Union Internationale de la Marionnette

Non-Governmental Organization affiliated to UNESCO

Directory Sheet

Last updated: 12-11-2019

UNIMA Poland – Polski Osrodek Lalkarski – Polunima

Date of creation: July 21st, 1961

c/o Arlekin Puppet Theatre 1 Maja 2 str.
90-718  Lódz  Poland

+48 42 632 73 85

+48 42 633 08 94



Brief history
POLUNIMA was founded on July 21st, 1961 as the Polish Centre of UNIMA. The establishment was preceded by years of co-operation of Polish puppeteers with foreign puppeteers. The contacts with UNIMA were initiated in the early Thirties by Jedrzej Cierniak, then associated with the Institute of Folk Theatres. Closer co-operation was established by Jan Izydor Sztaudynger, organizer and popularizer of puppetry in interwar Poland, author of the first book on puppetry to appear in Poland, “Marionettes” (Lvov 1932). After the Second World War, international co-operation was initiated by Henryk Ryl, founder of the Arlekin Puppet Theatre of Lódz. Ryl was elected member of the UNIMA Praesidium at the 5th UNIMA Congress in Braunschweig, 1960.
During the preparation of the 7th UNIMA Congress in Warsaw (1962), the Polish Centre of UNIMA was established. From 1972 to 1980 Poland was the headquarters of international UNIMA with Henryk Jurkowski serving as Secretary General. He was UNIMA’s President from 1984-1992. He also served as founding Editor-in-Chief of the World Encyclopedia of Puppetry Arts.

Important projects and achievements
POLUNIMA organizes and supports festivals, exhibitions, conferences and workshops; the promotion and exchange of theatre ensembles and actors; the exchange of manuscripts and the publication of international literature: for example, on the szopka,  “O szopce. Studia i szkice” by R. Wierzbowski; on history, “The History of the Puppet Theatre in Poland before 1945” by M. Waszkiel and “A History of European Puppetry” by H. Jurkowski; on technique, “The Rod Puppet Theatre” by A. Polakowski and M. Waszkiel; on theory, “Essays on Theory of the Puppet Theatres” by H. Jurkowski; and the series “Lalkarze” (34 books, each one devoted to an outstanding figure of Polish puppetry). It issues a magazine in Polish and English, “Teatr Lalek” (Puppet Theatre) and an information bulletin “Animator”.

Upcoming events

Last news of the UNIMA Center

37th International Theatrical Festival VALISE

37th edition of the International Theatrical Festival VALISE will take place 5 – 8 of June 2024 at the Puppet and Actor Theatre in Łomża. In recent years the Festival has undergone numerous programme changes, continually reacting to new trends in the contemporary theatre, social transformations and the history of the ever-evolving world. The festival […]

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36th International Theatrical Festival VALISE

Poland - 28/12/2022

We would like to kindly inform you that the 36th edition of the International Theatrical Festival VALISE will be held from May 31 to June 3, 2023 at the Puppet and Actor Theater in Łomza. For 35 years, the festival has matured, repeatedly undergone programmatic transformation, reacted to newer and newer trends in contemporary theater, […]

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35th International Theatrical Festival VALISE

Notices, Poland - 19/11/2021

Dear Friends! We would like to inform You that the 35th jubilee edition of the International Theatrical Festival VALISE will take place 9-12 of June 2022 at the Puppet and Actor Theatre in Łomża. We sincerely hope that after months of isolation and restrictions, we will be able to organize the entire Festival live, allowing […]

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