Union Internationale de la Marionnette

Non-Governmental Organization affiliated to UNESCO

Directory Sheet

Last updated: 26-10-2023


Date of creation: 1993
Number of members: 320 (updated 2016)

14 rue de l'Atlas 75019 Paris
75009  PARIS  France

+33 (0)1 42 80 55 25



Brief history
France was a founding member of UNIMA with the 2nd UNIMA Congress held in Paris in 1929. When UNIMA was re-born in 1957 France was a participating member and UNIMA-France began in 1961. In 1972 the 11th UNIMA Congress was held in Charleville-Mézières. Jacques Félix served as General Secretary 1980-2000.
In 1993, the National Puppetry Center (CNM) and UNIMA-France united to become THEMAA (Association nationale des Théâtres de Marionnettes et des Arts Associés) From 2007 to 2010, THEMAA organized the “Seasons of Puppetry” in collaboration with the French Ministry of Culture. Four national organizations – l’Institut international de la marionnette, le Théâtre de la Marionnette à Paris, le CDN de Strasbourg et THEMAA – wrote a text “Pour une reconnaissance pérenne des arts de la marionnette” (Towards a sustainable recognition of the puppetry arts). This text permitted to open working groups about training, creation, production, artistic distribution, research, heritage, publishing, and communication. In 2010, THEMAA spread a petition for and by the profession which achieved 10 essential measures to support the field of puppetry. In the same year, THEMAA joined the UFISC (Union Fédérale d’Intervention des Structures Culturelles), a larger network.

Important projects and achievements
The activities of UNIMA France/THEMAA include public and professional events. The news sheet Mû, L’autre continent du théâtre [Mû, the other continent of theatre] was published until 1999, followed in 2005 by Manip, le journal de la marionnette [Manip, the puppet periodical], a quarterly newspaper sent with an agenda of puppetry news in France. Since 1996, professional meetings of the entire French territory have been held, and in 1999 a survey of professional puppetry structure was organized.  In 2001, the first “National Forum” explored the links between contemporary writing and puppetry. In 2001, THEMAA published the Carnets de la marionnette and the Encyclopédie fragmentée de la marionnette. General assemblies of the French puppet profession were held between 2007 and 2010. In 2008, an interactive website was created. Two exhibitions were held in partnership ?Marionnettes, territoires de creation? (2011 – 2013) and the exhibition “Craig et la marionnette” with the BNF (France National Library) (2008).

Upcoming events

Last news of the UNIMA Center


France, Notices - 30/11/2023

The next ESNAM entrance by examination (14th ESNAM class, 2024-2027) will take place in Charleville-Mézières (France) from 15 to 22 April 2024, with a start in September 2024. Online registration (application form): from Monday 8 January 2024 at 9:00am to Monday 5 February 2024 at 5:00pm (Paris time, UTC +1). Stages of the entrance by […]

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Entrance by Examination to the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts de la Marionnette (ESNAM)

France, Notices - 21/11/2023

From 15 to 22 April 2024 (14th class, 2024-2027) Charleville-Mézières (France) Online registration (application form) From Monday 8 January 2024 at 9:00am to Monday 5 February 2024 at 5:00pm (Paris time, UTC +1). An application guide is at candidates disposal to help you with this process. The examination Phase 1: Review of the applications (short-listing) Results sent […]

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UNIMA, an international meeting point at the Charleville-Mézières puppet theatre festival

UNIMA was present at the 2023 World Festival of Puppet Theatres, where the association organised various events enabling members from all over the world to meet around common themes and a convivial drink. A great international meeting place which welcomed nearly 500 people over 4 days. The delegation from Chuncheon, led by UNIMA South Korea […]

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Le Musée sentimental d’Eva Aeppli

France - 20/08/2022

The Centre Pompidou-Metz is devoting the first retrospective in France to the Swiss artist Eva Aeppli. Original, independent and profoundly free, the Swiss artist Eva Aeppli has long remained in the shadows. Although unclassifiable and singular, her production remains exceptional. Her drawings as well as her textile sculptures, elongated figures on a human scale, anchor […]

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MILIEU, by Renaud Herbin

France - 18/08/2022

MILIEU, by Renaud Herbin SAT. 24.09.22 – 16H SUN. 25.09.22 – 14.30 + 16.00 Perched at the top of a 3.70 m high castelet, Renaud Herbin manipulates the 2.20 m long strings of a puppet with a body made up of numerous joints and voids. This is an opportunity to observe the inanimate character and […]

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LA DANSE MACABRE (The Dance of Death)

France -

FRIDAY 16.09.22 – 4PM + 5PMSAT. 17.09.22 – 2PM + 3PM + 4PM + 5PMfollowed by a meeting with Michel Nedjar and Allen S. Weiss at 5:30 pmSUN. 18.09.22 – 2PM + 3PM + 4PM + 5PM Michel Nedjar’s Danse macabre is simultaneously a puppet theater and a cabinet of curiosities, a tableau vivant and […]

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The Institut International de la Marionnette is recruiting

The Institut International de la Marionnette is recruiting ITS TRAINING MANAGER for its Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts de la MarionnetteCreated in 1981, the Institut International de la Marionnette has trained many professional French and foreign puppeteers. At the end of a period of deep restructuring, it projects itself towards a new future, with the […]

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