In the early 20th century culture life of Marijampolė was facing a problem; city lacked a professional theatre stage with a spacious auditorium.
The needs of Marijampolė locals couldn‘t be satisfied with small halls of schools and cinema anymore that could not contain larger theatre troupes.
The history of Marijampolė Theatre begins when the priest A. Kazlauskas initiates a project for a parish hall designed by the architect R. Steikūnas in 1937. Due to the Soviet occupation in 1940, the building was nationalized and therefore construction works of the theatre were stopped. Thanks to tireless efforts of A. Kazlauskas and community’s help the theatre opened it‘s doors to the public in 1942, even though it’s premises were unfinished. On September, 1941 a founding assembly of Marijampolė Drama Theatre was held.
The main goal of the attendees was to establish professional theatre’s status. The time was not prosperous: the war was running, foreign occupations were changing one another and the future was obscure. However, the owners and all the guests of that night were full of enthusiasm: the new theatre born- the forerunner of a different life bringing the hope of brighter tomorrow to all people. On September 12, 1942 the theatre was reorganized and named Marijampole City Drama Theatre by an order of the mayor Vlaclovas Nenortas and the director of the theatre Jonas Pileckis. After the first-night play "Disturbed calm" directed by P. Vaičiūnas, people were not only performing and rehearsing new plays, but also studying dramatic art in the workshop. The ceremony attracted performers from all over Lithuania: Vilnius Kaunas, Panevežys, and Šiauliai.
Theatre’s construction could not be finished due to lack of funds. However, directors of various public institutions, deans of Marijampolė and Vilkaviškis, doctors, teachers, even the director Kaunas Circus, farmers, Marian monastery and local parishioners were contributing to the cause. Finally, there was a festive opening of the theatre in 1943. It could function although works of finishing, decoration and improvement were left for better times.
However, the theatrical activity came to the end in 1944 winter. The theatre was re-established to a public theatre in 1945 autumn. Unfortunately, the movement of the theatre was suddenly stopped in 1949. Theatre of Marijampolė was closed and reopened in 1956. Afterwards professional theatre was closed and reopened few more times.
On January 15th, 1992 the government of Marijampolė established a municipal theatre.
Such directors as K. Tumkevičius, J. Pusdešris, J. Grybauskas, A. Kupstas, J. O. Kupstienė, B. Gražys, S. Čaikauskas worked in the theatre.
Actors A. Bružas, L. Ciunis, B. Gražys, J. Jaruševičius, A. Kubilius, R. Karvelis, V. Marčinskaitė, V. Paukštė, A. Rosenas, E. Žebertavičiūtė, M. Vainilaitis R. Adomaitis, S. Siparis, E. Kaniava, S. Jačėnas, A. Giniotis, R. Pigagaitė were members of the theatre.