Argentine puppeteer and teacher. After studying art and spending time in Europe and the United States, Mané Bernardo discovered puppet theatre in the 1930s and contributed to the development of independent theatre in Argentina with La Cortina (The Curtain), a company founded in 1937. In 1944, she founded and directed the Teatro Nacional de Títeres (National Puppet Theatre) of the Instituto Nacional de Estudios del Teatro (National Institute of Theatrical Studies) in Buenos Aires that ran for two years.

In 1947, at the head of their own puppet troupe that bore their name, Títeres Mané Bernardo-Sara Bianchi, Mané Bernardo and Sarah Bianchi (born in Buenos Aires, 1922-2010), her pupil and friend, embarked on an adventure meant to make a permanent mark on puppet theatre in Argentina. Keen to promote puppetry at another level, distinguishing it as a new form of art, the two puppeteers included in their repertoire classic as well as avant-garde works intended for both child and adult audiences, which were shown on television and in theatres. They also performed their work in the United States (1963), and during a landmark tour, in Latin America (1973).

Mané Bernardo’s productions and credits include: El mundo de la flor verde (The World of the Green Flower), author; Revolviendo cachivaches (Stirring Up Junk), author, costume designer, set designer, music director, director; Si te chistan, no mires (If They Answer You Back, Do Not Look), author; Toribio camina para atrás (Toribio Walks Backward), author, director; Toribio abre las puertas (Toribio Opens Doors), author, director; Toribio busca su media (Toribio Searches for His Socks), author, performer, director; Dicen y hacen las manos (The Hands Say and Make), author, director.

Mané Bernardo led a major research project, trained many puppeteers in Argentina and received many awards and honours in Peru and Italy as well as in her own country, including the following prizes: Premio Konex 1984: Teatro para Niños; Premio Konex 1981: Infantil; Premio Titiritis de Oro (Peru, 1973); Premio Festival de Títeres del Uruguay (1978); Premio Ollantay (Venezuela, 1983).

On Mané Bernardo’s death, Sarah Bianchi continued her work, presiding over the foundation they created together in 1983 bearing their names as well as directing the Museo Argentino del Títere (Argentine Museum of the Puppet) that they had also founded together in 1985. Sarah Bianchi also received a dozen national and international awards.

(See Argentina.)