German amateur string puppet theatre founded in Munich in 1947 by students from the Ludwig-Maximilian University. Until 1967, the Marionettenstudio Kleines Spiel (Marionette Studio Small Play) was dedicated to the staging of classical and modern plays (Molière, Georg Büchner, Oscar Wilde, Samuel Beckett, Bertolt Brecht). In 1952, the theatre’s production of Der Lügner (The Liar) by Carlo Goldoni brought a radical change in the style of the Kleines Spiel: the figurative gave way to abstraction for both the puppets and sets.

With this in mind, the young playwright Tankred Dorst (b.1925) had, by 1964, developed eight pieces specifically for the Kleines Spiel which he described as “a theatre of images without psychology, a theatre of poetry and dreams” (Dorst). Of these, A Trumpet for Nap (1959) and Maipus Versuchung (The Temptation of Maipu, 1961) – a history of cannibals – are still part of the theatre’s repertoire in the early 21st century.

The theatre also presents satirical musical stage shows and film programmes.

(See Germany.)


  • Dorst, Tankred. Auf kleiner Bühne. Versuche mit Marionetten [On a Small Stage. Experiments with String Puppets]. München, 1959.
  • Dorst, Tankred. Geheimnis der Marionette [Secret of the Marionette]. München, 1957.