Bystrica Puppeteers' Festival

Festival Bábkarská Bystrica
Contact: Iveta Škripková (f) Director
Telephone: 421 (0) 48 412 5623
Bábkové divadlo Na rázcestí, Skuteckého 14, 975 90 Banská Bystrica, Slovakia
421 (0) 48 412 5513, 421 (0) 48 412 5508, 421 (0) 48 415 2533
421 (0) 48 412 5623
Biennial (2010, 2012, 2014), September-October, 5 days

The Bystrica Puppeteers' Festival is an international festival which aims mainly to present contemporary forms of puppet theatre, including different puppetry techniques (mask theatre, natural object puppet theatre, shadow puppet theatre, etc) in Slovakia, the V4 and other countries, comparing the actual level of puppet theatre production of domestic and foreign companies (stage productions of the two recent years) and contributing to the development of this theatre genre.

Puppet Theatre at the Crossroads has been the main festival organiser for more than 20 years. During the festival’s first eight years it took the form of a national competitive festival, but then in 1992 the first foreign guests presented themselves - Teater Damiet Van Dalsum (Netherlands), Teatr Lalka Warszawa, Teatr Papiera and Ognia (Poland), Lélés Teatras (Lithuania), Sha Sha Higby (USA). From 1994 the Bábkarská Bystrica Festival turned international with the participation of theatres from the V4 countries, offering opportunities for creative confrontation and meetings between Slovak, Polish, Czech and Hungarian puppeteers. It was instrumental in the implementation of concrete Slovak–Polish, Polish-Czech and Polish-Slovak theatre projects and in reviving interest in the Hungarian puppet theatre art. In 2000, for the first time, guests outside V4 countries were present, namely Clastic Théâtre, Paris, Tempestant Théâtre, Marseille (France) with a the production of Theatre Massalia, Marseille. In 2002 the festival was held under the auspices of the International Union of the Marionette (UNIMA), the international society of puppeteers.

The Hašterica Award and the Awards of Puppet Bystrica Theatre Festival are bestowed at this festival.