination, Outstanding Choreography, Resident Production, Irina Tsikurishvili, Dracula
  • Nomination, Outstanding Choreography, Resident Production,  Irina Tsikurishvili, Jason and the Argonauts

2005

  • Winner, Outstanding Choreography, Resident Production, Irina Tsikurishvili, The Master and Margarita
  • Nomination, Outstanding Choreography, Resident Production, Irina Tsikurishvili, The Crackpots

2004

  • Nomination, Outstanding Choreography, Resident Production, Irina Tsikurishvili, Salome

2003

  • Winner, Outstanding Choreography, Resident Production, Irina Tsikurishvili, Hamlet…the rest is silence
  • Winner, Outstanding Resident Play, Hamlet…the rest is silence
  • Winner, Outstanding Director, Resident Play, Paata Tsikurishvili, Hamlet…the rest is silence
  • Nomination, Outstanding Choreography, Resident Production, Irina Tsikurishvili, Host and Guest
  • Nomination, Outstanding Director, Resident Play, Paata Tsikurishvili, Host and Guest
  • Nomination, Outstanding Sound Design, Resident Production, Paata Tsikurishvili, Host and Guest
  • Nomination, Outstanding Resident Play, Host and Guest