The Tovstonogov Theatre was founded in 1918 as the Special Drama Company. Maria Andreeva, Maxim Gorky and Alexander Blok took direct part in its creation. The Theatre was opened on 15 February 1919 in the Conservatory Opera Studio with a stage play Don Karlos by Friedrich Schiller.
In September of 1920, the Theatre moved to 65 Fontanka Embankment, a house of the former Suvorin Theatre (The Small Theatre. The building was built in 1878 and restored in 1999. From 1932 to 1992 it was named after Maxim Gorky and since 1992 г. — after Georgy Tovstonogov). And it is still there.
From the 1920s to the 1950s, several theatre directors changed. Georgy Tovstonogov took charge of the Theatre in February of 1956. His Theatre has continually been one of the best Russian theatres for three decades.
Today, leading directors of Russian and world theatres cooperate with the Theatre. The Theatre's repertoire includes works of Russian and world classic literature, a comedy by a contemporary Russian author, and a contemporary foreign play.