Union Internationale de la Marionnette

Non-Governmental Organization affiliated to UNESCO

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Festival Mondial des Théâtres de Marionnettes

Festival Mondial des Théâtres de Marionnettes
25 rue du Petit Bois
BP 249
8103  Charleville-Mézières

+33 (0)3 24 59 94 94



The World Festival of Puppet Theatres, founded by Jacques Félix in 1961, has made Charleville-Mézières the capital of puppetry.The festival of Charleville-Mézières is the biggest regular meeting place of puppet theatres in the world.Since its creation, the most famous companies, the most talented solo artists have performed here; and other actor/puppeteers have become famous performing in front of an enthusiastic publicIn a hugely festive atmosphere, hundreds of puppeteers and thousands who come to see the shows, take over the town: theatres, streets, parks are invaded by the crowd who rediscover the ancestral traditions of our art with each new Festival, and new territories are explored by comtemporary artists.A few figures:Over 100 000 people come to see the showsAround 100 companies for the official festival and in the street60 companies for the ” fringe ” festival.30 countries are represented, from all the continents.
About 150 national and international journalists cover the event, from main television channels, a dozen radio stations and more than 300 articles appear in the press.The reputation of the festival is a wonderful opportunity for artists and professionals from all over the world who can present their work and see shows in the best conditions.Many puppeteers have reached international status thanks to this festival, where talents are discovered and revealed.Whereas in the past the puppet theatre was considered as completely apart from mainstream drama, a contemporary approach places the puppet in the centre of performance art. The puppet may be reduced to its traditional form and role, but this is an art which is continually evolving and bringing new life to the Theatre.This Festival has created an environment where the profession can build its future.Charleville-Mézières, with the International Institute of Puppetry, created in 1981, the Higher National School for the Arts of Puppetry (ESNAM) which opened in 1987, and the headquarters of the International Union of the Puppet (Unima), can without contest claim the title of World Capital of the Puppet.