East Kazakhstan regional Drama Theatre named after Zhambyl traces its history to 1935, that year townspeople sent an initiative letter to M.I. Kalinin asking for his help in formation of a group and creation of a stable professional theater.
The request was considered and the premiere play "Marriage" by Gogol opened its first theater season in January 1936. National Kazakh drama group of 15 people was organized in the theater. It had such repertoire of productions as "Glorious horseman" by G. Grebenshchikov, drama "Fortress" by N. Annenkova-Bernar inspired by national epic. East Kazakhstan became an independent region in 1939 and Ust-Kamenogorsk theater received the status of the regional theater. In June 1941, the theater building was the center of mobilization of all the forces for winning a victory over Nazi Germany.
During the Second World War, performances - "Russian people", "The walls of Leningrad", "Invasion" etc. were played in an unheated and yet crowded hall of the theater. The plays helped people to strengthen their faith in victory. In July 1946, by the decision of the Ust-Kamenogorsk Executive Committee, the Regional Drama Theater was named after the great Kazakh bard - Zhambyl. The basic repertoire of the theater of that time were the works of Russian and foreign classics.
Respected masters of scene, honored artists of Kazakhstan have been working in the East Kazakhstan regional drama theater for many years. In addition to the well-known actors, the troupe is constantly refreshed with talented youth.
In February 2000, a national Kazakh troupe was created on the basis of the East Kazakhstan regional Drama Theater named after Zhambyl, it opened its first theatrical season with the show "Kozy-Korpesh and Bayan-Sulu" by G.Musrepov.
Currently, the East Kazakhstan regional Drama Theatre includes two acting companies and doesn't need any special introduction. 8 -12 premieres are prepared annually, directorial composition is constantly in creative search. About 280 plays are performed on the stage. The theater's repertoire is quite diverse. It plays Russian, Kazakh and foreign classics, contemporary drama. Making a repertoire, Arts Council never forgets about their young audience. The theater makes 3-4 performances ever year.
Moreover, we can say that the theater is placed in one of the most beautiful buildings of Ust-Kamenogorsk. This building is over 100 years, and the events taken place in it, played a huge role in the fate of this region. Originally the building was called the People's house, which was opened on October 26, 1902. The People's House became the center of social and cultural life of the city. The first staged theatrical play called - "Working outskirts of town."