Theatre For Social Change


The Palancho children’s puppet troupe was established in 2003 by Metsamor’s “Family and Community” NGO. For over a decade, the troupe has entertained children while also instilling in them positive principles for healthy living. 


“Palancho” performers at the International Festival of Puppet Theatres in Yerevan, 2015


The puppet troupe specializes in plays with a civic educational accent, as well as performances of traditional folk stories which have a moral to the story.  More than 40 children have been involved in the troupe; among these have been children with behavioral issues or who have had a  police record for delinquency. Coming from dysfunctional families, these performers have been empowered through their involvement. They all ended up performing better in school while improving their behavior and self-confidence.

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 Children of Tavush region enjoying the very first puppet performance in their lives played by “Palancho” troupe, 2015

Throughout Armenia, thousands of children have never seen puppets or had toys. Many of these children are exhilarated by Palancho’s performances and thus these messages have made a memorable impact.  The children themselves prepare each performance, together with the costumes and decor which are made from scratch (often from discarded materials).  The troupe is directed by Grigor Hovhannisyan, who has devoted his life to the art of puppet-making and puppet theatre. Palancho’s benefit performances extend to many vanues, including kindergartens, schools, orphanages, juvenile detention facilities, town squares as well as old age homes. The troupe has received many national and international awards. 

Nowadays, Palancho is training its fifth generation of young actors, while some of the former students have married each other and now are bringing their own children to watch the performances of the puppet theatre. 


Below is a short film about the puppet troupe, produced by the ‘Manana’ Youth Educational Cultural Center.

The “Family and Community” NGO of Metsamor is a joint program of the Tufenkian Foundation, Armenian  Apostolic Church – Armavir Prelacy, WCC Armenia Round Table Foundation, UMCOR and PH International.

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