Dominican puppet theatre company. Teatro Sonrisitas (Little Smiles Theatre) was founded in 1991 and is directed by actress and puppeteer Dulce Elvira de los Santos in the Dominican Republic city of Santo Domingo. The members of the group are Rita Santos, Ernesto López and Dulce Elvira de los Santos; they have their own workshop where they create the puppets, scenery and where they rehearse their puppet shows. Among the aims of the group, the most important is to create a space to reflect upon and practise “puppet theatre art”, in search of a new and original creative language within their shows and performances.

From the outset, the company set up activities for children through their numerous workshops on theatre, puppetry, art and creativity for young people within the overall concept of “education through art”. Teatro Sonrisitas undertakes tours through different areas of the country, performing shows and running workshops as well as their performances in all areas of Santo Domingo.

Their touring repertoire includes: Cataplín Cataplán, La historia del fantasmita Gruñón (The Story of the Little Ghost Gruñón Grumpy), Titirimundi, La rebelión de los títeres (The Puppet’s Rebellion) by the Colombian writer Iván Alvarez, Juana y los peces (Juana and the Fish), El buqui, la ciguapa y el galipote by Reyna Disla, Chímpete Chámpata, also known as El pícaro burlado (The Mocked Rogue), and La calle de los fantasmas (Ghost Street), both by Javier Villafañe. Other Teatro Sonrisita shows include El camarón encantado (The Enchanted Shrimp), and Ay Papá, no me des.

Dulce Elvira de los Santos also founded and directs the Festival de Títeres de Santo Domingo (Puppet Festival of Santo Domingo), which was started in 1994, and to which groups from Cuba, Venezuela, Argentina, Colombia and other countries from the Latin America/Caribbean region and from around the world, are invited.

(See Dominican Republic.)