In 1933 in the city of Semipalatinskoe it was the opening of Russian Drama Theatre, and not longer after it was the reopening in Almaty. It happened because the theatre building was not built up yet and the play was ready. On the first opening they performed the play of Trenev “Love of Spring” and then in Southern Capital it was the play “Fear” of Afinogenov.
From the very beginning of existence it became the norm to produce 7-8 premier plays per year, which were based on dramaturgy of Gogol, Chekhov, Ostrovskiy, Gorkiy, Shakespeare, Schiller, Moliere, and many other. The theatre became the best school for many actors and directors of that time. Many of them, gaining the experience, went on the work within the walls of the theatre, and soon it became the etalon of theatrical art in Kazakhstan.
In 1964 the theatre was named after the great Russian poet M.Yu. Lermontov, during Lermontov’s 150th anniversary. At the same time the play “Lieutenant Lermontov” was produced, and soon the word “Lermontovets” firmly entered the lexicon of residents of Almaty, and it meant the member of theatre collective. And 10 years later in 1974 the theatre was conferred the rank of academic theatre.
In 90-ties of XX century, against the background of economic decline on the territory of entire former USSR, the drama theatre experienced its own drama: it did not receive almost any financing but it did not surrendered, and even produced new plays, which earlier were prohibited by Soviet regime. Fortunately the theatre could survive this difficult period and today continues to gladden its spectator.
From the beginning of its existence in the centre of attention of the theatre it was the Man, his joy and grief, social and moral parts of life. All of these was clothed in artistic shape, and was presented before the thankful spectator in the form of bright and emotional performances, over the whole period of the theatre’s history.