Regional Kazakh Drama Theatre named after Zh.Shanin is one of the oldest theatres in Kazakhstan. It was founded in 1934. It has rich history, which can be envied by capital theatres.
A large number of masterpieces of national and world classics are performed in the theatre during the long years of work. Performance stages are deserved the love of audiences all over the Kazakhstan, and have positive reviews and attention of theatres’ critics.
Awards and prizes of republican theatre competitions and festivals marked creative achievements of the theatre. It honored the name of famous Kazakh director, dramatic, one of the founders of the Kazakh professional theatres - Shanin Zhumat Turgunbaevich.
Today, the repertory of the theatre has over thirty performances, including the local play, foreign classics and contemporary authors. Here audiences can see performances such as "Gypsy’s serenade" by I.Saparbaev, "Zhanpida" by Chingiz Aitmatov, "Kozy Korpesh - Bayan Sulu" by M.Auezov and others. Theatre actively participates in festivals and has been repeatedly marked by high achievements in the cultural life of Shymkent. In recent years, the creative way of the theatre is marked by successful performances on the theatrical stages of the Republic of Kazakhstan and other countries.
The theatre was on tour in Uzbekistan in 2001.
The Theatre participated in X Republican festival of theatres in Petropavlsk and performed the play "Kozy Korpesh - Bayan Sulu" by G.Musrepov in 2002.
In 2003, the theatre participated in the XI Republican festival in Uralsk, which was dedicated to 200 anniversary of M. Utemisov, with performance "Men ishpegen u bar ma?" by I. Ғayyp.
The theatre celebrated its 70th anniversary with perpetuating classic theatre and performed the play "Kyz Zhibek" by G.Musrepov in 2004.
In 2005, artists of the theatre A.Akeleev, S.Zhakypov, A.Mahanova participated and won prizes in the Republican completion of professional theatre’s singers, which was dedicated to 100 anniversary of K.Zhandarbekov.
The staff of the theatre has 151 people, 77 of them are actors, who are directly involved in theatrical performances. The director of the theatre is Figure of Culture Bastarbek Pirimbetov since 4 April 2006. Artistic director and chief director is National Artist of the Republic of Kazakhstan - Yergali Urazymbetov.
At present time, the theatre has workers such as one of the leading figures of theatre art of Kazakhstan, National Artist of Kazakhstan - Aisha Abdullina; National Artist of the Republic of Kazakhstan, holder of "Parasat" order - Aksakal Kalmyrzaev; Honored Artists of the Republic of Kazakhstan - Oshat Rakhimov, Sapar Otemisov, Kupiya Rahymberdieva; Figures of Culture - Erkin Shymyrkulov, Ғaziza Assen and others.
The theatre celebrated its 80th anniversary in 2014. Despite the age, the theatre of Zh.Shanin always ready for bold experiments. Each season of the theatre pleases audiences with premieres of new plays.