UNIMA-USA fulfills its mission in a range of formal and informal ways, but especially by encouraging and providing contacts to North American puppeteers traveling throughout the world and providing the same courtesy to international puppeteers traveling through North America.
A first for Nottingham, the Puppet Festival is a celebration of the artistry of puppets and puppetry along with the communities that inspire the stories they tell. The Festival has been put together through a partnership between Theatre Royal & Royal Concert Hall Nottingham, City Arts and Nottingham Trent University and made possible thanks to funding from Arts Council England and additional support from Nottingham City Council, Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature and Midlands3Cities.
Local, national and international artists, both upcoming and old-hands, will be bringing their talents and demonstrating their skills at locations across the city including the National Videogames Arcade, Nottingham Lakeside Arts, Broadway Cinema, Dance4 and the Malt Cross Caves as well as the partner venues.
The mix of shows includes the multi award-winning National Theatre production of War Horse, late-night puppet cabaret, political satire, as well as the retelling of classic stories, and family fun which includes imagined trips into space, a talking mushroom and a menagerie of cardboard animals. The performances will run together with talks and workshops for both aspiring puppeteers and professional practitioners. Jamie Anderson, son of Thunderbirds creator Gerry Anderson and Spitting Image’s Pete Sinclair, Philip Pope and Steve Nallon - the voice of Mrs Thatcher - will be amongst those talking about the artform of puppetry and the many different roles it has to play.
As well as bookable events, there will be lots of free events including Pinocchio Puppet-Making workshops, drop-in talks and a host of sights, sounds and fun at the Pop-Up Puppet Village which will make its home in the Old Market Square from the Friday to Sunday of the Festival, and the closing spectacle of the puppet parade.
The full programme, Festival information and booking for tickets can be found here, where there is also a sign-up to the e-newsletter
Want to perform at the 58th ICF in Croatia? Click here to learn more about this international festival and the application process! The festival lasts from June 16th- 30th, 2018. Applications are due February 1st, 2018.
The first festival was held in 1958, the result of the initiative and efforts of several children arts enthusiast. During the years Festival has turned into a big complex multidisciplinary multimedial cultural event, which not only displays but invites participation actively. It is a review of the best works for children as well as of the best works by children. The basic cultural and pedagogical justification of the festival is that it promotes aesthetical education of children and young adults, and develops all artistic forms of children creativity. The festival not only initiates but also stimulates many ideas in art forms for children and by children: dramatic and music arts, puppetry, film, literature and visual art. The festival has the full support of UNICEF and UNESCO and continuing patronage of the Croatian President.
Exciting news! Sesame Workshop has partnered with the International Rescue Committee to receive the first-ever 100&Change grant from the MacArthur Foundation. Their project will implement evidence-based, early childhood development intervention designed to address the “toxic stress” experienced by children in the Syrian response region—Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, and Syria. The project will improve children’s learning outcomes today and their intellectual and emotional development over the long term.
You can learn more about the grant and the project here.
Sesame Workshop is looking for talented puppeteers who are familiar with the Sesame Street style of puppetry to participate in the Sesame Street Puppeteer Workshop in 2018. Click here to learn more about this amazing opportunity!
UNIMA's International Festivals Commission offers sponsorship opportunities for festivals around the world. Click here to learn about the application process and see which festivals are offering sponsorships!
After several years of trying to balance my non-profit arts career and establishing myself in the puppetry arts, I chose to leave my full time job and commit to my career in puppetry with a focus on shadow puppets. Around that time, I saw an international workshop listed on an UNIMA-Europe web page which caught my attention. Teatro Gioco Vita was offering an international workshop, "The Soul of Things."
Teatro Gioco Vita designer Nicoletta Garioni leading a lecture on colored shadow puppets. Here, she demonstrates the use of glass paint on polycarbonate. Photos provided by Dustin Curtis.
I was immediately drawn to the concepts they proposed and the workshop timed with my plans of going abroad and building my experience. I decided to apply. I cannot stress enough how this opportunity changed my life and my career goals.
