The story of the Lithuanian National Drama Theatre began on the 6th of October, 1940, when the play “Hope” by Dutch playwright Herman Heijermans was performed in the then Vilnius State Theatre on Basanaviciaus St. The main visual motif of the play – a fisher’s boat – has become the emblem of the National Theatre.

During the Second World War, the theatre operated as the Vilnius City Theatre, throughout 1944-1947 – as the Vilnius State Drama Theatre, in 1947-1955 it was called the Lithuanian National Drama Theatre, until 1998 – the Lithuanian State Academic Drama Theatre, and since the 3rd of August 1998 it has been known as the Lithuanian National Drama Theatre.

The theatre has been operating in the current premises  on Gedimino Avenue 4 since 1951. This place has a rich theatrical tradition – in the beginning of the twentieth century it hosted events of the theatrical Polish Cultural Society “Liutnia”. In 1981, a major reconstruction of the theatre (the architects – brothers Algimantas and Vytautas Nasvytis) was completed.  In 2018, the second major reconstruction was started, during which a new New Hall, a new Small Hall were built, the Great Hall and spectator service spaces were renovated.

The sculpture Celebration of the Muses (sculptor Stanislovas Kuzma) crowning the main entrance to the theatre has become the symbol of the Lithuanian National Drama Theatre. The muses of Drama (Calliope), Comedy (Thalia) and Tragedy (Melpomene) are patrons of the theatre’s wide and diverse repertoire, and the sculpture “The Fount” decorating the lobby symbolizes the course that the theatre has taken: to cherish tradition, but remain vigorous and open to innovation and change.

The Lithuanian National Drama Theatre presents a wide variety of genres; its repertoire comprises the classical, modern, and Lithuanian playwriting. The repertoire is drawn up according to the tastes of different audiences, as well as the regulations and objectives of the theatre. The Arts Council formed every two years helps shape the repertoire of theatre.

The theater strives to provide an opportunity to create for various theater creators: experienced, well-known as well young and promising directors, artists and composers. Directors from other countries are often invited to produce performances. Eimuntas Nekrošius, Oskaras Koršunovas, Krystian Lupa, Arpad Schilling, Grzegorz Jarzyna, Jo Stromgren, Kirsten Dehlholm, Yana Ross, Lukasz Twarkowski presented their works at LNDT.

Since 2005, the Lithuanian National Drama Theater has been organizing the drama festival “Versmė”. Originally national, the festival now seeks to exchange plays with creators from other countries on an annual basis. In this way, the aim is to promote the development of Lithuanian drama, to interest both theater professionals and spectators in national works.

The Lithuanian National Drama Theater cooperates with theaters in other cities, is touring in various Lithuanian cities, and participates in theater festivals in Lithuania and abroad. Recently, performances have been shown in Avignon, Lyon, Paris, Warsaw, Madrid, Shanghai, Beijing, Oslo, St. Petersburg, Turin, Malaga, Lviv and other cities around the world.



1940-1944 and 1953-1954

Romualdas Juknevičius (1906-1963)

Most notable works as a director:

"Battleship" 14-69 by V. Ivanov (1941), "Uncle Vanya" by A. Chekhov (1954), "The Fate of Dawn" by B. Sruoga (1956), E. de Filippo “The Lie with Long Legs” (1958), "Masquerade" by M. Lermontov (1960), "A Month in a Village" by I. Turgenev (1962).



Borisas Dauguvietis (1885-1949)

Most notable works as a director:

"The Cherry Orchard" by A. Chekhov (1945),  "Tartuffe" by Molière (1945), "Enemies" (1946) and "Egor Bulychov" (1948) by M. Gorky, "The Forest" by A. Ostrovsky (1948), "Intrigue and Love" by F. Schiller (1949)


1949-1951 and 1954-1966

Juozas Rudzinskas (1905-1975)

Most notable works as a director:

"The Fire Bridge" by S. Romashov (1954), "Hamlet" by William Shakespeare (1959), "An Irkutsk Story" by A. Arbuzov (1960), "Ghosts" by H. Ibsen (1961), "The Lower Depths" by Gorky (1964), "Skirgaila" by V. Krėvė (1966)



Henrikas Vancevičius (b. 1924)

Most notable works as a director:

"The Village of Stepanchikovo" by F. Dostoevsky (1971), "The Wild Duck" by H. Ibsen (1973), J. P. Sartre "The Condemed of Altona" (1968), the trilogy: "Mindaugas" (1969), the "Cathedral" (1971), "Mažvydas" (1978 ) by Just. Marcinkevičius



Jonas Vaitkus (b. 1944)

Most notable works as a director:

"Dziady" by A. Mickiewicz (1990), opera "The Lamb of God" by F. Bajoras (1991), "Madamme de Sade" by Y. Mishima (1992), "Persona" by I. Bergman (1994), "A Dream Play" by A. Strindberg (1995), "Miguel Mañara" by O. Milosz (1996), "The Village of Stepanchikovo" by F. Dostoevsky ( 1998)



Rimas Tuminas (b. 1952)

Most notable works as a director:

"The Emigrant of Brisbane" by Georges Chehade (1980), a variation on "Fairy Drops" by Kuternitzky, "Here Will Be No Death" by V. Kukulas and R. Tuminas (1982), "Silent Night" by H. Muller (1984), "One More Time there Lies the Sea of Lights (Jeanne)" by Alexander Galin (1986), "Oedipus the King" by Sophocles (1998), "Richard III" by William Shakespeare (1999)



Composer Faustas Latėnas (b. 1956)



Actor Vytautas Rumšas (b. 1951)


2005-October 25, 2010

Actor, director Adolfas Večerskis (b. 1949)

Most notable works as a director:

"The Navel" by J. Anouilh (2002), "Loot" by J. Orton (2003 ), "Run for Your Wife" R. Cooney (2005), "Man of La Mancha" by D. Wasserman J. Darion, and M. Leigh (2009 ), "The Story of God’s Man" by A. Gotesman (2010)


From 2010

Lithuanian theatre and film actor Martynas Budraitis (b. 1969)