Theatre has always played a big role in the cultural life of the Armenian people. As long ago as the 1st c. BCE all the big Armenian cities had amphitheatres where the works of antique authors were staged. Even the Armenian king Artavazd II wrote plays. In Artsakh as well as in the rest of Armenia, the theatrical art was highly regarded. In the 2nd half of the 19th c. in the very big inhabited locality of that time, Shoushi, the Drama Theatre of Khandamiryan was found with the a hall that seated an audience of 350. It staged plays of Armenian and Europenian playwrights.
In 1932 the Stepanakert State Drama Theatre of Vahram Papazyanthere was founded by the luminary of the Armenian stage Karo Alvaryan. The theatre is situated at the address of 18, Hakobyan str. in Stepanakert. The repertoire of the theatre mainly includes plays of the Armenian classics and modern authors.
Today there is a theatre in the cultural capital of Artsakh, Shoushi, as well.
On January 8, 2008, the Shoushi youth "Sos Sargsyan" and "Yervant Manaryan" puppet and dramatic theaters were reorganized into the Shoushi "Astghik" youth theater. On October 28, 2008 Shoushi's "Astghik" Youth Theatre was renamed into "Mkrtich Khandamiryan State Theatre". During the five years of its existence the theater has staged twelve performances, had concert tours in Artsakh and Armenia, participated in various festivals and holds one gold medal, and various diplomas and certificates.
There is a cinema in Shoushi, too. All the cinemas usually show the latest novelties of the world's greatest directors.