The Sovremennik Theatre was founded by a group of young Soviet actors during the Khrushchev Thaw. Among the founders, all of whom graduated from Moscow Art Theatre School-Studio, were Oleg Yefremov, Galina Volchek, Igor Kvasha, Liliya Tolmachyova, Yevgeniy Yevstigneyev and Oleg Tabakov. The debut production was Victor Rozov's play Forever Alive. The theatre's first artistic director, Oleg Yefremov, left in 1970. Since then the theatre is led by Galina Volchek.