Established in 1974, the 22-member Maribor Puppet Theatre is a repertory theatre, staging mainly new works from contemporary Slovene children’s and youth literature. The company performs at its own venue, gives performances around Slovenia and tours abroad.
Since 1990, the theatre organises the Summer Puppet Pier Festival in Maribor and has also hosted several editions of the Slovene Puppetry Biennial. It is engaged in extensive collaboration with festival partners all over Slovenia as well as in Austria and Italy.
In late 2010, the theatre moved into the reconstructed former Minorite convent on the bank of the Drava River. With 2500 m2 and two stages (320 seats), it became the largest puppet theatre in Slovenia. The reconstruction was designed by ATELIERarhitekti and received the Plečnik Award. Later on, the same studio refurbished the adjacent former Minorite Church into a hall that holds around 300 spectators. The new venue has been managed by the Maribor Puppet Theatre since 2015.
The theatre also organises its own visual arts exhibitions, or hosts those by other partner organisations, in the basement of the Minorite Church and in the lobby of the theatre.
The theatre produces six premières annually, combined to form a conceptual unity. The repertoire constantly examines and explores the art of puppetry and fuses classical puppet technology with modern approaches. It includes interpretations of domestic and international classical texts but focuses on adaptations of Slovene children’s literature. Although the bulk of the programme is aimed at children, the theatre also produces performances that address young people and adults. The theatre frequently collaborates with acclaimed theatre directors. Apart from regular productions, it also offers a wide variety of additional art education activities and carries out innovative projects in cooperation with various institutions, independent organisations and individuals.
The theatre is often awarded at festivals, such as the Summer Puppet Pier Festival, Mini Summer – International Festival for Children, the Slovene Puppetry Biennial, and appears at international festivals, such as the Austrian Puppet Festival ANIMA, the Festival of Puppet Theatres in Rijeka (HR), etc.