The roots of the Ukrainian theatre can be observed in the mythology of the ancient Slavs. There were prince and retinue theatres in Kyivan Rus’. In 1573, the first puppet theatre was founded. In the second half of the eighteenth century, the professional Ukrainian theatre was established.
Les Kurbas is considered to be the founder of the modern Ukrainian theatre. Despite the suppression by the Soviet power of national traditions, Ukrainian theatres continued to develop with the number of theatres and drama troupes constantly increasing. Many Ukrainian producers and actors were recognized all over the world. Independence has encouraged the dramatic arts. Private theatres have emerged and held festivals that feature the best acting groups from many countries of Europe, America, and Asia. These are: Mystetske Berezillya (“The Art of Berezillya”, Kyiv), Zolotyi Lev (Golden Lion, Lviv), and Serge Lyfar Ballet Competition. Ukrainian producer Roman Viktiuk has made the great impact to the world theatre aesthetics at the end of the twentieth century. Among stars of the contemporary Ukrainian stage, there are such names as Bohdan Stupka, Borys Kozak, Fedir Stryhun, Ada Rohovtseva and others.