The official date of Panevezys Drama Theater (Juozas Miltinis Drama Theater at present) establishment is thought the 15th of Mart'1940, when " A Silver Valley" by Pogodin staged by Juozas Miltinis was performed. The theater's main body was formed of the participants of the theater lover's troupe, which existed in the Workers' Cultural Palace Club in Kaunas and was established under the initiative of Juozas Miltinis. The first performance staged by Miltinis was naturalistic and ordinary without any artificial acting what was new at Lithuanian Theater's life of that time.
Panevezys Drama Theater became a studio - the laboratory of actors' training and preparation - that was a new and the first phenomenon in Lithuanian stage theater's history. For even thirty years Panevezys Drama Theater was the theater of one leader, who constantly realised his ideas in practice. The main accents in the theater's development were the training of actor's personality - a some kind of "philosophic acrobat" - by putting to practice improvisation elements and searching for modern means of acting; the psychological true and the concentrated attitude to the inner world of a character were of the main importance during the first year of the theater's existence. Panevezys Drama Theater was the beginner in staging the modern plays - the intellectual, philosophic, existential works, the realisation of them was a part of the theater's program.
The development of Panevezys Drama Theater can be devoted to several periods. The first two are linked with the name of Juozas Miltinis: 1940-1954 - the theater's formation and growth period which ended by the forced withdrawal of its leader (at the time the theater was leaded by the actor and stage-manager, the alumni of Miltinis - Vaclovas Blėdis); 1959-1980 - the period of the theater's maturity and general recognition, the best performances staged by Juozas Miltinis appeared at this period and glorified the name of the theater as the experimenting and new-fashioned theater all over the Soviet Union. The philosophic, intellectual theater of Juozas Miltinis with strict form and expressive acting has trained a great number of famous theater and cinema artists.
The third period of the theater is linked with the stage-manager Saulius Varnas' name, since 1988 he has staged the performances here and became its leader in 1993.Varnas didn't break the tradition of his predecessor but enriched it with the original staging decisions full of expressive, surrealistic, playful theatrical and at the same time aesthetic, abstract forms. But in 1996, the stage-manager was forced to leave the theater after an inner reorganisation, Rimantas Teresas- the actor and stage-manager of the theater became its leader.
Address: Laisvės a. 5, Panevezys