Born in Georgia in 1938, Robert Sturua studied under Mikhail Tumanishvili at the Tbilisi State Theatre Institute. He graduated in 1961 and began his career at the Shota Rustaveli Theatre, where he became director in 1979 and artistic director in 1982.
Sturua is known as a paradoxical interpreter of Shakespeare. Hamlet (1986) was staged for the Riverside Studio in London, with Alan Rickman as Hamlet, and became hailed as one of the ten best Shakespearian productions of the last 50 years, by the Shakespeare International Association. In the beginning of the 90s, Sturua's productions turned to the inner world with works including Life is a Dream by Calderon (1992), Kind Woman of Sezuan by Brecht (1993), or Lamara by Grigol Robakidze (1996). He acquired a philosophical tone and focused more on the fine line between life and death. The metaphorical language of more recent interpretations is poetic and includes the fantasy Styx, inspired by the music of Giya Kancheli.
Robert Sturua's creative world is rich and diverse. His productions harmonize the tragic and the comical, the political farce and the melodrama, the classical comedy and the philosophy, where extreme rationalism can echo the grotesque. Sturua's productions have been performed worldwide from Argentina to Australia, from Edinburgh to Jerusalem.