Tovstonogov Bolshoi Drama Theatre (BDT)


The Theatre was established at the initiative of famous writer Maxim Gorky and Theatres Commissioner Maria Andreyeva; it was opened in 1919 with Don Carlos, a tragedy by Friedrich Schiller. Its first artistic director was a famed poet Alexander Blok, who was appointed Chairman of the Theatre’s Directorate. Among the founders of BDT was Alexander Benois, a famous artist. In 1920 the theatre moved to the former Suvorin Theatre’s building, where it remains since then.

In 1956 Georgy Tovstonogov became the new director of the Theatre, which was later named after him. Under his leadership thanks to the director’s extraordinary talent a new chapter in the history of the Theatre had begun. It gained not only national but also global recognition. Such plays staged by Tovstonogov as The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Five Evenings by Alexander Volodin, Woe from Wit by Alexander Griboyedov, The Government Inspector by Nikolai Gogol, Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov, Last Summer in Chulimsk by Alexander Vampilov, The Lower Depths by Maxim Gorky, and many other productions became unforgettable national theatrical events.

Since 2005 BDT also administers Kamenny Island (Kamennoostrovsky) Theatre, which is based in the St. Petersburg’s only surviving wooden architecture landmark of the classical period. Today, the repertoire of BDT features productions of classical and modern plays, staged by leading Russian and foreign directors.

Address: Fontanka River Emb., 65 (Naberezhnaya reki Fontanki, 65); Kamennoostrovsky Theatre: Starogo Teatra Sq., 13 (Ploschad Starogo Teatra, 13).
How to reach: Spasskaya, Sadovaya metro stations. On the nights of performances on the BDT’s Second Stage a free bus with Kamennoostrovsky Theatre sign shuttles from the metro exit to the Theatre for an hour prior to the show and from the Theatre back to the metro after the show ends.
Coordinates: 59.927557, 30.330693