Polish university level puppet theatre school created in 1975 to continue the work of the Actors’ Studio for the Puppet Theatre (Studium Aktorskie Teatru Lalek) that previously worked with the Białostocki Teatr Lalek (BTL, Bialystok Puppet Theatre), on the model of the Actors’ Studio for the Puppet Theatres (Studium Aktorskie Teatrów Lalkowych, SATL), in Wroclaw (Wrocław).
The founders of the school were Krzysztof Rau, director of the BTL, and Jan Wilkowski, first dean of faculty. Wilkowski was succeeded by Krzysztof Rau, Jan Plewako, Tomasz Jaworski, Wiesław Czołpiński, Wojciech Kobrzyński, Marek Waszkiel and Sylwia Janowicz-Dobrowolska. In the 1980s, the teaching of stage direction for the puppet theatre was added to the basic curriculum, a first in its kind in Poland, and it was initially directed by Henryk Jurkowski, followed by Wojciech Wieczorkiewicz. In 1990, the two teaching units were joined into one dedicated to the art of puppetry with two specializations: actor-puppeteer (nine semesters) and stage direction (ten semesters).
At the Academy a theatre with its own stage presented shows by students as well as those of visiting artists. The graduates of the Theatre Academy of Białystok are the dominant influence on the art of puppetry in Poland.
Since 2002, the International Festival of Puppetry Schools, “Puppet-no-Puppet” (Międzynarodowy Festiwal Szkół Lalkarskich “Lalkanielalka”), is organized every two years by the Theatre Academy of Białystok.
- Akademia Teatralna im. Aleksandra Zelwerowicza. 75 lat kształcenia dla teatru [The Aleksander Zelwerowicz State Theatre Academy. 75 Years of Teaching for Theatre]. Warszawa [Warsaw]: Akademia Teatralna im. Aleksandra Zelwerowicza, 2007.
- Warszawska Szkoła Teatralna. Szkice i wspomnienia [Warsaw Theatre School. Sketches and Memoirs]. Warszawa [Warsaw]: Państwowa Wyższa Szkoła Teatralna im. Aleksandra Zelwerowicza, 1991.