The workshop was intensive and introduced me to the way that Teatro Gioco Vita approaches shadow puppetry, both in the dramaturgy and in the construction of their puppets. I am still evaluating the impact this has had on my own work, and I am very excited to see how it plays out. The workshop started with understanding the relationship with the shadow through exercises, continued with an art history lesson in shadow work, had modules on puppet construction, and provided several performance opportunities. The entire workshop culminated with a twenty minute show built in collaboration with chosen classmates. I both premiered in Italy and was featured in a local Italian magazine!
Dustin and fellow student Stefano Ulivieri working with color application on their puppets. Photos provided by Dustin Curtis.
The biggest take away was the sense of community and family that I have established through this workshop. Not only was I welcomed and treated like a member of the TGV family, but I truly consider it a home away from home. The theatre welcomes past alumni to join upcoming workshops and to continue your own exploration while contributing to the current course being offered. The classmates I started with have become close and dear friends. We stay in touch and offer support in many things puppet.
My course included members from Sweden, Russia, Ireland, Malaysia, Japan, France, Germany, and many parts of Italy, including an American who recently moved to Rome (and also attended the O'Neill shortly after). Already, there is talk of working to bring each other to festivals and planning when we can expect to see each other again. I am proud to have such talented global peers.
None of this would have been possible without the support of the UNIMA-USA scholarship, and I will remain grateful of the investment made into my art and career. If you are considering applying, do it!
The Kenya Institute of Puppet Theatre (KIPT) is organizing the 9th International Puppetry Festival“IPfest ” Kenya 2018 which will take place in Nairobi, Kenya from 17th to 21th October 2018.
This will be the first time that International Puppetry Festival of this magnitude will be held in Kenya.
Alongside hosting the 9th IPFest2018, the Kenya puppetry fraternity will be celebration it’s Silver Jubilee Celebration – a celebration of 25 years of the existence of puppetry and folk media programmes for health, social justice and political change in Kenya.
Every aspect of the IPfest 2018is being designed with long term sustainability in mind and with a commitment to building partnerships between different embassies, cultural centres, theatre companies, governments and all stakeholders across the worldinterested in investing in the future of art for children and young people.
The 2018 festival theme is Towards Breaking Barriers. The theme, “ Towards Breaking Barriers” emanates from a conscious desire to deconstruct the idea of place and space of performances through cross-border and cross cultural mixed ability puppetry, physical and object theatre presentations.
The festival also intends to create a platform of expanding, sharing and enhancing skills and knowledge of Kenyan puppeteers as creative entrepreneurs. As such, IPFest2018 will seek to integrate and present multimedia and mixed ability puppet theatre works involving able and disabled people drawn from across the world, through a collaborative partnership aimed towardsbreaking social, political and economic barriers across the world.
We believe that hosting the 9th International Puppetry Festival 2018 will bring about increased awareness and enhanced bilateral relationship toward development of puppetry and artistic programmes through, Cross-Border and Cross Cultural Partnership
We invite you to this memorable event as we marks 25 years of the existence of community-based puppetry programs in Kenya.
For more information on how to participate, visit www.kiptkenya.org be in touch with us.
Phylemon Odhiambo Okoth, Director – Kenya Institute of Puppet Theatre
History of WEPA 1978-2017 The Online Encyclopedia in French, English and Spanish Encyclopédie Mondiale des Arts de la Marionnette World Encyclopedia of Puppetry Arts Enciclopedia Mundial del Arte de la Marioneta
The Union Internationale de la Marionnette (UNIMA) was founded in Prague, Czecholslovakia, in 1929. The organization is rich in history, friendships and achievements. Never, however, have any of the organization’s projects been so enthusiastically awaited nor demanded so much effort, dedication and financial resources as its world encyclopedia of puppetry arts (WEPA). And now it is freely available online in three languages! Whether one opens the Encyclopédie Mondiale des Arts de la Marionnette, the World Encyclopedia of Puppetry Arts or the Enciclopedia Mundial del Arte de la Marioneta, the reader has access to the broadest trove of information regarding puppetry, its history, practitioners, literature and influence ever available in one place. This great dream of UNIMA was initially conceived nearly forty years ago, and the course of its development is fascinating and worth retelling.
