The Armenian theater is considered the important part of Armenian culture . Its influence on the culture is certainly enormous.
Crossing the centuries-old way of development, the theater has been furbished and introduced to Armenians and foreign audience with a new face and the inestimable values. Formation of the Armenian theater has started from the Armenian King Tigranes II the Great. According to Greek historian Plutarch the first historically known theater in Armenia was built in the reign of Tigranes the Great in 69 BC in Tigranakert (southern capital of Armenia). Artavasdes II (son of Tigranes) built a theater in Hellenistic style in Artashat (capital of Armenia). He was also the author of several tragedies. «Bacchae» of Euripides was staged there in 53 BC.In the Middle Ages ( 4-17 th century ) Armenian theater was introduced with its limited only Armenian typical performances.
But in this era theater is far from a literary theater both in its form or its structure. The reason is that the theater is basically existed inside the church. The end of the Armenian medieval theater was at the end of the 17th century .
The loss of independence of Armenia , the Armenian theater in 19-20 centuries represented mainly by foreign countries, where there was formed Armenian environment. 19- century 60 – ies marked by the setting of a professional theater .It was staged the famous European authors , as well as the works of Armenian playwrights . Such as H. Paronian , C . Sundukyan ,Shirvanzadé , D. Demirchian, L. Shant and others. It was staged Shakespeare , Moliere , Schiller, Ostrovsky , Tolstoy , Gogol and many other well-known works in this era there were such artists as Siranush, H. Abelyan, P. Adamyan , Nvard Marie, V. Papazian, Adamyan , Oh . Maysuryan,H. Zarifyan, A. Shahkhatun and others. Their great contribution to the further development of the Armenian theater ‘s legacy is valuable .
Soviet Armenia years the most famous actors are N. Manucharian, V. Mirzoian, V. Muradbekian, A. Aghasian, E. Stepanian, S. Qocharian, I. Mkrtchian, E. Vardanian, M. Qocharian, P. Santrosian, A. Maschian, P. Gevorgian and others, also famous directors L. Qalantar, A. Burghalian, A. Gulakian, H. Nerisian, O. Gulazian, A. Voskanian, M. Manvelian, G. Avetian, A. Avetisian, Hasmik, V. Vagharshian, G. Janibekian, R. Vardanian, S. Qocharian, S. Garagash, H. Ghachanian, D. Malian, G. Gabrelian and others.
Staged famous pieces of the most famous writers: Goodrich and Hackett “Diary of Anne Frank”, Arshakian “The small ones of this word”, Zeytuncian “The saddest man”, Otian “Love and laughter”, Charenc “ Country of Nairi”, Petrosian “The last teacher”, Shakespeare “The wars of the roses” etc.
Today Armenian theatre continues his activity and staged new and more interesting performances for the Armenians and the others.
Translated by Araksya Martirosyan