Russian State Drama Theatre of the town of Bugulma by the name of A. Batalov is the south-eastern advanced post of professional theatre culture of the Republic of Tatarstan. Bugulma was a provincial town of Samara District till 1920. According to Samara State Archive there was a tea-theatre in 1900, located in the building of modern drama theatre, which had the repertoire of 12 premieres. The theatre had its chorus, orchestra, public library, summer theatre in the garden of the town. Tea-theatre was funded by Provincial Committee of patronage and public soberness.
The theatre got its official state status in 1935. The history of the theatre of Bugulma was made by Nina Olshevskaya, who was K.Stanislavskiy’ student, an actress of Red Army Theatre, a mother of A. Batalov, a future honored actor of the USSR; and deserved art worker of the RSFSR P.Dzhaparidze. Their contribution to the development of Bugulma professional theatre was rewarded by state rewards, such as “Badge of honor”. Bugulma theatre became the starting point for Aleksey Batalov who was evacuated to the town of Bugulma during the Great Patriotic War in 1942. In 2008 A.Batalov’s name was officially conferred on Russian State Drama Theatre of the town of Bugulma on M.Shaimiev’s, the first President of Tatarstan, initiative.
During the Soviet times former theatre of Soviet collective farm entertained spectators with its art along the whole Tatarstan, Bashkiria, Chuvashia, Mordovia, Orenburg District, Samara District, Volgograd and Kirov districts up to Pridnestrovie, the Caucasus mountains, Novorossiysk and Dombai. From 1989 till 1994 AlekseyLarichevwasthechiefdirector. A. Larichev created producer conception of the theatre thanks to his spectacular musical performances, mainly of western dramatists: “Trees die standing” by L.Kasson, “Suicide” by N.Erdman, “Equus” by P.Sheffer, “Harold and Mod” by Higgins, “Black Bride” by G.Anuya, “Mother Courage and her Children” by B.Brekcht, “Thirst above the Stream” by Y.Edlis. All these A.Larichev’s brilliant performances are the golden fund of the theatre.
In 1995 Vladislav Yudin headed Bugulma theatre. The energetic and competent director of new generation, practically taking functions of an art director, has chosen the way of creating a competitive theatre. Yudin’s main position is to establish a theatre-laboratory with various creative styles on the base of the oldest theatre with the richest traditions. For this purpose talented producers, artist-designers and choreographers from Moscow, St.Petersburg, Ryazan, Kazan, Ivanovo, Ufa and other cities of Russian Federation are invited. The concentration of young creative mind has opened perspectives for entering festival level. Experimental staging laboratory gives significant results – in 1999 Bugulma theatre left for its first lasting and successful tours in Moscow (“U” by O.Mukhina, “Once there lived Russula” by V.Zimin). Also it became the participant and prize winner of different festivals, such as the Forth Festival of Russian provincial and town theatres (“Silvia or dog’s story” by A.Gerny, 2000, Moscow); the First and the Second Republic Festivals of theatres of Zakamskiy region (“Khanuma” by A.Tsagarely, 2003, “Before the third cockerels” by V.Shukshin, 2004); District Contest of actors and reciters “The Land of Shukshin” (2003, Samara); Drama Festival “Not Boring Elk” (the Republic of Marij El, Yoshkar-Ola, 2007-2010); Performance Festival “Prague quadrienallie” (Czech, 2007), International Festival of Russian theatres of Republics of Russia and foreign countries “Bridge of Friendship” (Yoshkar-Ola, 2008-2010).
In 2007 theatre troupe went abroad for the first time and decently presented theatre art of our Republic with successful performance “Alan small arshin” by U.Gadzhibekov and taking part in commemorative events of sister-city Aidyn in Turkey. The exchanging tours of two theatres in the year of the project “Culture of Russia and Turkey” were great contribution of Bugulma theatre to the development of cultural, national and friendly relationships of Russia and Turkey. In July, 2008 the theatre successfully made tours along the Black Sea coast of Krasnodar region. In 2009 there were tours in Yoshkar-Ola, in 2010 — in Ufa. Successful realization such performances as “Christmas Dreams” by N.Ptushkina, “A Man from Lamanchi” by D.Vasserman, “Legend about Love” by Nazym Khickmet, “Birthday with Crutches” by S.Lobozerov, “Bankrupt” by A.Ostrovskiy, “Beast” by V.Gindin, “Chekhov’s vaudevilles”, “A very simple story” by M.Lado, “Too married taxi driver” and “No panic, Gentlemen!” by R.Kuny shows a variety of theatre repertoire. Today’s performances created by talented creative team are sure to be the continuation of the best traditions of Russian drama theatre.