The activities of the Teatre Nacional de Catalunya began at the Sala Tallers on 12 November 1996 with the premiere ofAngels in America. Millennium Approaches, by Tony Kushner. This was the culmination of a long process started in the early 1980s that led to the proposal to ask Josep Maria Flotats to create and organise the future Teatre Nacional de Catalunya.

The project of constructing the building that currently houses the Teatre Nacional de Catalunya was entrusted to the architect Ricardo Bofill in 1988. In the final construction phase, in March 1995, the Catalan Government appointed Josep M. Busquets as General Manager, and Josep Maria Flotatsas Director-Founder of the Teatre Nacional de Catalunya. In June 1995, the limited liability company Teatre Nacional de Catalunya, SA was constituted, whose Board of Directors was chaired by Marta Lacambra until October 1996. From that time until May 2011, the President was Mr Romà Cuyàs.

The official inauguration of the Teatre Nacional de Catalunya was on 11 September 1997 with L'auca del senyor Esteve, by S. Rusiñol, directed by Adolfo Marsillach. Josep Maria Flotats was the Director of the TNC for the 1997/1998 season.

At the same time, Domènec Reixach started preparing the second season of the TNC from his position as Director of the Centre Dramàtic de la Generalitat, in what would be this institution’s last season. Reixach became Artistic Director of the TNC from the 1998/1999 season until the 2005/2006 season.

In March 2004, Joan Francesc Marco was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of the TNC replacing Josep Maria Busquets, who had held this post from 1995, and, from March 2007 replacing Joan Francesc Marco, Alfred Fort was appointed General Manager of the Teatre Nacional de Catalunya.

In parallel, from the 2006/2007 season Sergi Belbel took over as Artistic Director of the Teatre Nacional de Catalunya and until 30 June 2013 he endeavoured to consolidate, broaden and diversify the theatre audience with initiatives to bring culture to all citizens.

In April 2011, with a new government of Catalonia, Alfred Fort left his post as General Manager of the TNC and most of the members of the Board of Directors were changed, now chaired by Sol Daurella Comadrán replacing Romà Cuyàs, who had occupied the position since 1995. From then, the Teatre Nacional de Cartalonia SA was organised into two areas: the artistic, led by Sergi Belbel, and management, led by Josepa Piñol. In July 2012, Mònica Campos took over as TNC Manager.

In 2012 a selection process for the new TNC Artistic Direction began and on 1 July 2013 Xavier Albertí took on the post of new Artistic Director, replacing Sergi Belbel. During Xavier Albertí’s eight seasons, the TNC has continued to programme universal classic and contemporary plays and has particularly focused on contemporary Catalan playwriting as well as the rediscovery of Catalan heritage through the heritage epicentres of each season, which have helped us to become more familiar with some of the key figures for understanding modern Catalan drama:

Throughout these eight seasons, the TNC has become the main publisher of plays with the release of the texts of the season's productions and the volumes of "Teatre reunit" dedicated to prominent playwrights on the theatre scene.

In 2021, a new selection process for the new TNC Artistic Direction began and on 1 September 2021 Carme Portaceli took on the post of new Artistic Director.

In September 2015, the TNC Board of Directors was renewed and Neus Aranda became its president.