The Theatre Today


Vakhtangov Theatre venues:

  •       Main stage (or the Historical stage)
  •       New stage
  •       Art-café
  •       Simonov platform (Chamber stage & Amphitheatre)
  •       Studio
  •       Eugene Vakhtangov museum

Main stage (Historical stage)

The Vakhtangov Theatre Main stage is located in the very heart of the cultural centre of Moscow, in the famous Arbat street.

October 13, 1921 ‘The miracle of Saint Anthony’ by Maurice Maeterlinck opened the first Vakhtangov theatre building. It was not a playhouse actually; in origin this was a private house built in the XIX century for a manufacturer Vasiliy Berg. The first production of the company was successful but the popularity of the second production was overwhelming. ‘Princess Turandot’, a commedia dell'arte play by Carlo Gozzi, appeared to be a real masterpiece. 

In 1930s, there was a general reconstruction of the theatre building. Marble staircases, some furniture and interiors were kept. But the exterior of the building was changed completely according to the standards of the Constructivism architectural style. A new large auditorium for 1,055 seats was constructed instead of an inner yard.

In 1941, during the World War II, the Vakhtangov Theatre was severely damaged by an air bomb. The new playhouse was opened at the same site in 1948. A private box at the Stalls level with a separate entrance and a bombshelter was constructed by the special order of Joseph Satalin, the USSR leader.

Today the Main stage (or the Historical stage) of the Vakhtangov Theatre is a part of the Russian cultural heritage. The interiors of the Main stage are preserved. The machinery, the lightning and sound equipment of the Main stage are gradually revised and renewed according to the modern technology.

The State Academic Vakhtangov Theatre is situated in the heart of the Russian capital, and on Stary (Old) Arbat, one of its oldest and most famous streets. Starting in 2008, one aspect of the theatre is renovated every year. As a result, the sound and lighting equipment of the Main Stage is amongst the best in Russia. In the summer of 2011, the Main Stage auditorium was also reconstructed; it now has a new oak floor, elegant audience seats, and the hall’s interior décor has been restored.

New stage

The New stage, opened in 2015, is the most flexible of the Vakhtangov Theatre auditoriums. It can accommodate 250 viewers, or the seats can be folded away completely to become a flat floor. There are no eye-blocking pillars and one can see and hear almost equally well from each of its seats.

The Main stage and the New stage are located at the same level, they are connected through a common scenery storage. The site where the New stage was build already belonged to the Vakhtangov Theatre, there had been several outbuildings of no importance.

 The New stage building provided the Vakhtangov Theatre with all necessary facilities, such as large dressing rooms, equipped workshops for scenic painting and prop-making, a fitness area and a variety of access options for disabled people.


The Art-café, opened in 2016, is located at the underground level of the New stage playhouse. It’s a kind of a chamber theatre with pleasant relaxed atmosphere that can hold up to 85 viewers. The Art-cafe is designed for evenings with the Vakhtangov Theatre actors, directors, theatre developers and special guest performers; for poetry events; for concerts and etc.

There are tables for the audience around the stage area. Soft and alcohol drinks, coffee and tea, some sweets and fruits are offered before and after the main programme.

Simonov platform (Chamber stage & Amphitheatre)

The Simonov platform, opened in 2017, was totally reconstructed and equipped at the expense of the Vakhtangov Theatre. This playhouse was named after two great Russian directors of the XX century, father and son, Ruben and Eugene Simonovs.

Ruben Simonov was a student of Eugene Vakhtangov, he was developing his teacher’s ideas and leading the Vakhtangov Theatre for about 30 years. Eugene Simonov became his successor, in 1980-s he established a small playhouse opposite the main entrance of the Vakhtangov Theatre. In the times of Eugene Simonov this theatre was successful but later the theatregoers abandoned it.

After the general reconstruction the Simonov platform is equipped with two auditoriums: the Chamber stage and the Amphitheatre. The first performance at the renewed Simonov platforme was staged by Ekaterina Simonova, a talented actress and director, Eugene Simonov’s granddaughter.


In 2012, a very special theatre platform was opened at the Vakhtangov Theatre. It received a name Studio. The idea of the Studio comes from the beginning of the XX century. Eugene Vakhtangov believed that a continuity is necessary: Drama school – Studio – Theatre.

The Studio accommodates 40 viewers. This playhouse was designed for theatre experiments. The Studio entrance is on the east side of the Vakhtangov Theatre.

Young actors from various Russian theatre institutes were chosen by Rimas Tuminas to form the Studio. For 5 years they had been successfully participating in the Main stage and New stage performances as well as developing acting technics at the Studio stage. On January 1, 2018 twenty-four young actors joined the Vakhtangov Theatre company not as trainees but as the official members of the team.

The Vakhtangov Museum

In 2016, the memorial museum of Eugene Vakhtangov was opened. The museum is located at 12, Denezhniy pereulok, which is the last apartment of Eugene Vakhtangov.

The apartment was renovated by the efforts of the Vakhtangov Theatre and was equipped with the unique historical objects and letters from the Theatre archive. The very first museum materials were collected and kept by Nadezhda Vakhtangova, the widow of the genius director, and their son Sergey.

The ceiling was restored and the beautiful fretwork of the Vakhtangov’s times can be seen again, as well as the walls, the floor, the whole place is returned to its original appearance.

There is a permanent exposition in the museum now: the letters signed by Konstantin Stanislavsky and by Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko, portraits, photos, furniture.