The idea of world encyclopedia of puppetry arts was born in 1978 within UNIMA’s Publication Commission. The impetus came from the Commission’s then president, Dezső Szilágyi, author, pedagogue and director of the Állami Bábszínház, the State Puppet Theatre of Budapest. It was he who assumed the preliminary work on the encyclopedia.
Then, in 1994, UNIMA’s General Secretary, Jacques Félix, entrusted the encyclopedia undertaking to Henryk Jurkowski, well-known historian, scholar, theatre critic and puppet theatre theoretician. As the encyclopedia’s editor-in-chief from 1994 to 2002, Professor Jurkowski developed the concept of what would eventually become a print version in French – the Encyclopédie Mondiale des Arts de la Marionnette.
In 1995, UNIMA published a leaflet publicizing the on-going project and, in 2000, with UNESCO's financial assistance it produced an illustrated brochure that elaborated on the effort, setting the tone for the encyclopedia project as a whole. Henryk Jurkowski then surrounded himself with collaborators on several continents, including UNIMA members and specialists in the field. By 2001, the team had completed hundreds of articles, nearly a quarter of the manuscript.
Meanwhile, in June 2000, the XVIII UNIMA Congress held in Magdeburg identified the encyclopedia as a priority project, which would involve the responsibility of its successive leaders. These included its presidents and general secretaries, most notably Margareta Niculescu and Miguel Arreche who secured the project’s foundations and ensured its continuity.
Subsequently, Thieri Foulc, a publishing professional with previous exposure to puppetry publications, was named the encyclopedia’s editor-in-chief. He assembled an international team of researchers, historians and specialists in folk traditions, curators, artists and puppet professionals, as well as translators. The intercontinental network expanded, and new regional managers were recruited. The entire manuscript for the first version of the encyclopedia was completed in February 2006.
Intended for a discerning public interested in the subject and not only for specialists, the text constituted an encyclopedic, historical, cultural and technical description of world puppetry. It was the result of innovative research and informed observations of scholars and practitioners. In short, this huge collection of articles brought together an unprecedented amount of information.
As proposed by Margareta Niculescu, the final editorial work was entrusted to the Éditions l'Entretemps directed by Christophe Bara. In June 2006, Massimo Schuster, the UNIMA President, and Miguel Arreche, its General Secretary, signed the partnership agreement with L’Entretemps. Over the previous thirty years, UNIMA had carried the effort with French Government funding and its own resources, but, in 2008, a grant from the Centre National du Livre in Paris, under the administrative supervision of the French Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication, made it possible to complete the encyclopedia.
In 2008, the XX UNIMA Congress in Perth elected Dadi Pudumjee the organization’s President and Jacques Trudeau, its General Secretary. They oversaw the completion of the encyclopedia’s first edition, and the hard copy Encyclopédie Mondiale des Arts de la Marionnette became available at the end of summer in 2009.
The official launch of the encyclopedia took place in Charleville-Mézières in France at the Foire du Livre (Book Fair) on September 25, 2009 during the Festival Mondial des Théâtres de Marionnettes.
In 2010, the task of preparing a second edition of the encyclopedia was entrusted to the new president of UNIMA’s Publication & Communication Commission, Karen Smith. It was expected that this new second edition would update and expand the number of articles in the encyclopedia, as well as appear in all three of UNIMA’s official languages – French, English and Spanish. Then, too, at its 2010 meeting in Dordrecht, the UNIMA Council decided that this revised, extended, and multi-language edition would be published online.
