Cuban puppeteer. In 1978, Pedro Valdés Piña created the company, Teatro de Muñecos Okantomí (Okantomí, in the Yoruba language: “With all my heart”). He built his first puppet theatre with his classmates, and this stage accompanied him into military service, during which he founded, with other recruits, the Pequeño Guiñol FAR, the first puppet group inside the Cuban army.

He continued his studies of puppetry in Moscow with Sergei Obraztsov. Becoming, in turn, a teacher (notably at the Escuela Nacional de Teatro para Niños National School of Theatre for Children) and a prominent figure of Latin American puppet theatre, in the early 1970s he was the first to revive the lost tradition of the itinerant puppeteer.

Among his most important works are: Juegos titiritescos de Cuba (Puppet Plays/Games of Cuba, 1974), an anthology production that received several awards; El payaso titiritero Romerillo (Romerillo the Clown Puppeteer, 1987) of Nicolás Guillén; and El traje nuevo del emperador (The Emperor’s New Clothes, 1988).

(See Cuba.)