The Caravan of Ten Words by Blanka Josephova, 2023 Puppets & Mobility scholarship holder

Blanka Josephova, a 2023 Puppets and Mobility scholarship holder, flew to equatorial Africa this year, to the town of Bubanza in the Republic of Burundi, for a real theatrical experience.

The texts to be performed on stage were written as part of the Caravan of Ten Words project by students from the University of Burundi: short stories, mixing prose and poetry, inspired by contemporary rural and urban life in Burundi.

Eight future teachers from the Sophia nursery school, with little or no experience of theatre or puppetry, were the performers. The project was based on the desire to offer something of European theatre, but not to force it, on the contrary, to draw inspiration from their traditional concept.

“It was a joy to observe how the atmosphere and attitudes change over the course of the seminar, how new ideas emerge from initial cultural misunderstandings, how the actors quickly tackle a new piece and gradually gain better control over the puppets”, said Blanka Josephova.

Entitled TIK TAK MONDE, the show was performed after a month of rehearsals, in front of the parents of the future pupils of the Sophia school.

After the performance, the audience stayed for a chat. Many questions were asked, including how puppet theatre could have a positive influence on their children’s education.

The performers, who are future teachers, were able to explain the specific positive effects of theatre education on children, which they had no idea about until a month ago.

Support the restoration of Massimo Schuster’s puppets!

On 23 September, with the support of the Fondation du Patrimoine, the City of Charleville-Mézières launched a public subscription campaign to restore the puppets and set pieces from the show Un chapeau de paille d’Italie by Massimo Schuster, a puppeteer and teacher at ESNAM.

In 2022, Massimo Schuster donated all his works to the Musée de l’Ardenne: 18 puppets, 13 ink sketches and a large oil on canvas. These works have been damaged by the passage of time and the various performances they have given, which is why the town and the Fondation du Patrimoine have joined forces to help restore them.

As a fervent promoter, developer and supporter of the art of puppetry, your help is invaluable in supporting this restoration. The aim is to build up the collections for the extension of the Musée de l’Ardenne dedicated to the puppet arts: the Maison des Marionnettistes.

Planned to start in the second half of 2024, the restoration operation will ensure that the puppets are better preserved over the long term and can be presented to the public. The aim of the two-year restoration project is to present the puppets at the 2025 World Puppet Theatre Festival.

To donate: