'A nation's culture resides in the hearts and the soul of its people.' Mahatma Gandhi
The Armenian Theatre, together with the Greek and Roman theatres, is considered one of the oldest theatres in the world․ The first historically known Armenian theatre was opened in 69 B.C. in the city of Tigranakert, during the reign of Tigran the Great. Tigran the Great's son Artavazd II is considered to be the first Armenian playwright, who built the second theatre and conducted plays there.
The genre of pantomime was also popular in the ancient theatre. The most famous actress of pantomime of the time was Nazenik (2nd century).
In the 12-15th centuries, the Armenian theatre of the Kingdom of Cilicia was one of the important centers of Armenian culture.
Armenian Theatre has had its ups and downs during the history of Armenia, full of wars and invasions. Yet it survived through centuries and developed.
The new period of the Armenian theatre began in the 17-18th centuries. During this period, the theatre developed in the Armenian communities in different parts of the world.
Theatres in Yerevan
Nowadays, there are 17 working theatres in Yerevan
- Dramatic Theater of Yerevan City Hall after Hrachya Ghaplanyan
- National Academic Theater after Gabriel Sundukyan
- State Theater of Musical Comedy after Hakob Paronyan
- Russian Dramatic Theatre after K.S. Stanislavsky
- Young People's Theatre of Yerevan City Hall
- Theater-Studio of cinema artists after H. Malyan
- Nationwide Theater named after Sos Sargsyan
- Chamber Theater
- State Puppet Theatre
- Yerevan State Puppet Theater after Hovhannes Tumanyan
- Experimental Youth Theatre
- Artistic Theater "Mher Mkrtchyan" of Yerevan City Hall
- State musical chamber theatre
- "Edgar Elbakyan" Theatre
- Yerevan state pantomime theatre
- Small Theater
- "Metro" theatre
Armenian theatres in other countries
The Armenian Theatre has its branches in Diaspora. The most famous among these theatres are "Papazian Theatre" in Lebanon, "Adamian Theatre" in Syria, "Mher Mkrtchian" and "Vardan Achemyan" theatres in Los Angeles, "Hamazgain theatre" in New York, and many others.