Argentine puppeteer. Ariel Bufano met Javier Villafañe as a child, became his student, and followed him on several of his tours. He settled in Buenos Aires in the 1950s and in 1961 teamed up with playwright Sergio De Cecco, Beatriz Suárez, and Marta Gavensky to create a touring company. Between 1972 and 1977, he directed Grupo de Teatro Popular de Títeres, a company he founded.

In 1977, he founded the puppetry company, Grupo de Titiriteros del Teatro Municipal General San Martín (TMGSM), one of the major institutions in Argentina in the field of performing arts, which he directed until his death in 1991. With this very active troupe, he became famous in Argentina and throughout the world, travelling in the Americas, Europe, and Russia where he was invited by the State Central Puppet Theatre in Moscow (see Gosudarstvenny Akademichesky Tsentralny Teatr Kukol imeni S.V. Obraztsova, Sergei Obraztsov State Academic Central Puppet Theatre). Among Ariel Bufano’s best-known works are: David y Goliat (David and Goliath), La Bella y la Bestia (Beauty and the Beast, 1981), and El gran circo criollo (The Great Creole Circus, 1983).

Ariel Bufano established and directed the TMGSM school, was a professor at the Institut International de la Marionnette (IIM) in Charleville-Mézières, France, was a member of the Training Commission of the Union Internationale de la Marionnette (UNIMA), and a councillor of this organization representing UNIMA-Argentina. He also participated in experiments involving the therapeutic use of puppets with patients in the neuropsychiatry wing of the Borda Hospital in Argentina.

(See Argentina.)