It must be said that, owing to the peculiar climatic features of the region, the Yakuts did not have any playwriting in their own language; the traditions of a national theatre had not formed among them, and therefore the interest of the indigenous population in theatre as a fundamentally new type of amusement was a matter of some significance. For the first time, they were faced with an activity that involved viewing a certain visual series to the accompaniment of artistic, sound, and costume imagery. Naturally, this differed radically from listening to olonkhosuts, which had implied completely different types of interaction between listener and performer, with a heightened role for imagination demanded of the former. There was a need to overcome this cultural barrier, and so in 1906 the Inorodchesky Klub [literally the “Other-People”, “Foreign” or “Non-Russian” Club - translator] was opened in Yakutsk, whose purpose was to seek out new forms of education and interaction with the indigenous population. The first attempts to stage the Olonkho were made at the Inorodchesky Club, including a well-known staging of the olonkho Bert Kisi Beriet Bergen (“The Brave and Good Youth Beriet”), considered the first Yakut play. As the linguist, ethnographer and folklorist Eduard Pekarsky pointed out, the olonkho text employed for this was divided into three acts, streamlining it and serving to bring it closer to the European dramatic tradition. And in 1907, with the help of actors from the Russian Drama Theatre, another production based on an olonkho was staged – Kulan Kugas attaakh Kulantai Bukhatyyr (“The Renowned and Stubborn Hero Kulantai”). This was an attempt at creating a musical performance, and a libretto was written, but due to the lack of a general musical score, each actor had his own peculiar vision of how to perform a particular fragment of the epic.
At the same time, performances of Russian-language drama, occasionally translated into Yakut, continued to be held on the stage of the Russian Drama Theatre. Especially popular was Nikolai Gogol’s Marriage, which was translated into Yakut by Anempodist Sofronov in 1909. The main repertoire also featured Alexander Ostrovsky’s plays The Storm, The Forest, A Profitable Position, Guilty Without Fault, Stay in Your Own Sled, Sin and Sorrow Are Common to All, Vasilisa Melentyeva, and From Penniless to Suddenly a Three-Kopeck Piece. Other plays by Gogol, as well as by Anton Chekhov (The Bear, A Marriage Proposal, A Tragedian in Spite of Himself, A Malefactor, and Surgery), Alexei Potekhin, Ivan Shcheglov, Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko and other Russian authors were also staged. Chekhov and his drama proved immensely popular with both local Russian and Yakut audiences. In 1902, the play The Philistines by Maxim Gorky was staged, followed in 1909 by his The Lower Depths. In addition, a professional theatre appeared in the town of Vilyuisk, where Marriage was also performed in the Yakut language. The pre-Revolution theatre also introduced the inhabitants of Yakutsk to English-language drama, with the stage of the Russian Drama Theatre hosting William Shakespeare’s comedy The Taming of the Shrew as well as Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. Home-grown drama began to appear, based on models written by the first Yakut writers. Nikolai Neustroyev is considered to be the first Yakut comic dramatist, writing plays with characteristic “Yakut” titles such as The Evil Spirit and The Jay’s Head. And, naturally, performances were put on based on the plays of the first national Yakut playwright Anempodist Sofronov – Poor Yakov and Love.