By the number of theatre-goers, Estonia is one of the leading countries in Europe. In 2015 almost 1.2 million visits were made to the theatre. This number is especially noteworthy considering that there are only 1.3 million inhabitants in Estonia.

The majority of performing arts institutions in Estonia are year-round institutional theatres that have their own buildings and permanent staff. The state supports theatres regardless of their form of ownership with the aim of keeping the annual theatre visits at the level of approximately 800,000. The state pays activity support to 26 theatres.