- Independent Journalism From Today's Armenia
 September 5 , 2003 

Back in the Fairy Tale Business: Puppet Theater opens after reconstruction

Two stars prepare for the theater's opening night.

Tomorrow (September 6), after two years of reconstruction the Yerevan State Puppet Theater will welcome its little audience to the first show of this theatrical season.

The Puppet Theater is the first among cultural centers benefiting from Lincy Foundation's multi-million dollar project to renovate museums and theaters in Armenia.

The Puppet theater was founded in 1935, and has had a home on Tumanyan Street since 1975. It has not been renovated since that move nearly 30 years ago.

"It was very difficult to work at the theater as it lacked most of the basic needs for work. We had very few opportunities to make our shows more interesting, because of poor technical equipment," says director of the theater Ruben Babayan.

Today the theater is equipped with modern sound and light technology, which will make performances more exciting and of good quality. Now the stage is mechanical, where both puppet and dramatic performances could be performed.

Children and parents can now sit together in the 305 seat hall, but now they will be sitting at the same height thanks to high and low chairs. Before, parents where sitting apart from their children at the end of the hall. The important part of the theater, where performances get their first breath, are the wings, where now actors can enjoy their rest in comfortable rooms and even take showers.

Puppeteers will be working in a refurbished 300-seat theater.

The Puppet Theater has always been a place where children feel as if they're in a colorful fairy tale. Sometimes the fairy tale becomes so real, the children join in, making remarks or criticism.

"It's rather more difficult to perform for children than for adults. The theater is completely false, but it demands from actors to be totally true, otherwise children won't tolerate the lie and they will talk about it, even during the performance," says Babayan.

Babayan recalls situations that just aren't encountered in adult theater, but are frequent at the Puppet Theater. Sometimes, for example, the children will try to help the hero of the fairytale. And once, a little girl brought a sweet to one of the puppets and said "I love you very much. Take and eat this."

The theater has a rich museum of handmade puppets and soon some 300 Armenian-made puppets and others from many nations will be exhibited in the first floor lobby .

Through September, shows will be performed only on Saturdays and Sundays (at 300 drams - about 60 cents - per show). After October shows will be performed every day except Monday.


According to Agnes
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Wooly work

Near her home in the center of Yerevan,Flora Sarkissyan, like many Armenian housewives after the season of sheep shearing, prepares wool that will provide warmth when a sunny September day is but a memory.



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