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.

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