Romanian puppet theatre established in 1953 in Botoşani. Max Weber was its first artistic director. The Teatrul de păpuşi Vasilache (Vasilache Puppet Theatre) has had several directors, among them Viorica Weber (also a puppeteer, 1966-1971), the poet Lucia Olaru-Nenati, Mihai Elvădeanu, and Valentin Dobrescu, who gave a new orientation to the theatre and who established an important festival of solo puppet shows. Ion Puiu Stoicescu, Liviu Steciuc, Dan Frăticiu, Francisca Simionescu, Ildikó Kovács, and Maria Mierluț were among the many stage directors who worked with the theatre.

Among the theatre’s most notable productions are: Soarele furat (The Stolen Sun, 1981), a puppet opera by composer Cornel Fugaru based on the work by Maxim Asenov, directed by I.P. Stoicescu; Aventurile micii vrăjitoare (The Adventures of the Little Witch, 1983) by Ottofried Preussler, directed by Liviu Steciuc; Luceafărul (The Morning Star, 1989), a stage poem in images by Mihail Eminescu, directed by Dan Frăticiu, which won several awards. Prințesa vrăjită (The Enchanted Princess, 1997) by Ladislau Vorschi, directed by Valentin Dobrescu; Visul unei nopti de vară (A Midsummer Night’s Dream); Jazz Fantasy; and Desene animate (Cartoons) are among Vasilache Puppet Theatre’s most important recent productions.

(See Romania.)