Union Internationale de la Marionnette

Non-Governmental Organization affiliated to UNESCO


The Mariupol Puppet Theatre, situated not so far from the bombed Municipal Theatre, has been destroyed and its artists are dispersed in and around the martyr town of Mariupol. Information concerning their whereabouts is scanty.

The theatre was founded in 1995 by director Iryna Rudenko. It included a company of over twenty artists, apparently working basically with children. Eight hundred children visited the theatre each month for creative activities.

Director Rudenko is now struggling to re-unite the company, whether it will be possible in Mariupol or elsewhere.

As a sign of solidarity and encouragement, the ninth, bi-annual “Michael Meschke international Prize for the preservation and renewal of puppet theatre arts” is awarded to this Ukrainian company. The prize consists of 5,000 euros.