H. Tumanyan State Puppet Theatre
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Address: 4 Sayat-Nova Ave., Yerevan
Working days: Monday-Sunday
Working hours: 11:00-17:00
Yerevan State Puppet Theater after Hovhannes Tumanyan was founded on June 1, 1935 and used to operate adjacent to the Theater of Young Spectator. The founders of the theater were performer Sofia Bejanyan, painter Gevorg Arakelyan, actors Pavlos Boroyan and Araqsya Arabyan. The first director was Varya Stepanyan.
The creative path of the theater started with the performances of “Naughty Petik” and “The Dog and the Cat.” In 1937 the theater took part in the All-Union Festival of Puppet Theaters and performed Tumanyan’s “The Master and the Servant.” The theater got the second prize. The festival was held in Moscow.
The theater was developing and it needed professionals to guide it along its way. In this respect, people who were specialized and skillful in puppet art and performances were invited. Among them were performer Pavel Yakshin from Moscow and the art director of Leningrad Puppet Theater Boris Shunaev. They both contributed to the theater’s development.
Within the years 1941-1948 the Russian group used to function in the theater as well, and the performances were being staged in both groups. During the years of World War II Nairi Zaryan’s “Most Beastly,” Miguel de Cervantes’s “Don Quixote” and other works were staged. In 1947 Shunaev staged Jonathan Swift’s “Gulliver’s Travels.” It was something new in the ten year activity of the theater. Two years later Hovhannes Tumanyan’s “Giqor” was staged, and it as well came with interesting solutions.
In 1950 the theater was closed and the staff used to work as a puppet ensemble in ArmConcert. During those years “Kashchey the Deathless” was staged.
The theater was reopened on July 27, 1957 as a separate theater on Lenin Avenue in building 43. Yervand Manaryan was appointed chief director, and Flora Grigoryan – chief painter. New people were involved in the theater’s staff. The theater opened its doors on January 30, in 1958 with the performance “Two Friends.” It was followed by years long productive work.
In 1975 the theater was moved to its present-day building, which can be found on Sayat-Nova Street. The new stage gave new opportunities. In 1976 a performance for the adult spectator was staged. It was called “Glorious Galatea,” a comedy based on Greek mythology. It was then followed by Hakob Paronyan’s “Honorable Beggars.” The performance was titled “Floral Street 2” and was a real success and triumph for the theater as they managed to introduce a classical author, recreate the environment peculiar to Constantinople and overcome the linguistic articulation of Western Armenian.
In 1978-1985 Yervand Manryan was appointed the theater’s chief director. He staged Hovhannes Tumanyan’s “Invincible Rooster,” which received various prizes in international festivals. In 1998 Ruben Babayan became the theater’s chief director.
The theater to the creation of which a great number of people have contributed functions until today and until today warmly welcomes kids and adults, alike.