The Teatro Nacional D. Maria II first opened its doors in 1846. The romantic atmosphere felt at this time throughout Europe led to an urgency in finding a model and a national dramatic repertoire. For a long time, the D. Maria II was managed by companies of artists. The longest management was that of Amélia Rey-Colaço / Robles Monteiro, which lasted from 1929 to1964.
In 1964, the Theatre was the stage of a raging fire that destroyed the whole building. The present building, which preserves the original neoclassical style, was totally reconstructed and reopened in 1978.
In 2007, the D. Maria II was made part of the Stateowned enterprises. Its organizational structure includes a Board of Directors and an Artistic Director. Since 2015, the actor and playwright Tiago Rodrigues is the one playing this role. The actual project looks at the future under the aegis of the concept of “opening”. Being part of apap is part of a broader project for the internationalization of the D. Maria II and the Portuguese contemporary theatre and performance.