There are over 500 theatres in Russia, and 150 of them are in Moscow. The city offers the best stages of the country, and only theatres of Saint Petersburgh can set wits to them. The history of the Russian theatrical art known all over the world takes its roots in Moscow.
Tsar Alexey Mihaylovich who ruled in 17th century is considered to be a founder of the first Russian theatre. However this form of art was not popular at that time. Peter I inherited the helm of his father, however, true popularity of art of the Melpomene came to Russia only at the turn of 18th and 19th centuries. Then, Bolshoy and Maly Theatres played special role in the cultural life of the capital.
Well known Stanislavsky system, followed by the rise of new studios and theatrical schools came up a century afterwards, at the end of the 19th century. So there was MKhAT, Theatre named after Vakhtangov, Lenkom and others. This is when the world was introduced into works of Checkhov, an outstanding Russian writer and dramatist. Much later, Moscow theatres, along with other theatres of the country, started defending their positions, constantly combating with the Soviet censorship. The majority of socially pressing performances was forbidden, but the theatre always found devotees among party members who passed over Russian drama art masterpieces.
The 1960s marked a new stage in the development of Russian drama art, when newly established guilds of actors gave birth to such theatres as Sovremennik, the Taganka Theatre, new Moscow Art Theatre divided into two casts, and others. New names such as Visotsky, Lyubimov, Efremov, Zakharov, Yevstigneev, Demidova, Doronina, Volchek came up at that time.
Today, there is a range of so-called ‘easy genre’ theatres in Moscow: puppet theatre, music theatre, operetta, etc. New experimental theatrical studios looking for new art fringes are coming up now and again. A variety of theatres on genres, ways of staging and spectacularity will leave no one halfhearted.