The traditions of Armenian theater originated at the beginning of XX century, when Yerevan became the capital of the Armenian SSR and became the part of the Soviet Union. Though small secular evenings with amateur performances were held here before, there was no special organization on theatrical art in the city.
One of the first full-fledged theaters was the State National Academic Theatre named after Gabriel Sundukyan, founded in 1921. It was called as the first State Theatre of Armenia in the year of opening. Later it was renamed and received the status of academic theater. Today it is considered as the largest Armenian Drama Theatre.
The Armenian Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre named after A. Spendiarov was founded in Yerevan in 1933. It is one of the most remarkable theatres in the city to this day. In 1940, The Opera and Ballet Theater received a building which is located in the heart of the capital, at the Republic Square. The hall seats over 1100 people.
Little Theatre, perhaps is the most interesting and progressive theatre in Yerevan. It was created on December 15, 1982 on the basis of KVN team from Yerevan Polytechnic Institute. Before the official opening of the theatre KVN team was the winner of KVN in Armenia and represented the country at the KVN games in Moscow. Also, this team showed performances throughout the Soviet Union and at the same time equipped the building in centre of Yerevan for the future theatre. The base conception of the theatre became the Identification System, which meant no borders between stage and auditorium. This method has been successfully used in other theatres all over the world. During its existence, the troupe has played more than hundred performances and participated in many theatre festivals. It had tours throughout the Soviet Union and even to the United States. Moreover, the theatre shot two art films. Today, the theatre continues to play the role of the generator of theatrical ideas and projects, and incidentally is looking for new talents in its children's studio.
One of the youngest and most extraordinary theatres in Yerevan is the Theatre of Comedy and Drama named after Edgar Elbakyan. It was founded in 1994 by Armen Elbakyan, in honor of his father, who was the People’s Artist of Armenia. The base conception of the theatre became the connection on the stage of possible and impossible to present to the audience the reality in a new way. The theatre is constantly makes improvisation, at the same time, trying to follow the traditions of classical Armenian theatre.
There are a lot of other theatres in Yerevan such as the Puppet Theatre, the Theatre for Young Audiences, and others. Totally the capital of Armenia numbers more than 15 major theaters of different genres. Every connoisseur of the theatrical art will find the interesting one in Yerevan.