At the prince’s instigation, the theatre was built on the Anger square as a summer theatre in 1792/93. Managing the theatre in Rudolstadt from Weimar, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was head of the theatre and its ensemble. There were several reconstructions of the original building in the course of time.
During an extensive reconstruction in 1982, a new audience room and stage hall were built. The ensemble of the “Thuringian State Theatre Rudolstadt” was incorporated into an association of mutual interest – together with the “Thuringian Symphony Musicians of Saalfeld-Rudolstadt” in 1992. The musicians continue the traditions of the court orchestra, which was founded more than 350 years ago. After the disassociation of a perennial merger with the theatre of Eisenach, the Thuringian State Theatre Rudolstadt has been run independently again since the season of 2003/04.
The amateur theatre has got a long tradition in Rudolstadt as well. Already in 1768, pupils of the grammar school performed Lessing’s "Minna von Barnhelm" on the courtyard. The theater-spiel-laden was founded in 1991 and goes back to an amateur theatre of factory workers from Rudolstadt-Schwarza. It is a mobile and revolving group of talented and experienced amateur actors and actresses who offer a wide range of productions.