Polish puppet theatre stage director and managing director of a puppet company. In 1908, while finishing his studies in Philology in Munich, Marian Dienstl-Dąbrowa met the German Joseph Leonhard Schmid and became acquainted with Paul Brann‘s Marionettentheater Münchner Künstler (Marionette Theatre of Munich Artists). Upon settling in Warsaw (Warszawa), Dienstl-Dąbrowa produced stage designs (displayed at stage exhibitions in Cracow Kraków and Warsaw) and wrote drama reviews and articles. In 1910, he opened in Warsaw the Teatr Kukiełek (Marionette Theatre), an artistic puppet theatre inspired by Paul Brann’s theatre. He attracted outstanding Polish artists: Karol Kurpiński (composer), Wacław Gruberski (painter), as well as actors, singers and animators.

The hour-long Teatr Kukiełek productions began in the early afternoon with a repertoire for children – Zachwycenie (Fascination) by Teofil Lenartowicz, Trzy życzenia (The Three Wishes), and Kopciuszek (Cinderella), two plays by Count Franz von Pocci – and ended late in the evening with performances for adults, such as La serva padrona (The Mistress Servant) by Pergolesi, Dyrektor teatru (The Theatre Director) by Mozart, Dwaj ślepcy (The Two Blindmen) by Jacques Offenbach, Wesele (The Wedding) by Karol Hubert Rostworowski to lyrics by Stanisław Wyspiański.

In 1912, the Russian authorities, then occupiers of Warsaw, closed the Teatr Kukiełek, accusing Dienstl-Dąbrowa of “inciting Polish nationalism” by presenting Szopka by Artur Oppman. For a while Dienstl-Dąbrowa continued to have his theatre, Warszawski Teatr Łątek (Warsaw Puppet Theatre), perform in Galicia (then under Austrian occupation). In 1918, when Poland regained its independence, Marian Dienstl-Dąbrowa briefly performed in Lvov (today Lviv in Ukraine). He later devoted himself to journalism.

(See Poland.)


  • Jurkowski, Henryk. Dzieje teatru lalek [History of the Puppet Theatre]. Vol. 2. Warszawa: PIW, 1976.
  • Słownik biograficzny teatru polskiego, 1765-1965 [Biographical Dictionary of the Polish Theatre, 1765-1965]. Vol. 1. Warszawa: PWN, 1973.
  • Waszkiel, Marek. Dzieje teatru lalek w Polsce (do 1945) [History of the Puppet Theatre in Poland (up to 1945)]. Warszawa: ISPAN, 1990.[S]