Union Internationale de la Marionnette

Non-Governmental Organization affiliated to UNESCO


Stephan Wunsch will give a workshop on improvisation with digitally controlled technical instruments, titled Workshop: Also you, robot? Or: Programmer – ethos and robot soul.

UNIMA – the oldest international theatre organization in the world – will be celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2019. As part of the celebration an extensive international project has been created, based on the UNIMA basic values linked to United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The project is divided into different parts and includes students and young puppeteers on the continents of Europe, America, Asia-Pacific and Africa.

Through workshops and residencies, the project is shaped. The culmination will be a presentation of four performances based on the same theme, one from each of these continents. The presentation will be held in Bali within the UNIMA Congress in April 2020.

The European part of the project – contains workshops led by internationally recognized artists in the field of puppetry and is open to young participants from all over the world. For those who participate in at least two of the project’s workshops, there is an opportunity to be nominated for the ensemble appointed to create the European production that will be presented in Bali.

The Workshop

Also you, robot? Or: Programmer – ethos and robot soul with Stephan Wunsch

The participants in this workshop will improvise with various digitally controlled technical instruments such as robots, drones, electric vacuum cleaners etc. An analysis of the material will be made, to discover its theatrical potential and how this can be used. The “new material“ will meet traditional puppets, explore the differences and new possibilities. Thus the participants can be aware of traditional techniques. The work will culminate in a series of short scenes, shaped by the meeting with these digital partners, still based on the old tradition of puppetry.

  • When is a drone useful in the theater and in which contexts is it relevant to use it?
  • What is new in the digital arena and what is just a repetition of the old question: When will something become someone? Who animates who? 
  • Is “artificial intelligence“ just animism or do we really meet a person? 
  • A playful-sensual exploration of subjectivity.

Stephan Wunsch, puppeteer, figurine creator, director; studied philosophy and German philology in Aachen. He learned puppetry and figurine creation from Jürgen Maaßen, Frank Soehnle and Neville Tranter. In 2003 he founded the theatre Rosenfisch. Since then he made numerous productions for children and adults; also workshops, direction jobs and figurine creations for other stages. Stephan Wunsch is also involved in the editorial work of the newspaper Das andere Theater.

The objectives

The objectives of the workshops within this project are, among others:

  • A training that allows a comparison of cultural practices and approaches on traditional techniques, how to investigate and explore them professionally.
  • Work collaboratively on tools that value the particularity of these traditions.
  • Contribute on a common framework that puts into value the competences and specificity of the practices and knowledge of the puppeteer.

Who can participate?

Puppeteers and other theatre professionals or educational from all over the world, who work regularly with puppet theatre.

Age: 18-30 years (those people who want to participate in the European creation). There will be a quota without age limitation for those people who are interested in the workshop, but not in the European creation.   

Where, when and other practical conditions

Place:  Theater der Nacht, Northeim, Germany
Dates: 25th of August to 1st of September
Working language: English and, if possible, German
Registration Fee: € 150 (UNIMA members) € 250 (not members of UNIMA) The registration fee includes:

  • Workshop attendance
  • Entrance to the Festival shows
  • Lunch and dinner

The participant pays for trips and his / her accommodation. The organizer will help with contact to cheap and good accommodation.

Organizer: The workshop is organized by the 4th German Puppet Conference in Northeim, in collaboration with Theatre der Nacht, UNIMA Europe Commission and UNIMA Germany.


The one who wishes to apply for the workshop is asked to send a page (no more) presenting his / her career and his / her motivation to participate in this workshop. Attach, if you like, two or three images of your artistic universe. The selection will be made by the teacher. The application should be sent to sekretariat@theater-der-nacht.de

Deadline: 10th August
Answer: 15th August

For more information: sekretariat@theater-der-nacht.de or europe@unima.org. For information on possible aid in your country for your trip, contact the UNIMA’s Youth Commission: youth@unima.org