Union Internationale de la Marionnette

Non-Governmental Organization affiliated to UNESCO


On Saturday, June 24th, 2023, Roman Rudenko, director of the Marionette Theater of Mariupol, Ukraine, received the Michaël Meschke Prize at the Museum of Puppetry Arts (MAM) in Lyon.

In 2022, this Prize had been given to Iryna Rudenko and her theater “in support of the revival of the Marionette Theater of Mariupol and its continued creativity,” but it couldn’t be personally handed to her. Since Iryna Rudenko has passed away, the award was presented on Saturday, June 24th, to the new theater director, her son Roman Rudenko, during the opening of an exhibition dedicated to Michaël Meschke at MAM.

This event was coordinated by Clément Peretjatko, President of the UNIMA Europe Commission, in the presence of representatives from the Ukrainian community in Lyon.

A big thank you to the Gadagne Museums for their support, as well as to Lucile Bodson, treasurer of UNIMA, who worked to connect Michaël Meschke with the UNIMA Europe Commission, providing expertise for the award presentation.

Thanks also to Mikhail Urytskyi, Daria Ivanova, and Ruslan Neupokoyev from UNIMA Ukraine, who organized an initial meeting between Ukrainian students from Kyiv and Roman Rudenko at the Kyiv Puppetry School during Clément Peretjatko’s visit to Ukraine in February 2023, an essential step that made the Prize ceremony in Lyon possible.

Here’s a video showcasing the story of the Mariupol Theater in Ukraine