An outstanding actor of St.Petersburg Imperial Alexandrinsky Theater Pavel Vasiliev founded the first permanent troupe of the Russian Theater in Vilnius in 1864. It was a birthday of Russian Drama Theater. Its repertoire included performances of different genres based on works of Russian and foreign playwrights, including those of "the new generation": Chekhov, Ibsen, and Hauptman. In the end of the 19th centur,y the great Russian actress Vera Komissarjevskaya appeared on the scene of the theater.
During the World War I the theater ceased functioning, the troupe broke apart. Only in 1946 the theater opened for the public. Its second birth was celebrated by performing Ostrovsky's play "Innocent as Charged". From then on many talented persons worked in the Russian Drama Theater, including directors Roman Viktuk and Jonas Jurashas, actresses Monika Mironaite and Elina Bistrizhkaya, composer and musician Vyacheslav Ganelin and others. 60s and 80s of the 20th century became the Golden Age of the theater history, when the Russian Drama Theater played dominant role in the cultural life of Lithuania and was appreciated by the foreign critics.
In the middle of the 80s, the theater moved from the old house on Jogailos Street. Now it occupies the historical building where the famous Polish Theater on Pogylyanka used to be.
The repertoires of the Russian Drama Theater include "The Dog in the Manger" by Lope de Vega, "Years of wandering" by Arbuzov, "Young People" by Rodion Belezhky, "A Little Bit of Tenderness" by Aldo Nikolai, "George Danden" by Moliere and other performances based on the works of classis and modern authors.
Nowadays the Russian Drama theatre is the only theater in Lithuania performing not only in Lithuanian language. The building of the theatre is among culture monuments under the patronage of the UNESCO.
Address: Basanaviciaus St.1, Vilnius