Argentine puppet theatre. The group of puppeteers, Teatro Municipal General San Martín (abbreviated as TMGSM) was founded in 1977 in Buenos Aires. The company was created when, in 1977, Ariel Bufano was offered to adapt a work by Sim Schwarz, David y Goliat (David and Goliath). Following the play’s success, Kive Staiff (director of TMGSM) and Ariel Bufano decided to found a permanent puppet theatre that was the first in Argentina to receive the state’s technical and financial support for its research and creations. Joining its founding troupe members were Adelaida Mangani, Roberto Cardozo, Marcelo Mansour, Pablo Bufano, Adriana Pizzini, Laura Melillo, Luis Rivera López, Sergio Rower, Juan Haedo and Alejandro Waisman.

Carrusel titiritero (Puppet Carousel, 1979) then opened a series of theatrical seasons with a repertoire ranging from, among others: La Bella y la Bestia (Beauty and the Beast, 1981), based on the Jean Cocteau adaptation of the classic fairy tale by Charles Perrault; El pájaro azul (The Blue Bird, 2002) by Maurice Maeterlinck; La historia de Guillermo Tell con su hijo Gualterio (The History of William Tell and his Son, Walter, 1986) by Friedrich von Schiller; and El príncipe de Homburg (The Prince of Homburg, 1988) by Heinrich von Kleist (directed by Michael Meschke).

In 1984, the group of puppeteers of the TMGSM toured Europe and was a success at the World Theatre Festival, Festival des Nations, in Nancy (France), in Germany and Spain. In April 1986, the company represented Argentina at the Festival Internacional de Teatro de Montevideo (International Theatre Festival of Montevideo) and then multiplied its missions abroad in Puerto Rico, Canada, the United States, and Mexico. The company attracted many puppetry artists, who became core members, among them Omar Aita, Carlos Almeida, Ana Alvarado, Tito Lorefice, Gustavo Placenti, and created a touring troupe attached to TMGSM, called El Callejero, to spread the art in schools and in the neighbourhoods of Buenos Aires.

The ongoing research and the theatre creations, both at the individual and collective levels, employed a diversity of manipulation techniques (rod marionettes, rod puppets, and particularly, marottes) characterize this company whose management was taken over by Adelaida Mangani, the widow of Ariel Bufano after his death in 1991.

(See Argentina.)