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Lithuanian Russian Dramatic Theatre

Aleksander Parczewski, Wacław Michniewicz

alias Lithuanian SSR Academic Drama Theatre (1974-1981), “Reduta” Theatre (1925-1929), Vilnius National Theatre (1940-1944), Lithuanian SSR Opera and Ballet Theatre (1948-1974), Youth Theatre (1981-1985), Russian Drama Theatre of Lithuania, Workers’ Art Theatre (1919-1920), Polish Drama Theatre (1913-1919 ), Musical Theatre “Pohulianka” (1920-1939)
history of the theatresupplementtechnical dataHistoric equipment

Important events

(detail)17.04.1912 | laying a foundation stone for the construction of the theater

(detail)12.10.1913 | opening of the theatre
The first performance shown on the stage was Lilies by Ludwik Hieronim Morstin.
(detail)1994 | theatre building was incluted in UNESCO World Heritage List

(detail)1925 | Changes in the ceiling area and several stage improvements

(detail)1947 | Construction works due to collapsed ceiling (1944-1947)

(detail)1974 | reconstruction
Orchestra pit was covered, auxiliary premises were built. Consequences: the symmetry of the original layout of the building was disrupted
(detail)1998 | Restoration of the foundation of building with hydro-isolation

(detail)2000 | Roof covering was changed

(detail)1986 | restoration works


Aleksander Parczewski |main architect
Wacław Michniewicz |main architect


The theatre, built in 1913 by Wacław Michniewicz and Aleksander Parczewski, is situated in the old town, which is a UNESCO world heritage site. The building combines elements of Romanesque, Renaissance, Baroque and other styles. In the Large Room, there is a chandelier as old as the theatre itself, decorated with masks and crystals. The theatre hosted numerous important theatrical and historic events. In 1917 during a conference which took place here, the establishment of an

independent Lithuanian state was propounded. The theatre also witnessed the triumphs of Juliusz Osterwa and his Reduta Theatre, as well as Aleksander Zelwerowicz, Borisas Dauguvietis, Antanas Škėma and Eimuntas Nekrošius. Since 1986 it is the headquarters of the Lithuanian Russian Dramatic Theatre. 

Lietuvos rusų dramos teatras • J. Basanavičiaus 13 • LT-03108 Vilnius • Lithuania • Tel.: +370 5265 2167 •lrdt(at)rusudrama(dot)lt • www.rusudrama.lt

Visits: by appointment

Tourist information
Tel.: +370 5262 9660




Russian Drama Theatre of Lithuania is located in Vilnius Old Town that has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The theatre building is over one hundred years old and known to be one of the few purpose-built theatres in Lithuania. It stands out for its architecture of modern Historicism: elements of Romanesque, Renaissance, Baroque and Neoclassicism can be seen in its facade along with an eye-catching red tiled multi-pitched roof. The second floor terrace offers a stunning view of Vilnius Old Town and its roofscape. Once inside the theatre‘s Great Hall, one can witness a beautiful copper chandelier decorated with masks and crystal pendants as old as the building itself. Manual stage machinery, dating back to the beginning of the 20th century, has been untouched by modernization process as well. One of the most notable aspects of the Great Hall itself is its extra fine acoustics.

From the historical point of view, this building has always been a special place where theatrical art by various ethnic groups and the most famous Lithuanian artists flourished, the names of Borisas Dauguvietis, Antanas Škėma, Kazimiera Kymantaitė, Monika Mironaitė, Kipras Petrauskas, Virgilijus Noreika, Rimas Tuminas, Eimuntas Nekrošius, Regimantas Adomaitis  are among whom. Moreover, this theatre bears profound significance for the history of Lithuania, as in 1917 a path for the State’s independence was paved in this very building. For a quarter of a century it has been home to several Polish troupes, some of which were led by the famous Juliusz Osterwa and Aleksander Zelwerowicz. After that, for more than ten years, the building was known as the National Drama Theatre of Lithuania only to give up its place in 1948 to the National Opera House for more than quarter of a century. After housing the Youth Theatre for a short period of time, in 1986 it has become a permanent home for the Russian Drama Theatre of Lithuania.

Russian Drama Theater of Lithuania – the only professional one performing in Russian in the country – has its roots in the 19th century. Since 2008 it has been led by one of the most notorious Lithuanian theater and film directors professor Jonas Vaitkus.

The present repertoire consists of a wide range of shows for adults and children alike, based on multitude of works, varying from fundamental classics to stereotype-breaking contemporary literature from all over the world. No other theatre in Lithuania with such wide variety of genres can be found: the Russian Drama Theater of Lithuania stages musical shows, physical theatre and puppet theatre performances as well dramas, tragedies and comedies. Actors perform in Russian along with the surtitles in Lithuanian being projected above the stage.  


text courtesy of the theatre



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