At the end of the 19th century, a conductor of one of Romani choruses, Nikolai Shishkin created the first ever Romani theatre troupe. The first appearance of the troupe was in the operetta Gypsy Songs in Faces (Цыганские песни в лицах), with the main troupe of Arcadia Theatre. This was in 1886. The operetta ran for several years. On 13 April 1887 the first performance of Strauss's operetta The Gypsy Baron with Roma (Shishkin's troupe) playing the roles of Roma took place in the Maly Theatre.
On 20 March 1888 the premiere of the very first Romani language operetta Children of the Forests was staged in the Maly Theatre. It was performed solely by the Romani troupe. The production ran for 18 years and was a great success.
In 1892, Shishkin produced a new operetta, Gypsy Life.
On 16 December 1931 the studio showed its first full musical-dramathic performance Life on Wheels (Жизнь на колёсах). It consisted of three acts and was based on a play by Romani author Alexandr Germano. After that performance, the studio was renamed the Romen Theatre. The first theatre director was Georgy Lebedev (a Rusko Rom).
Since 1940, the theatre does all its performances in Russian.
The current theatre director (2008) is Nikolai Slichenko, a Romani actor famous in Russia.
PRIME MINISTER VLADIMIR PUTIN CONGRATULATES MOSCOW'S ROMEN MUSIC AND DRAMA THEATRE ON ITS 80TH ANNIVERSARY.
Dec 28, 2011; MOSCOW, Russia -- The following information was released by the Government of the Russian Federation: The message reads, in part:...