Romanian theatre director, actress, puppeteer, and author of many plays for puppet theatre. Ildikó Kovács began her career in puppetry at the puppet theatre of Cluj-Napoca (see Teatrul de păpuşi Puck, Puck Puppet Theatre) with a production of Molière’s Doctor fără voie (The Doctor In Spite of Himself, 1952). A few years later, she moved to the puppet theatre of Oradea where she worked from 1955 to 1958 and where she staged Don Quixote (1956) and Regele cerb (The King Stag, 1967). She returned to Cluj-Napoca where her productions “without words” had a decisive influence on the development of the company.

Ildikó Kovács’ most important productions include: Visul unei nopți de vară (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 1964), after William Shakespeare, in which the actor-puppeteer, János Peter, created remarkable roles; Ubu rege (King Ubu, 1979) of Alfred Jarry, in which the very corpulent figures of the royal Ubu couple, played by Melania Ursu and Tudorel Filimon, crushed their subjects represented by tiny miniaturized puppets; Te aștept (I Am Waiting for You, 1979), based on the work by George Lawson. This latter production explored the theatrical qualities of a naive art form and presented moments of poetic humour, particularly when the characters (the mountains, the carriage, the horses) suddenly broke into a burlesque dance or moved rapidly in and out of the streets and houses projected on a screen. The main character was, by turns, a human actor in front of the screen and a puppet behind it.  

Since the 1990s, Ildikó Kovács worked at the Ciróka Bábszínház (Ciróka Theatre) in Kecskémet, Hungary, influencing the theatre’s aesthetics through her teaching and innovative productions. Her most important productions in Hungary include: Plüm-plüm és Pluf kalandjai (The Adventures of Plum-Plum and Pluf, 1991); A haza (The Fatherland, 1992) by Milobiedzka; Andersen mesék (Andersen’s Fairy Tales, 1993); Adjátok vissza Pinokkiót! (Give Pinocchio Back to Us!, 1994), written by Dan Hândoreanu; Don Quijote és… (And Don Quixote…, 1995, 2003); Létramesék (The Ladder Tales, 2000). In 2002, Ildikó Kovács received the Géza Blattner Award in Hungary.

(See Romania.)