Founded in 1926, the theater produces many important plays of Russian and Ukrainian dramatic art. Its repertoire consists of plays by famous playwrights such as Fyodor Dostoevsky, Mikhail Bulgakov and others. Many current movie actors have started their career in the theater.
The building was originally designed in 1875 by Vladimir Nikolayev and housed the Kiev circus. From 1891 to 1898 the building was leased to the first drama company in Kiev, Solovtsov Theater. In 1896 the theater put on its first cinema showing. The present company has been in the building since 1929, and named after Lesya Ukrainka in 1941.