The Puppet Theatre
L’opera dei Pupi (Puppet Theatre) is the traditional Sicilian theatre. What sets it apart from other forms of folk theatre are its peculiar mechanical movements and plot outlines, mainly inspired by epic-chivalric ideals. The first Puppet Theatre documented in Acireale dates back to 1870 when Giovanni Grasso, a puppeteer from Catania, came to Acireale to make himself popular. However, the one who left his mark on the tradition of Pupi in Acireale was the puppeteer Don Mariano Pennisi, who founded the first permanent theatre in 1887 (at first on via Tono and then on via Alessi, where it is still located). Don Mariano followed a very personal taste, introducing techniques and puppet sizes different from those of the Palermo and Catania schools. This great master puppeteer transmitted his passion to Emanuele Macrì, his adopted son. Active on the scene and great at improvisation, Macrì was able to turn any representation into a brilliant scenic event. The premises of Via Alessi are home to the permanent exhibition of the Collection of Pennisi – Macrì Theatre. The collection includes puppets, puppet heads, benches, bills and original Sicilian theatrical equipment.