Chilean puppet company. Created in Santiago in 1980 by Elena Zúñiga Romero (of Chilean nationality) and Sergio Herskovits Álvarez (Chilean-Hungarian), Compañía Payasíteres specialized in puppetry for children.

Sergio Herskovits studied at the Universidad Católica, in the Escuela de Arte y Pedagogía of the Universidad del Estado (School of Art and Education of the State University), specializing in theatre. Elena Zúñiga graduated in education from the Universidad Católica, and also studied acting. They have their own workshop where they create their characters. They also teach educators and cultural resource persons as well as children and young people various performance techniques, including glove puppetry, directing and clowning.

They have also been actively involved in television programming. Among their TV work is the children’s series, Patio Plum (broadcast from 1985 to 1988, rebroadcast in 1990 and 1995), for which they adapted more than one hundred and fifty short stories, of which La familia Cortínez (The Cortínez Family) was one, for glove puppets and mouth puppets. They are also behind the Videotíteres (Video Puppets) programmes, designed to support projects of training, education and prevention. They have performed at many festivals in Chile and in Argentina and they tour regularly.

Among their productions are: Payasíteres (1986), a “Divertimento” for clowns and puppets; Ven a jugar (Come Play, 1987); La vaca es de Lukas y la leche es de los niños (The Cow is for Lucas and the Milk is for the Children, 1987); También yo soy Mapuche (I too am Mapuche, 1988); Juego de manos juego de villano (Sleight of Hand Game of Villains, 1991), puppet theatre for adults; Payasadas y Titiriteadas (Horseplay and Puppet Play, 1995), a “Divertimento” for puppets and clowns.

(See Chile.)