Ţăndărică Hand Puppet And Marionette Theater

www.teatrultandarica.ro ŢĂNDĂRICĂ theatre was founded in 1945 and its first department (that of marionettes) was led by actress Lucia Calomeri, helped by scenographers Elena Pătrăşcanu, Alexandru Brătăşanu, Lena Costache and Ileana Popescu. Director Nicolae Massim and the puppet masters Dorina Tănăsescu, Antigona Papazicopol and Lucia Georgescu were part of the theatre's first team of artists. In 1949, Margareta Niculescu (today honorific president of UNIMA – Union Internationale de la Marionette), the new director of the institution, founded, together with Renee George Silviu (stage director), Ştefi Nefianu, Fifi Bradu, Rita Stoian and Carmen Stamatiade (hand puppet artists) the puppet department of the theatre. Later, they were joined by graphic artists such as: Liviu Ciulei, Ella Conovici, Ioana Constantinescu, Mioara Buescu, director Ştefan Lenkisch, and puppet artists: Brânduşa Zaiţa Silvestru, Justin Grad, Misu Pruszinski, Costel Popovici, Valeriu Simeon and many others. Here, directors such as: Radu Penciulescu, Silviu Purcărete, Cătălina Buzoianu, Cristian Pepino, Victor Ioan Frunză, Ildiko Kovacs, Irina Niculescu, Felix Alexa and Ion Caramitru directed numerous plays. In the period before 1989, shows were put on that imposed new ways of expression in the animation theatre: Humor on Strings, The Little Prince, The Book of Apolodor, The Three Wives of Don Cristobal, Me and Dead Matter, Peter Pan, Peter and the Wolf, Till Eulenspiegel, Petrushka, Don Quixote, etc. Also, ŢĂNDĂRICĂ Theatre held four editions of the International Festival of Puppet Theater (1958, 1960, 1965 and 1998). In 1978, ŢĂNDĂRICĂ Theatre won the Erasmus Prize for its important contribution to the esthetic profile of contemporary hand puppet theatre. It has organized numerous tours, participated in festivals on nearly all the continents, earning many other prizes in creation and interpretation. The Nocturnes of ŢĂNDĂRICĂ remain famous as a form of artistic resistance against the communist regime. During 1986-1999, Michaela Tonitza-Iordache was the director of the theatre, under whose management important plays such as A Midsummer Night's Dream, Conference of the Birds, The Tempest were enacted and others, such as Cinderella, Bastien and Bastienne, Puss-in-Boots, Pinocchio and Harap Alb (White Arab) had their premiere. Since 2000, Călin Octavian Mocanu, the Secretary General of UNIMA-Romania (whose Romanian-side president is director Cristian Pepino) has been managing the theatre. During this period, ŢĂNDĂRICĂ Theatre promised to consolidate its old values and to encourage artistic debuts in animation theatre. Beauty and the Beast, Pacala, Snow White, Baron Munchhausen, The Goat with Three Yeanlings, The Little Mermaid, Jack and the Magic Beanstalk, Tom Thumb are new, successful plays that were presented at various national and international festivals and awarded prestigious prizes. Cristian Pepino guides a new generation of artists, making their debuts in animation stage directing: Gabriel Apostol, Ioan Brancu, Daniel Stanciu and others. Aside from its two theatre halls, in Calea Victoriei (for hand puppets) and Lahovari Square (for marionettes), in 2003, director Cătălin Mocanu founded the AnimArt Studio, dedicated to research and experimentation in the art of animation, whose goal is to attract artists from various backgrounds to the art of animation. AnimArt Studio was inaugurated with Faust, directed by three of the theatre's talented actors: Gabriel Apostol, Mariana Zaharia and Ioan Brancu. At present, the theatre is rehearsing Candide by Voltaire for the AnimaArt Studio, and The Three Little Pigs, for children. Also, on the director's initiative, the "Joy for Children. Classic Shows" International Festival was initiated, which takes place annually, at the beginning of December.

by Radu Valter