The legendary Alexandrinsky Theatre is the oldest national theatre in Russia. It was founded by the Edict of the Senate signed by Empress Elizabeth Petrovna on August 30, 1756 The theatre became the model for all future Russian theatres and its foundation date is celebrated as the birthday of the Russian professional stage. In 2005 a comprehensive research and reconstruction project was completed in the historic building of the theatre, turning the Alexandrinsky Theatre stage into one of the best technically equipped stages in Europe. In 2014 Alexandinsky Theatre was awarded the status of a National Heritage Site. Valery Fokin has served as Artistic Director of the Alexandrinsky Theatre since 2003. Nikolay Roschin has been the Principal Director of the Theatre since 2016.