Venezuelan puppet theatre. Established by Eduardo Di Mauro in 1980 in Guanare, capital of Portuguesa State, this theatre is often referred to by its acronym: TEMPO. Argentine-born Eduardo Di Mauro (b.1928) was interested in puppetry from an early age, and the discovery of Javier Villafañe was a determining factor. With his brother Hector, Eduardo Di Mauro founded the group La Pareja in 1950. The two brothers split up in 1976 at the onset of the dictatorship in Argentina. Eduardo Di Mauro moved to Venezuela (his brother stayed in the country) to continue his work as a puppeteer with the Teatro Barinés de Muñecos, created in 1978 in Barinas, and then two years later he founded TEMPO.

TEMPO’s goal was to be politically and socially engaged in the dissemination of culture to the public. Its repertoire, initially intended mainly for children, was enlarged to also reach adult audiences. Composed of eight people, the company only uses glove puppets. In 1982, it had over one hundred performances in its permanent theatre. It also has a mobile theatre with which the company does national tours.

Its large repertoire includes: Aventuras de Comino (Comino’s Adventures), La calle del caballo volador (The Street of the Flying Horse), El gato y los ratones (The Cat and the Mice), Juan Grillo, El soldadito de plomo (The Little Lead Soldier), La Galera verde (The Green Galley), El retablillo Don Cristóbal (The Puppet Play of Don Cristóbal) by Federico García Lorca, El caballero de la mano de fuego (The Knight with the Hand of Fire), and Fausto by Javier Villafañe. Among the company’s most recent productions for adults is La Abominable historia de Mister Punch (The Abominable Story of Mister Punch).

Known in Latin America since its tour in 1987 and 1988, the company also gained recognition through its exhibitions, conferences and training programmes. The Instituto Latinoamericano del Títere (Latin American Institute of Puppetry), created in 1991 and headed by Eduardo Di Mauro, houses a collection of posters from around the world and organizes puppet exhibitions. The institute’s objective is to create a national professional system of permanent theatre companies in every province of Venezuela.

Since 1992, TEMPO has organized across the country the Bienal Latinoamericana Itinerante de Teatro de Muñecos (Latin American Biennale of Itinerant Puppet Theatre). After more than twenty-two years of existence, TEMPO has given more than four thousand performances, with more than half in Venezuela and nearly one thousand in ten Latin American countries and the United States.

(See Venezuela.)