The first Tambov governor, G.R. Derzhavin, secured the permission to erect the first in Tambov building for the theatre. The official opening of the theatre took place on November, 24th, 1786 in Derzhavin’s house because the new theatre building hadn’t been finished yet. The first performance was M.Veryovkin’s comedy “So be it” that exposed the pettifoggery and extortion of provincial officials.
In December of 1788 as a result of the bureaucratic intrigues, Derzhavin was ousted from the office and left Tambov. After his departure and up to 1815, the theatre ceased to function completely (the theatre building burnt down). However, thanks to some landlords who became fond of theatre culture, the performances continued even though not regularly.
In the second half of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century, the toen theatre was located in Znamenskaya Street. The theatre had a good hall, comfortable make-up rooms, stage and lobby. The stage of this theatre was used for such performances as “A Profitable Position”, “It's Not All Shrovetide for the Cat“, „The Snow Maiden“ by A. N. Ostrovsky; “Krechinsky’s Wedding” by A. Sukhovo-Kobylin; “Intrigue and Love” by F. Schiller; “Around the World in Eighty Days” by J. Verne; “Macbeth” by Shakespeare etc.The October Revolution gave a new direction to the thatre sctivity in Tambov. The first post-revolutionary theatre existed for only one season but this season was rich by its repertoire and by the number of performances. After the supression of the Peasants‘ Revolt in Tambov, the professiional theatre started its work under the direction of Stanislavky’s student, chief director Boris Snigiryov. On January, 31st, 1921 the premises of former Noble Assembly housed VII provincial congress of Soviets. The delegates of the congress were invited to see the performance “The Power fo Darkness“ by L. Tolstoy. As a result, the congress decided to allow the former Noble Assembly building to be occupied by the theatre officially. Since then, the theatre has seen many changes in actor companies and directors and staged hundreds of plays.