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

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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World Puppetry Day 2022

Dear National Centres, Dear Members, A moment of celebration is upon us! In 2003, UNIMA with your help launched World Puppetry Day. March 21 has become a day to celebrate the joy that springs from our imaginative use of materials, techniques and storytelling. This year’s theme is the Sea. The 2022 World Puppetry Day message […]

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The Institut International de la Marionnette is recruiting its director of the training course

The Institut International de la Marionnette is recruiting for its Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts de la Marionnette (National Higher School of Puppetry Arts) ITS DIRECTOR OF THE TRAINING COURSE The Institut International de la Marionnette (IIM) located in Charleville-Mézières (FRANCE), develops activities of initial formation through the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts de la […]

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AVIAMA 2022 Grants – Puppets and mobility

France - 14/11/2021

For the 4th consecutive year, the Association des Villes Amies de la Marionnette (AVIAMA) launches a mobility grant for projects in the field of puppetry. The deadline for applications is January 14, 2022. The results will be communicated on April 15, 2022. These grants aim to help travel and stay for anyone with a project […]

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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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