Union Internationale de la Marionnette

Non-Governmental Organization affiliated to UNESCO

Espace membre

Directory Sheet


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

24 rue Saint-Lazare
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

The International Puppetry Institute is recruiting its training director

France, Notices - 7/05/2021

Recruitment for its National School of Puppetry Arts (ESNAM) Full-time month permanent contract. Starting as soon as possible from June 1, 2021.Application letter accompanied by a CV to be sent before May 15, 2021. The International Puppetry Institute (IIM) located in Charleville-Mézières (08), develops initial training activities through the National School of Puppetry Arts (ESNAM), […]

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The 12th promotion of Esnam (2018-2021) is unveiled

France, Notices - 13/04/2018

The National School of Puppetry Arts (ESNAM) is preparing to host its 12th promotion (2018-2021). It will begin its course in October 2018 while the 11th promotion will start its third year (2016-2019). ESNAM, which has just celebrated its 30th anniversary, will therefore host two promotions simultaneously for the second time. They will return to […]

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The Institut International de la Marionnette is seeking its director

France, Notices - 26/02/2018

After four intensive years of constant commitment serving the Institut International de la Marionnette and being part of a remarkable historical sequence where we have seen puppetry become a trade recognized by Law, the creation of a State-certified diploma for the puppeteer actor – the Diplôme National Supérieur Professionnel, the accelerated rhythm for recruitment at […]

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Admission by examination to ESNAM

France - 20/10/2017

The ESNAM (École Nationale Supérieure des Arts de la Marionnette) is a unique place of initial training, at the heart of the Institut International de la Marionnette, a place of exchanges and encounters, dedicated to training, research and the fostering of contemporary creation. Placed under the sign of creation, ESNAM gives pride of place to […]

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THEMAA au Festival Mondial des Théâtres de Marionnettes

France - 14/09/2017

The French UNIMA Center offers eleven meetings during the festival, some of which will be simultaneously translated to the attention of Anglophones. Le Grand débat à Charleville Coopérations culturelles transfrontalières #3 : zoom sur l’Allemagne Sunday, Sept. 17, 3:30 to 5:30 pm / Magic Mirrors, Place Ducale More information: http://www.themaa-marionnettes.com/actualites/grand-debat-a-charleville/ Label des arts de la marionnette : […]

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Festival of Avignon 2017

France - 12/05/2017

THEMAA, the French center of UNIMA, will be present at the Avignon Festival and, in a supplement of its magazin Manip, lists all the puppet shows present during the festival. THEMAA therefore invites all companies offering a puppet show (in all its forms) to the Avignon Festival to contact them.

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