Cuban puppet company. The Teatro Nacional de Guiñol (TNG) was founded in Havana on March 14, 1963. It was initially comprised of former members of Guiñol Nacional de Cuba (National Puppet Theatre of Cuba), which had been created in 1956 by Carucha and Pepe Camejo and Pepe Carril. TNG currently consists of a team of more than sixty people, four artistic directors and over twenty actors. The company is the largest and most prestigious company in Cuba and is well known abroad. Since 2000, Armando Morales has served as its Artistic Director and General Manager.
The company performs for audiences of all ages in schools, squares, other public places, as well as in their own theatre. The company has a broad repertoire and seeks a “national and Latin American drama”, producing the works of Cuban writers such as Dora Alonso, Abelardo Estorino, José Martí, Nicolás Guillén, Alejo Carpentier, Esther Suárez, Freddy Artiles, and René Fernández Santana. It has adapted the work of Ramón María del Valle-Inclán, Molière, Jonathan Swift, Charles Perrault, the Brothers Grimm, Javier Villafañe, Federico García Lorca, Cervantes, and Aristophanes. The team has also incorporated Afro-Cuban culture and folklore.
Over a 50-year period, Teatro Nacional de Guiñol mounted around 130 original productions incorporating a variety of techniques. The most notable include Alelé (1963); Pelusín del Monte (1963) by Dora Alonso, with staging/sets by Pepe Carril, puppets designed by Pepe Camejo, direction by Carucha Camejo, Pepe Camejo and Pepe Carril; La calle de los fantasmas (The Street of Ghosts, 1966) by Javier Villafañe; El patito feo (The Ugly Duckling, 1967) based on Hans Christian Andersen’s story; El mago de Oz (The Wizard of Oz, 1968) by L. Frank Baum; El flautista y los ratones (The Pied Piper of Hamelin, 1970) after Robert Browning; El ratón poeta (The Poet Mouse, 1971) by O. Zorrilla; Bebé (1972) of José Martí; Los seis pingüinitos (The Six Penguins, 1973) by Boris Aprilov; El canto de la cigarra (The Song of the Cicada, 1974) by Onelio Jorge Cardozo; Pinocho (Pinocchio, 1975) by Carlo Collodi; Pluff el fantasmita (Pluff the Little Ghost, 1976) of Maria Clara Machado; El médico fingido (The Mock Doctor/The Doctor in Spite of Himself, 1977) based on Molière’s play; Gulliver (1978) by Jonathan Swift; Los cuencos de Don Friolera (The Horns of Don Friolera, 1979) by Valle-Inclán; Bombón y Cascabel (1980) by Dora Alonso; El tigre Pedrin (The Tiger Pedrin, 1981) of H. Januszeroska; Un día de lluvia (A Rainy Day, 1982) by Ulises García; La caperucita roja (Little Red Riding Hood, 1983) of Modesto Centeno; Payasín (1984) by A.E. Díaz; El perrito travieso (The Naughty Dog, 1985) of Ricardo Gasal; Chimpete Champata (1986) by Javier Villafañe; and El caballito jorobadito (The Little Humpbacked Horse, 1987) by Russian poet Piotr Ershov. Many of these plays continue to be in the company’s repertory, such as Chicherekú, by Pepe Carril, scheduled for the 2014 season.
Teatro Nacional de Guiñol received the Ollantay Prize in 1982 for its contribution to the art of puppetry. It has toured throughout Cuba, participated in festivals in Europe and the Americas, and has received many awards.
In 2013, TNG established the first edition of the Workshop on Management and Playwriting in which young people from Cuba and abroad prepare a play, discuss the project and later stage it before a real audience. To celebrate its 50th anniversary, Teatro Nacional de Guiñol organized exhibitions of photos, catalogues, programmes and posters, among other activities.