This decision to mount the encyclopedia on the Internet was based on several considerations. First, as a living document, the encyclopedia could be more readily corrected and new articles could, over time, be added. Second, the encyclopedia would be freely available to a global audience, essentially anyone who had access to the Internet. Third, as an online publication hyperlinks would make navigation of the encyclopedia easier and facilitate its use as a research tool. In short, by providing an online, trilingual edition of the encyclopedia UNIMA would make a major contribution to the world of puppetry. Thankfully, the French Government shared this vision, and its moral and financial support allowed the project to move forward.
The task of preparing an online publication posed new challenges. As the editor-in-chief, Karen Smith assembled a team of puppetry and theatre scholars that included Penny Francis, John McCormick, Dr Kathy Foley, Dr John Bell, among many others, which jointly decided how to create this new online resource. Authors and area specialists involved in preparing articles for the initial French edition were contacted and asked for their input with regard to correcting errors and updating those articles in which they had expertise.
Compared to the early years of the encyclopedia’s genesis, the preparation of the second edition benefitted from the ease of access to international scholars now afforded by the Internet. One result is that the new edition of the encyclopedia is much more representative of world puppetry in general, with around two hundred new articles, many of which provide more visibility to Africa, Asia, Latin America and Pacific nations and these regions’ puppetry.
The team preparing the English version of the enyclopedia was led by the editor-in-chief and included twenty-five translators and editors from the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada and Australia, as well as many puppetry scholars, university professors and graduate students. The English team of editors was also charged with soliciting new articles from researchers in the field and for ensuring that these were scholarly additions to the publication. In addition to updating articles and adding new articles, bibliographies were updated and prepared for each article in the three language versions.
The team preparing the translations in Castilian Spanish were students of the Department of Translation and Hispanic Philology at the University of the Basque Country in Northern Spain, supervised by Nekane Ramírez de la Piscina Audicana, professor and professional translator and interpreter, who also served as the “linguistic editor” of the Spanish version. Dr Francisco Cornejo served as the Spanish version’s “scientific editor”.
Among others involved in the revised Spanish version were Adolfo Ayuso, Carles Cañellas, the authors, translators and editors who contributed to the original edition, and the late Miguel Arreche and Idoya Otegui for their tireless work on this long-term project!
The task of correcting and updating the French version as well as translating and inserting the two hundred new articles began in 2015. Coordinated by the editor-in-chief, the principal French translators included Edmond Debouney, Marthe Adam, Lucile Bodson, Jacques Trudeau and Julie Postel. Idoya Otegui must be thanked for her supporting role.
Images that could be used to illustrate the 1,262 articles comprising the second edition were initially solicited in 2014. However, only in 2016 was it possible to begin preparing captions in the three languages. This has proved to be an onerous task, and the work will continue as new images are received from the field.
Raphaèle Fleury provided the initial technical direction required to put the encyclopedia online and coordinated the solicitation of proposals from design companies. The final versions of the articles in all three languages, complete with their hyperlinks, were transmitted in 2016 and 2017 to the principal webmaster, Cédric de Mondenard. He then collaborated with the Spanish studio URLearning and its lead developer Miguel Moro, to design a complex but pliable architecture which will ensure the durability and broader long-term development of this online endeavour.
Finally, on September 22, 2017, in Charleville-Mézières, France, during the presidency of Dadi Pudumjee and general secretariatship of Idoya Otegui, the online trilingual encyclopedia of world puppetry arts was launched!
No document the size of the WEPA is ever perfect nor is it complete. Fortunately, the online WEPA is a living document and more amenable to correction and change than those in printed form. Over time, articles can be corrected and updated and new articles can be incorporated. To ensure the reliability of the WEPA’s contents, a “scholarly editorial” or “scientific” committee will be created to review and edit new contributions to the encyclopedia.
Again, UNIMA would like to express its deep appreciation to all of the people and institutions that have contributed to the preparation of the online WEPA. We are particularly grateful for the enduring support extended by four French government entities that believed in this undertaking – the Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication, the Région Grand-Est, the Département des Ardennes, and the city of Charleville-Mézières.
Karen Smith Editor-in-Chief, WEPA Online 2nd Edition July 2017
WEPA 1978-2009 is based on Jacques Trudeau’s preface for EMAM