Bialystok Puppet Theatre (BTL – Białostocki Teatr Lalek) has been active since 1953, when a group of puppeteers, was granted a state subsidy. Since then, the theatre – being a professional stage – has been in operation continuously, producing between 3 and 6 new performances every theatre season, using various puppet techniques (rod-puppets, glove puppets, string puppets and other non-conventional forms)as well as different forms of visual theatre, object theatre, mask theatre and drama theatre.
Bialystok Puppet Theatre is one of the oldest Polish puppet stages to present a puppetry repertoire for adults. Since 1972 it has regularly included works of the world’s grand literary authors on its playbill, among them Boccaccio, Calderon, Rostand, Gogol, Bernhard, Rożewicz, Szukszyn, Mrożek or Gałczyński. It is also the first Polish puppet theatre to have premises constructed for its own specific purpose. In 1979, at the expense of the city, a specially designed building was erected. It contains three stages: the grand stage (200 seats), the studio stage (100 seats) and rehearsal stage (40 seats).
Today’s BTL specializes in:
shows for children – stage adaptations of well known fables and popular literature for children, especially contemporary works written for puppet conventions;
shows for adults – continuous activity in the field being an absolutely unique phenomenon
(most of the productions are done as cooperations with foreign artists, among them: Duda Paiva /The Netherlands/, Andreas Veres /Hungary/, Frank Soehnle /Germany/, Figurentheater Wilde & Vogel /Germany/, Janni Younge /RSA/, Kata Csato /Hungary/, Marek Zákostelecký /Czech Republic/);
experimental productions – projects carried out on the studio stage in cooperation with the youngest generation of puppeteers.
- founded as a state theatre in 1955
- working with approx. 100 people (among them 25 permanent actors)
- 4–6 new productions per season
- 550-590 performances per year
- 60.000 spectators per season