23 April 1964 saw the staging of A.Brecht’s The Good Person of Szechwan at Moscow Drama and Comedy Theatre. It was more than just a performance, it was a debut of newborn theatre. Besides, it was the graduation project of Schukin’s drama school students supervised by the Vakhtangov Theatre actor Jury Lyubimov. Soon after the premiere, Lyubimov was appointed the position of the main director of the Moscow drama theatre, the theatre was renamed in accordance with its location into the Taganka Theatre, the name rooted in the daily life of people.
The newly appeared theatre quickly caught the fancy of Moscow citizens due to its expressiveness, catching performances, beauty and charm of actors. Their stagings were dynamic, bright, captivating. John Reed’s play Ten days that Shook the World on product Read's Dyne nailed down a success of the Taganka Theatre by taking the audience into the world of festivities. The environment of festival filled not only the performances, but also a life of theatre and its cast. Each actor was the person full of spirit of freedom and dignity. Such actors as Vladimir Vysotsky, Valery Zolotuhin, Alla Demidov took special place in the band. It is hard to image the Taganka Theatre without those people.
Addressing all fringes of art - poetry, prose, music, singing, dance and others - became one of the main features of theatre from the very first days of its establishment. One performance could be represented in the form of poetic dialogues, another was based on catchy monologues, third one could even be called a musical. For 40 years of theatre history, the audience learnt the history of literature from antique times to present days. For many, the Taganka Theatre became a symbol of free thinking that combated with rigid ideology for existence.
Revival of Vakhtangov’s traditions revived the theatre’s spirits that attracted cultural professionals, art and science workers who subsequently become the theatre’s friends. But the destiny of this theatre was not easy – struggling for freedom, the theatre was involved in the conflict with the state and it all ended very tragically for the theatre. In 1984 director Yuriy Lyubimov had to leave the country, and the theatre was adjusted to the frameworks established by the state.
Five years afterwards, the theatre managed to come back due to perestroika in Soviet Union and it began to revive its traditions. The plays that were earlier forbidden were now staged. In 1992 the theatrical troupe divided into two groups. But the director did not surrender and continued its business. Still headed by Yuriy Lyubimov, the Taganka Theatre still excites its audience with bright and brilliant performances, just like a half a century ago.