Italian cultural association created in Ravenna in 1981 with the goal of “promoting knowledge, documentation, study and research on puppet theatre (Teatro di Figura), its techniques and its languages, in Italy and throughout the world”.

The documentation centre of the Centro Teatro di Figura (CTF) consists of a library (books and print media) and archives of Italian and foreign companies and festivals, as well as photographic archives and a video library. It represents a source of documents of utmost importance for the knowledge and conservation of the cultural patrimony established through the ages by the figurative expression of the theatre of animation.

The publication by the CTF of Figura da burattino (1984) and In punta di mani – Mappa del teatro italiano dei burattini e delle figure (At Hand’s Reach: A Map of Italian Theatre of Puppets and Figures, 1991) has brought to light the richness and variety of puppet theatre in Italy, which has itself been considerably developed since the 1980s.

Beginning in 1985, the CTF published the bimonthly journal Burattini (Puppets), which examines the many aspects that puppet theatre has taken on over the course of its evolution. This journal, which is no longer in print, offered theoretical research, analyses of productions, artist biographies, research on historical figures and on “masks” (maschere, stock characters) and their creators; it presented construction techniques for puppets, both glove puppets and string puppets, all illustrated with photographs.

The most lasting contribution of the CTF is the festival Arrivano dal Mare! (They Come From the Sea!), which is held every summer in Cervia, south of Ravenna, and which provides a showcase for puppet theatre productions from all over the world.

(See Italy.)


  • McCormick, John, with Alfonso Cipolla and Alessandro Napoli. The Italian Puppet Theater – A History. Jefferson (NC): McFarland & Co., 2010.