History and Culture
- Lāčplēša iela 4
- +371 64207335, +371 29141898
- GPS 57.5394372,25.4261213
Valmiera Drama Theatre
One of the few professional theatres in Latvia. Plays, possibility to rent facilities and costumes, excursions in the exciting world behind the scenes.
Valmiera Drama theatre usually performs sold-out shows, and actors and producers are favourites with the public. Yet, the history of its foundation and the backstage life are equally interesting.
The theatre art foundations in Valmiera were laid in the seventies of the 19 century. The first founders of theatre play were Kauguri Parish Council Head and Valmiera Manor Accountant; they urged and persuaded people to take part in theatre playing. As the result, in 1871 two performances were ready and there were so many spectators that two weeks later the performances were repeated.
Initially theatre performances were played only a few times a year – in parish meeting homes, pubs and travellers’ inns, but later, when the Latvian Society was established, a purposefully built house for social and cultural needs was built in 1885 on the bank of the Rātsupīte Rivulet; it was so impressive for the time that it could compete with Riga halls.
In 1932 it was already called Northern Latvia Theatre and founded its own theatre Studio. One of the Studio members has told that all the actors had daily jobs, the rehearsals lasted until 2 o’clock after midnight, but at 6 they had to be at work. On holidays they gave 3 performances gratis, thus covering the rental expenses. They also had guest performances – once when they were going to Madona by lorry, which was about 104 km from Valmiera, it took them 18 hours to get there as the lorry wheels kept falling off time and again.
Today Valmiera Drama Theatre is the only professional theatre in Vidzeme Region.