Țăndărică Puppet and Marionette Theatre was founded in 1945. Its first department, dedicated to marionettes, was led by the actress Lucia Calomeri, helped by the stage designers Elena Pătrăşcanu, Alexandru Brătăşanu, Lena Constante and Ileana Popescu. In 1949, Margareta Niculescu, the current Honorary President of UNIMA, at that time the new manager of the Union, laid the foundations of the theatre’s puppet section. In the same period performances were staged that imposed new ways of expression in the animation theatre: Humour on Strings, The Little Prince, The Book with Apollodor, The Three Wives of Don Cristobal, Me and the Dead Matter, Cabaret-issimo etc. The same theatre has hosted four editions (1958, 1960, 1965 and 1998) of the International Festival of Puppet Theatres. Țăndărică Theatre has been on numerous tours, attended festivals on all continents, being awarded with important creation and interpretation prizes which culminated in 1978, when it won the Erasmus Prize for “the outstanding contribution to the configuration of the cultural profile of the contemporary puppet theatre”. Thereby the Țăndărică Animation Theatre proved once more its innovative and original character in the animation art.
Between 1986 and 1999, Michaela Tonitza-Iordache was the manager of the theatre: under her guidance some important performances were staged, such as: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Assembly of the Birds, The Tempest. Moreover, puppet operas were staged for the first time: Cinderella, Bastien and Bastienne, The Barber of Seville, Dialogues, after Urmuz, but also performances that topped the bill for long periods of time: Puss in Buts, Harap Alb, Snow White.
In 2000, Călin Mocanu was appointed as the manager of the theatre, following a contest. Consequently he was elected UNIMA Secretary General in 2001 and is currently the elected President of UNIMA Romania and ASSITEJ Romania. The theatre reinforced a repertoire strategy in terms of contents, encompassing titles from the Romanian and world classic literature, like Păcală, The Goat with Three Kids, The Three Little Piglets, and contemporary dramaturgy: Who Are You?, Who’s Afraid of the Boogeyman?, Me, Oblio, The Snowman Who Wanted to Meet the Sun, The Paratroopers, The Street, etc.
Currently, Țăndărică Hall has a seating capacity of 300 seats; Anima Studio Hall, converted from an old warehouse into a studio, has a capacity of 50 seats and hosts animation theatre performances for teens and adults; “The Theatre in the Clouds”, an open-air theatre, with 100 seats, “Țăndărică Itinerant Theatre”, a mobile structure with 180 seats that allows us to perform around the districts/neighbourhoods of Bucharest in the same conditions as at our headquarters; and a permanent theatrical season, which began in 2010 at Grand Cinema and More – Mall Băneasa, an extremely visible public place. Țăndărică Animation Theatre was and is involved in partnerships with other theatres and cultural organizations, and has constantly proved its presence in the life of the capital city by enhancing its position and gaining an outstanding visibility.