Union Internationale de la Marionnette

Non-Governmental Organization affiliated to UNESCO


Call for francophone texts for puppetry

Deadline for sending texts extended to 31 December.


The Enfants Sauvages company was founded in 2014 in Charleville-Mézières by Alan Payon. In 2018, after several shows, notably with the Festival Mondial des Théâtres de Marionnettes (FMTM), Les Enfants Sauvages created #Comme des Sauvages, the first highlight dedicated to hybrid arts in Charleville-Mézières.

During the first French confinement, in order not to go crazy, we took the saving decision to make the most of it. How did we do it? By launching an idea that until then was quietly germinating in our minds. Here it is:

A call for texts for authors who write for or with the puppet.

This call for texts will be relayed in all the French-speaking world thanks to our network of international partners in order to allow the authors and the puppeteers to meet! We launched our appeal on September 24, during the FMTM professional meetings!

The project is spread over two seasons, 21/22 and 22/23. The first one will be dedicated to the study and the selection of the received texts, the second one will allow the creation of the winning texts and the edition of a book compiling 10 of the 50 received texts.
These two seasons will be punctuated by cultural events promoting our call.

How does it work?

1) Theme / Rules

To echo what we have just experienced, all of us, collectively, but also to resonate with the practice of puppeteers who have always proposed other modes of representation, the theme of this first call will be “Something else is possible ».

– Anyone writing in French (or something similar – all mutations – transformations – delirium of the language – all patois, creoles – all music and accents are welcome…) can compete.
– The text must be intended for puppetry (only one text per author) and must not exceed 45 minutes in reading (we invite you to cut, couic couic!)
– The author will have to download and fill in the presentation form of his or her work, justifying the puppet aspect of it (form to be downloaded from September 24 on www.compagnielesenfantssauvages.org)
– We commit ourselves to read the first 50 texts received
– After November 30th, it will not be possible to register or to send your texts

2) First 30 readers

We will read the first 50 texts received from all over the world, for this purpose, with the help of the Théâtre Halle Roublot of Fontenay-sous-Bois, we have constituted 10 groups of 3 readers coming from the world of puppetry and/or contemporary writing, whether they are students in art schools, artists in companies or regular spectators.

(We take this opportunity to thank them all!)

Each group will read 5 texts and will have to classify them in order of preference following a reading sheet provided by us. This will allow us to establish a top 10.

We were inspired by other reading committees, those through which the texts of authors circulate. With this project, we want to continue the reflection around the writings for the puppet.

3) A committee of experts

In order to choose three winning texts, this top 10 will be entrusted to a final selection committee composed of ten recognized personalities of the world of puppetry and contemporary writing:

– Jacob Brindamour, co-director of the company les Sages Fous (Quebec),
– Anne-Françoise Cabanis, director of the FMTM from 2008 to 2020,
– Jean Cagnard, author
– Angélique Friant, director for the company Succursale 101, co-artistic director of the Orbis Pictus festival,
– David Girondin-Moab, director for the company Pseudonymo, co-artistic director of the Orbis Pictus festival,
– Cécile Givernet, director, co-director of the Théâtre Halle Roublot,
– Alan Payon, in his capacity as founder of this call for texts,
– Didier Plassard, professor of theatre studies at the Paul-Valéry University of Montpellier, founder of the PuppetPlays platform,
– Vincent Munsch, director, co-director of the Théâtre Halle Roublot,
– Lionel Navarro, director of the TEC Festival of Montpellier,
– Luc Tartar, author
– Emilie Valantin, author, director, actress and visual artist for the Emilie Valantin company.

The three winning texts will be worked on in 22/23. A prize of 1 500 euros and/or a writing residency will be offered to the authors.

From this moment on, authors will have until November 30th to send their texts. Remember that we will only read the first 50 texts received.