Romanian puppet theatre founded in 1949 in Sibiu at the initiative of Ilse Klepner, Hedwiga Szaunig, and Helda Gockel, with one company performing in Romanian and a second in German. In its first stage, Gong Theatre’s repertoire for children and adults was created by stage director Mircea Petre Suciu and theatre designer Phöbus Ştefănescu, with the collaboration of directors Wolfgang Ernst and Ion Hăndoreanu. From 1956 to 1977, Lilly Krauss from the German section produced an important repertoire of shows while working as a director, puppeteer, and playwright. Among her shows are: Aventurile lui Pinocchio (The Adventures of Pinocchio, 1967) after Carlo Collodi; Max și Moritz (Max and Moritz, 1974), after the book of Wilhelm Busch; Șoricelul și păpușa (The Little Mouse and the Doll, 1975), written by Alexandru Popescu; and Motanul âncălțat (Puss in Boots, 1990).

During this period, Ion Hăndoreanu worked with the Romanian section. Among the shows he directed are: Sânziana și Pepelea (Sânziana and Pepelea) and Copilul din stele (The Star Child), after Oscar Wilde with designer Phöbus Ştefănescu; and Drumul soarelui (The Way of the Sun, 1979) based on the epic, Gilgamesh.

In its second stage, due to the creative collaboration with renowned stage director Ildiko Kovács, the theatre acquired a new aesthetic orientation that was daring and modern. Kovács worked closely with designer Dan Frăticiu, an artist representing a new generation in puppet theatre. Their repertoire included: Piekeltieck, Albă ca zăpada (Snow White, 1984); Cazul Pinocchio (The Pinocchio Case); Piticul uriaș (The Giant Dwarf), designed and directed by Dan Frăticiu.

Under the leadership of Ildikó Kovács, Teatrul pentru copii si tineret Gong introduced pantomime in its productions, and established a training programme of yearly workshops, which was open to artists across the country (1986-1989). Since 1996, Gong Theatre has organized the International Festival LA STRADA.

(See Romania.)