The Armenian Theatre

The Armenian Theatre

October 16, 2017

“Culture is social heredity, which is transmitted from one generation to another with the accumulation of individual experiences” Ralph Linton.

The Armenians are one of the oldest nations in the world and certainly, have rich cultural heredity gained from ancestors. Being one of the oldest countries in the world, we always appreciated art since the earliest stage of development.

The Armenian Theatre is considered to be one of the oldest theatres in the world․ It was originated in the 1st millennium BC and the first Armenian professional theatre was originated in the Hellenic period where the first performances were tragedy and comedy. According to the Historian Plutarch, Tigran the Great (Mets) built an amphitheater in Hellenic Style, in the capital Tigranakert, in 69 BC.

In ancient theatre, actors played mainly pantomime and the most famous actress of pantomime was Nazenik (2nd century). In the 2nd-3rd centuries, the Armenians already played in Armenian and Greek performances.

In the medieval period started to develop the Armenian theatre of the Cilicia Kingdom which became one of the main centers of Armenian culture. In the 19th century, in the Armenian performances were added Russian performances and Shakespeare’s novels.

Theatres in Yerevan

Nowadays, there are working 16 theatres in Yerevan

  • Yerevan State Puppet Theatre named after Hovhannes Tumanyan
  • Yerevan State Chamber Theatre
  • Armenian National Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet named after Alexander Spendiaryan
  • State Russian Drama Theatre named after Konstantin Stanislavski
  • Hakob Paronyan State Musical Comedy Theatre
  • Edgar Elbakyan Theatre of Drama and Comedy
  • Gabriel Sundukyan State Academic Theatre 
  • Mher Mkrtchyan theatre
  • Hamazgayin State Theater
  • Hrachya Ghaplanyan Drama Theatre
  • Metro Theatre of the National Center of Aesthetics 
  • Yerevan Theatre of the Young Spectator 
  • Yerevan State Pantomime Theatre
  • Henrik Malyan Film-actor's Theatre
  • Yerevan State Puppet Theatre named after Hovhannes Tumanyan

Armenian theatres in other countries

The Armenian theatre has its branches in Diaspora. The most famous among them is in Lebanon,  called “Papazian Theatre”, Syria “Adamian Theatre”,  Los Angeles “Mher Mkrtchian”, “Vardan Achemian” Theatre and in New York “Hamazgain theatre” and many others.

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