There is one significant date in the history of cultural development of Siberia — 8 (22 in the Julian calendar) May 1705. This day is the first mention in the “Chronicle of Siberia” of stage performances in the city of Tobolsk. From this date, the Tobolsk theater traces its history, which has gone a long way from a seminary (school) to a professional drama theater.
In 1774, the Siberian Governor D. I. Chicherin organized theatrical performances on the occasion of solemn events, played by Tobolsk nobles. The Governor Alexander Vasilyevich Alyabyev also took the most active part in the theater's activities. Under his leadership, the first acting troupe in Siberia was formed, and in 1795 the theater building was built.
Since 1802, the actors Alexey Ushakov and Alexey Voznitsyn bought the theater for 300 rubles with the right to maintain the troupe themselves. This was the beginning of the actors' фssociation, the equivalent of which was societe (actors' association) Comedie-Francaise. In the 19th century, a prominent role in the formation of the theater in Tobolsk was played by the outstanding writer Pyotr Yershov, whose name the theater bears now. Pyotr Pavlovich Yershov, as a teacher, organized a theater in the gymnasium. Thanks to his skillful leadership, the gymnasium theater gained great popularity and became actually a city theater.
On 11 September 1885, the Drama Society was established in Tobolsk. It was founded by such remarkable people as the artist, ethnographer and historian Mikhail Znamensky, prominent public figure Alexey Sukhanov and the actress of the Imperial Theaters Irina Koni-Sandunova. It was thanks to the activities of the Society that the people's auditorium, the legendary “Teremok Theater” opened its doors on 12 September 1899. On 19 September 1900, the first professional artists appeared on the stage of the People's stage. On 26 August 1919, the theater was nationalized, and a new, Soviet era began in the history of the Tobolsk theater.
On 25 December 1991, the Tobolsk State Drama Theater was named after Pyotr Yershov. Today, the oldest theater in Siberia carefully preserves the traditions accumulated over three centuries of it serving art. The theater is a participant and prize-winner of all-Russian and international theater festivals of different years.
Since 2015, the Tobolsk Drama Theater has been headed by the actor Yevgeny Ponomarev, a native of Tobolsk, born in 1977. He graduated from the Yekaterinburg State Theater Institute. Since 1995, he worked in the Tobolsk youth theater “Scarlet Sails”. He has been working at the Tobolsk Drama Theater since 1998.
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