It was established on June 12, 1965. It was given this name since it had 199 seats at the time. It’s in a charming basement in the heart of Sofia. There is a chamber hall that, after a few repairs, now has 169 seats for the comfort of the audience. The theatre does not have its own troupe; any creative teams, including directors and performers, who stage or perform at ‘199’ are considered guests.
Its monthly schedule is fairly extensive. Evening concerts for adults begin at 19.30 p.m. During the winter months, there are usually daytime Sunday programs beginning at 15.00. Aside from that, there are children’s performances every Saturday and Sunday beginning at 11.30 a.m.
Some of the world’s best directors have staged their works on that stage, which has seen tens of iconic parts portrayed by the most outstanding performers of their generation. The repertoire strategy is centered on introducing works by current writers to the Bulgarian public and producing performances of outstanding aesthetic merit. The theatre also performs works by well-known European and international playwrights. Many of the plays have endured the test of time; some have been performed for over 20 years, while others have been presented over 700 times.
Valentin Stoychev, the theatre’s management from 1991 to 2007, is remembered today as one of the most successful theatrical directors.
Shows from the theatre’s repertoire are performed in a variety of Bulgarian cities. The theatre also performs in various countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Macedonia, Russia, Belgium, and Luxembourg. Theatre 199 is the first Bulgarian theatre to perform on New York’s famed Broadway. It participates in several festivals both inside and outside of the nation.
A large number of the performances’ creative teams, as well as the plays themselves, have received the country’s most prestigious theatrical honors.
The area in front of the theatre is also a popular meeting place for both residents and tourists to the city. Here is the Wall of Fame for the ‘199 Steps to Success.’ It carries the footprints of some of Bulgaria’s most renowned performers who have appeared on the “sacral basement” stage.