The classic William Shakespeare and the Drama Theatre collaboration, formed several years after the foundation of the theatre and continued until now. The Drama is the only Armenian theatre that has consistently been pursued through the original and new interpretations of Shakespeare’s works, each time seeking to discover undetected and undeclared layers. The theatre has especially brought its play to the works that have been featured on the Armenian stage or in a few scenic traditions or staged for the first time. This is a testimony to the fact that the aim was to establish the new stage traditions, the comprehensive presentation of Shakespeare’s works using contemporary theatre-expressive systems.
In 1973, Hrachya Ghaplanyan staged “Richard the Third” tragedy, which was first introduced in the Armenian theatre. Levon Tukhikyan was the main actor. The play was distinguished by the diversity of directing solutions, and the important thing is that the theory of alienation, which continued later in Hrachya Ghaplanyan’s other Shakespeare plays, has been laid. In the same year, during the Moscow tour of the theatre, this performance was highly appreciated by Russian theatrical experts and theatrical critics. Ghaplanyan also directed “Richard the Third” at the Yevg. Vakhtangov Academic Theatre, which gave occasion to the remarkable rapprochement between the Armenian and Russian theatres. USSR National Artist Mikhail Ulyanov appeared with Richard’s role with our actors.
In 1978 Armen Khandikyan performed “Hamlet” tragedy. This was the most brave show ever created in the armenian theatre, which revised many traditions of the tragic interpretations of the time, which was reflected in the phrase “Denmark is prison”. National Artist of the Armenian SSR Vladimir Msryan acted as Hamlet. In 1981 during the Moscow tour, the performance of Khandikyan was highly appreciated, in particular the renowned Shakespeareist A. Obraztsova described the performance as one of the most original in the Soviet dramatic shakesplaying. Alexey Bartoshevich, the head of the world-famous Shakespeare Center, in his report on the 1982 Shakespeare festival of All-Union Film Festival in Yerevan, highly appreciated Khandikyan’s performance. The same thing happened in 1981. Hrachya Ghaplanyan, the first in the Soviet theatre, staged “White and Red Roses War” by Henry Sixth Chrononton, which featured highly praiseworthy performances by Shakespeare’s critics. In 1992 Armen Khandikyan brought to the armenian theatre the first play of the “Julius Caesar” tragedy, where Vladimir Msryan played Julius. The theatre referred this work in 2011. The RA State Prize was awarded to this performance. For the first time, the Shakespeare’s premiere of the armenian theatre was awarded with a state prize. With this performance, the theatre participated in the 2014 Shakespeare Festival in Romania. In 1996, the repertour of the theatre came with “Romeo and Juliet” tragedy by Armen Khandikyan. In 2004, the performance of Armen Khandikyan, “Macbeth” tragedy was presented, with which the theatre took part in the festivals of Shakespeare plays in Poland and Hungary. National Artist of the RA Artur Utmazyan acted as Macbeth. The theatre for the second time referred to “Hamlet”’s performance by Arthur Sahakyan and Honored Artist of RA Hrachya Harutyunyan. In 2014, the director Grigor Khachatryan presented “The 12th night or I die of love” comedy, which was awarded to the Artavazd Prize of the UTFA