Russian puppet theatre located in Ryazan (about 200 km south-east of Moscow). The Ryazansky oblastnoi teatr kukol (Ryazan Regional Puppet Theatre) was established in January 1968 as part of a local puppet company under the philharmonic society. In 1982, the puppet theatre was installed in a fully-equipped theatre building with two stages.

Under Askar Tager (1942-2004), managing director, and Valery Shadsky (b.1949), artistic director, the Ryazan Regional Puppet Theatre became one of the best-known companies in the country, with leading actors Olga Kovalyova, Andrei Abramov and Oleg Terentiev.

The theatre’s most successful productions include: Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s Malenky prints (The Little Prince, 1986), directed by Valery Shadsky, designed by Anatoly Losev; Aleksandr Pushkin’s Pir vo vremya chumy (Feast in the Time of the Plague, 1987), directed by Valery Shadsky, designed by Natalia Kuznetsova; Mikhail Bulgakov’s Master i Margarita (The Master and Margarita, 1995), directed by Valery Shadsky, designed by Vladimir Kostarnov; and Nina Sadur’s version of Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol, Brat Chichikov (Brother Chichikov, 2002), directed by Valery Shadsky and designed by Yulia Ksyondzova.

The company tours widely, often appearing abroad. It has organized the successful biennial international puppet festival Ryazanskiye Smotriny (Bridal Show-Off in Ryazan), named after a traditional pre-wedding ritual, launched in 1989, to showcase Russian and CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) puppetry.

In 2002, the Ryazan Regional Puppet Theatre was home for the All-Russian UNIMA Conference, which elected Valery Shadsky president of the Russian UNIMA Centre, the position he held until 2011.

(See Russia.)


  • Goldovsky, Boris. Kukly Entsiklopediya [Puppets. Encyclopedia]. Moscow: Vremya, 2004, p. 345.