In Memoriam Margareta Niculescu

The grand lady of the art of puppetry, Margareta Niculescu, passed away on August 19, 2018, at the age of 92. For decades, she was a leading figure who advocated for puppetry as contemporary art and cultural heritage. 
To the critical community, an important component of Niculescu’s achievement confirms the crucial engagement of intellect and analysis in the arts, and highlights the significance of maintaining its visibility through publishing. The high-quality journal Puck, an important source of information for the field, was for many years under the wings of Niculescu. The immense work to create WEPA, the World Encyclopedia of Puppetry Arts, was equally one of her dearest projects. It was first published in French, in a heavy and beautiful paper volume, and is today easy to access on the internet in English, a true treasure for all who are curious about puppetry. As theatre critic and scholar, I am impressed by and thankful for Niculescu’s tireless half-century of work to wind together theory and practice.
Her directorship of the Romanian puppet theatre Tandarica, modernist and courageous even in that country’s difficult times, led her to an open mind and clear sight of new landscapes of theatre. For decades, she was director of the school she created with Jacques Félix in the 1980’s at Charleville-Mézières, France. The school, École nationale supérieure des arts de la marionnette, continues as a vibrant training program for young artists in the wide domain of contemporary puppetry. Niculescu also was president of UNIMA, Union internationale de la marionnette, the eldest of sister organizations such as ASSITEJ and the International Association of Theatre Critics.

Margareta Sörenson,

President of the IATC