The Ariel Theatre’s present name was given in 1991, by the former director, a remarkable politician and member of Romanian intelligentsia, Smaranda Enache, who wanted to enlarge the restricted field of puppeteering in Romania, as it was at the time, to the larger zone of experiment and artistic adventure.
Founded in 1949, in Târgu-Mureş/Marosvásárhely, a city of mixed communities (Hungarian and Romanian), by an Austrian writer and a Jewish sculptor, as an alternative puppet theatre, having one company that was, at the beginning, playing in both Romanian and Hungarian, the theatre becomes a section of the Hungarian State Theatre in 1950, only to break free again, in 1951, as an independent repertory puppet theatre.
The Romanian company was formally initiated in 1963, and since then the theatre has been functioning with two permanent ensembles: a Romanian and a Hungarian one. The Ariel Theatre is locally subsidized, and its 60 employees are, beside the 24 actors of the two
ensembles, two literary managers, technicians, workshops' personnel and other staff.
Throughout the years, the Ariel Theatre has become a real cultural centre, entertaining and educating both children and teenagers. In the long run, the audience enjoyed different kinds of plays: liric and parodic, baroque or commedia dell’arte, Romanian and Hungarian classic and contemporary authors, old and new, foreign and local. National and international festivals awarded prizes to the theatre, and benefited from the tourings of the Ariel's productions for children. In Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary, Pakistan, Jordan, France, Italy, Serbia, Switzerland, the theatre has been acclaimed for its artistically high standard and imaginative productions.
From 1998, when Gavril Cadariu, an innovative and enlightened director was appointed to run the theatre, Ariel has begun a new period in its life as a theatre. Adjusting both to the needs of renewal of the means and practice of theatre performance, and to the market economy, the Ariel Theatre runs programs that include, for the first time in its history, the explicit experimental dimension, with the contribution of the Dramafest Foundation (The Romanian New writing Programme) and The Foundation for the Development of Civil Society
Thus, the theatre is currently producing shows for both children and adults, addressing to all cathegories of public, also works with children with special needs, developing a programme of educational theatre, supported by The European Cultural Foundation, The Concept Foundation (a member of the Soros Open Network), and Dramafest Foundation, and is a partner in the
Regional Resource Center for Educational Theatre. The Ariel Theatre of Târgu Mureş encourages young directors and playwrights to find their voices, in the warm and friendly environment of this valiant theatre enterprise.
After 63 years of existence, in 2012, the Ariel Theatre moved into the former building of the Jewish Culture House, which had been built in 1927, and had been hosting ambulant theatre companies until 1945. The restoration was completed in 2012, resulting in a modern theatre that boasts the features of a historical monument.
The theatre comprises a hall, a studio (Ariel Studio) and a multipurpose conference room all of them ready to host a great
variety of theatrical projects.
Ariel Art Caffé is also located in the theatre, as well as the GOG-bookshop - a mansard-room full with short prose, diaries, memoirs and fairy tales with fabulous illustration for the little Ones.