Argentine puppeteer. After having discovered the puppets of Javier Villafañe, Juan Enrique Acuña formed his own puppet group in 1944, and named it the Los Títeres del Verdegay, with which he presented his work, including a cycle of plays centred on the character of Perurimá. In 1955, he then formed the group Titiritaina. From 1961 to 1963, he perfected his craft in Czechoslovakia, at Univerzita Karlova (Karlova University, also known as Charles University) in Prague, and travelled throughout Europe.

Back in Argentina, Juan Enrique Acuña resumed his puppetry activities, with productions such as El músico y el león (The Musician and the Lion, 1964), a production in which he mixed actors’ theatre, puppets, shadows and objects. In 1968, he moved to Costa Rica where he founded the Moderno Teatro de  Muñecos (MTM); see also Costa Rica), having first created it in Buenos Aires.

Among his works presented in many Latin American countries are Aventura submarina (Underwater Adventure, 1973), La selva encantada (The Enchanted Forest), El mago Pelafustán y su caja de sorpresas (Pelafustán, the Wizard, and His Box of Surprises), Sopa de piedra (Stone Soup, 1977), El maestro Semifusa (The Master Semifusa), and El lagarto travieso (The Mischievous Lizard/Alligator).

(See Argentina.)