On March 10, 1873, for the first time, the Baku stage saw Vizier of Lankaran Khanate, a comedy by Mirza Fatali Akhundov, that was a spark of professional national theatre across the country, also becoming the basis for the Azerbaijan State Academic National Drama Theatre. Over the 145 years of its history, this art center has staged professional theatrical productions, meeting an amazing success among the public, and playing an outstanding role in building society. The names of a number of eminent cultural personalities from the Academic National Drama Theatre are etched in gold in the history of Azerbaijani art.
The Academic National Drama Theatre solemnly celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1923, 75th anniversary in 1948, centenary in 1974, while marking its 125th anniversary (1998), 130th anniversary (2003) and 135th anniversary (2008) since regaining independence, with its best actors winning well-deserved awards.
The award-winning National Drama Theatre has been successfully touring the whole world, receiving invitations to various festivals around the world, including in Istanbul, Cairo, Trabzon, and Konya. It’s no coincidence that Adil Isgandarov, Mehdi Mammadov and Tofig Kazymov, who stamped their indelible mark in the history of this Drama Theatre, had decided to set up their own theatres in this theatre … That’s what made them great personalities.
The plays titled Life by Mirza Ibrahimov, Vagif and Farhad and Shirin by Samad Vurgun, Sheikh Sanan by Huseyn Javid, In 1905 and Almaz by Jafar Jabbarly, staged by Mehdi Mammadov in 1939-1960; the plays titled Aligulu Gets Married by Sabit Rahman, The Living Corpse by Leo Tolstoy, The Petty Bourgeois, The Lower Depths by Maxim Gorky, Khayyam by Huseyn Javid, The Human by Samad Vurgun, The Government Inspector by Nikolai Gogol, A Gathering for Madmen by Jalil Mammadguluzade, by staged by Mehdi Mammadov in 1960-1963; and the plays titled The Tempest and Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare, The Destroyed Diaries and The Sounds Coming from the Gardens by Ilyas Efendiyev, The Dead by Jalil Mammadguluzade, and others, staged by Tofig Kazymov in 1964-1980 did reflect their new theatrical aesthetics and unique perspectives.
The current Theatre Director Azer Pasha Nematov is also set and bound to create his own distinct theatre. Notable examples of this are A Hotel for Indifferent People by Rustam Ibrahimbekov, Ah, Paris, Paris!, My Favourite Madman by Elchin, Hamlet by William Shakespeare, You Are Always With Me by Ilyas Efendiev, The Dead by Jalil Mammadguluzade, Almaz by Jafar Jabbarly, Hell Dwellers by Elchin staged over the years.
The Theatre today fully enjoys its creative life, pleasing its fans with new, interesting productions focusing on relevant and vital topics that resonate through our dramatic society, and the general public.