The Białystok Puppet Theatre has been active since 1953, when a group of puppeteers, led by Piotr Sawicki, was granted a state subsidy. From then on the theatre – being a professional stage – has been in operation continuously, producing 3 to 5 new performances every theatre season, using the various puppet techniques (rod-puppets, glove puppets, string puppets and non-conventional forms), different forms of visual theatre, object theatre, mask theatre, drama theatre. 

The Theatre has been managed by, consecutively: Piotr Sawicki, Joanna Piekarska, Krzysztof Rau, Wojciech Kobrzyński and Wojciech Szelachowski, Marek Waszkiel and from september 2012 – Jacek Malinowski. Many distinguished Polish artists have cooperated with the Theatre, such as Jan Wilkowski and Adam Kilian, Jan Dorman, Leokadia Serafinowicz and Wojciech Wieczorkiewicz, Andrzej Dziedziul, Piotr Tomaszuk and Tadeusz Słobodzianek. 

The Białystok Theatre is one of the oldest Polish puppet stages to propose a puppetry repertoire for adults and which, as of 1972, regularly includes on its playbill works by the world’s grand literary authors: Boccaccio, Calderon, Rostand, Gogol, Bernhard, Różewicz, Szukszyn, Mrożek or Gałczyński. It is also the first Polish puppet theatre to have its premises especially constructed for its purpose, as in 1979, at the expense of the city, an especially designed building was erected. It contains three stages: the grand stage (200 seats), the small stage (100 seats), and rehearsal stage (40 seats). Over the past 30 years, the Theatre has also organized many national and international puppetry festivals, in particular the festival of solo puppeteers and the national meetings of puppet theatres.

In 1974 the Białystok Puppet Theatre called to life an actor’s studio which was a year later transformed into the Puppetry Art Department of the Warsaw Theatre Academy. Nearly all the actors of the Theatre are graduates of this school. They are also the core members of staff teaching young puppeteers at the Białystok Department of Warsaw Academy.  
Today, the Theatre’s activities specialize in three basic areas:
  • performances for children – stage adaptations of famous fairy tales and popular literature for children, in particular contemporary pieces, written with the puppet theatre in mind and produced in various dramatic and puppetry conventions;
  • performances for adults – a constant puppetry activity, unique in its character on a grand scale;
  • performances which seek new grounds and engage in experimentation – projects carried out on the studio’s stage, in cooperation with the youngest generation of puppeteers from the Theatre Academy in Białystok.
The Białystok Puppet Theatre is open to international cooperation, including in its offer theatre internships for young puppeteers, study projects and workshop meetings.