Venezuelan puppet theatre established in 1990 in Caracas by actress and puppeteer Sonia González. With a degree in literature, González developed her project in Italy where she lived for four years. Composed of Italian and Venezuelan players, Teatro Naku presented itself as a “Venezuelan company”, particularly for its repertoire of indigenous tales, such as Namonina a re, cuentos indígenas sobre el origen del mundo (Namonina a Re, Indigenous Tales about the Origin of the World), a show based on the mythology of the ethnic Warao and Pemon. This work was performed at several international festivals in Italy, France and Spain. Among the company’s other works are: Angel (1991), inspired by a story by Gabriel García Márquez, Stregagatto and Instantánea (Snapshot), which are also among the first plays in the company’s repertoire.

The company moved to Caracas in 1994. The following year, they produced the show Mujeres a cuatro manos (Women with Four Hands), which was well received, earning several awards including the prize at the Cannes puppet festival, the Golden Harlequin at the Nancy festival, and the Award for Best Performance at the Muestra Internacional de Títeres de Vall d’Albaida in Valencia (Spain).

From there followed De espantos y aparecidos (Of Fright and Ghosts), which was performed in Colombia, Finland, Greece, Israel, Norway and Switzerland, then Naku Circus (1998) at the London Festival. The group continued to tour abroad, to Taiwan, Japan, Germany, Brazil, and again in Colombia, where Sonia González taught courses organized by the Colombian Association of Puppeteers.

Among the company’s most recent works is A todo pecho, in which a single puppet is manipulated by two puppeteers acting along with their own bodies. It received the award for Best Dramaturgy at the international puppet festival in Prague in 2001.

(See Venezuela.)