Theatre Century – Traces and Attitudes during the 23rd edition of Bábkarská Bystrica Festival
/Banská Bystrica, 7. 9. 2022/
Puppet theatre developed in Slovakia from moving figures used for religious ceremonies, through folk customs, touring puppeteers, club theatres to professional theatres. In addition to children, puppet theatre began to appeal to adult audiences. It started using different types of puppets, gradually moving to open puppet guiding. In addition to anti-illusion, the method is governed by playfulness, metaphor and the partner relationship between actor and puppet.
The puppet theatre section, on display at the National Science Library in Banská Bystrica at Lazovná Street, is based on the exhibition prepared by the Theatre Institute in Bratislava for the Year of the Slovak Theatre in 2020. The exhibition marked the centenary of the Slovak National Theatre and the 190th anniversary of the first amateur theatre performance on the territory of the present-day Slovakia. Our exhibition is designed in two lines. The primary one presents the history of puppet theatre in Slovakia. The secondary line is dedicated to Faust, the most popular text among touring puppeteers. Faust has also found its place in the repertoire of contemporary puppet theatres. Visitors will be drawn to the world of historical and contemporary puppets and tiny theatres, rarely seen in such a form in one place and time.
The beautiful puppets are on loan from the Museum of Puppet Culture and Toys in the Castle Modrý Kameň, from the Museum of the Theatre Institute and from the Puppet Theatre at the Crossroads in Banská Bystrica. Exhibition curator: Barbora Krajč Zamišková, puppetter.
Exhibition opening takes place on September 8 in 4p.m. Exhibition is open to the public during working days from September 8 to October 21, from 10.00 to 16.00 (until 15. 9.) and from 10.00 to 17.00 (from 16. 9.). The main festival program of the 23rd edition of Festival Bábkarská Bystrica lasts from September 26 to October 02! Full program is available at www.babkarskabystrica.sk.
Everyone is welcome! Main convenors of the exhibition are the Theatre Institute Bratislava, Slovak National Museum – Museum of Puppet Culture and Toys Castle Modrý Kameň and Festival Bábkarská Bystrica 2022. The Theatre Institute is a state-funded organisation established by the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic. The exhibition was created in cooperation with the National Science Library in Banská Bystrica.
The Festival Bábkarská Bystrica 2022 is supported from public funds by the Slovak Arts Council, and has been also made possible with the financial support of the Banská Bystrica Self-Governing Region. Teatrálie is supported by the City of Banská Bystrica. The main organisator of the festival is Puppet Theatre at the Crossroads in Banská Bystrica. The main media partner is the Radio and Television Slovakia (RTVS). Puppet Theatre at the Crossroads is established under the Banská Bystrica Self-Governing Region.
(Jaroslav Voľanský, BDNR lecturer in dramaturgy)
European puppet theatre and creative learning
/Bratislava, Banská Bystrica, 21. 9. 2022/
The current edition follows a four-year break, including the pandemic that made it impossible to offer the 22nd Festival edition.
Bábkarská Bystrica – Theatre for Every Day is held from Monday to Sunday for all age agroups and spectators in theatres across Banská Bystrica: in the Puppet Theatre at the Crossroads, the Studio Dance Theatre, as well as in a few schools – Elementary School of the Free Slovak Broadcaster (Slobodného slovenského vysielača), in Elementary School at Ďumbierska 17, The Andrej Sládkovič Grammar School, and the Academy of Arts. The showcase will also reach additional points of interest, such as the Urban spot and the square Námestie SNP.
The Festival for all age groups and spectators features 30 performances, 24 new titles for children, young people and adults created by theatre groups from 9 European countries: Czech Republic, France, Germany, Norway, Poland, Slovenia, Switzerland, Ukraine, and the hosting Slovakia.
The overarching theme, the diffusion of creative learning into the life of culture and schools, sets a 3-line Festival structure:
- Working Festival is held at schools from Monday to Friday with each day dedicated to a different age group.
- Exclusive festival offers extraordinary productions for adults from Monday to Saturday.
- Diverse Festival is the weekend line. From Saturday to Sunday, it brings various puppet productions for the whole family.
The Festival includes three creative working sessions at schools. Led by theatre lecturers from the Czech Republic and Slovakia, they will present theatre methodologies and techniques to creatively enhance teaching and encourage creativity.
International panel discussion Education through Theatre is held in the Puppet Theatre at the Crossroads on Wednesday, 28 September. Held under the patronage of the Theatre Institute in Bratislava, it features distinguished speakers from 5 European countries and a subsequent plenary discussion.
Presenting examples of good practice and know how in the schooling system in their home context:
- Ms Ragnhild Tronstad, Norway, Chief Advisor for Theatre Arts, Kulturtanken;
- Ms Špela Šinigoj, Slovenia, theatre lecturer & dramaturge of the
Slovenian National Theatre, will present the Cultural Bazaar project;
- Ms Tintti Karppinen, Finland, pioneer of drama education, award-winning theatre lecturer.
Discussing current state of informal learning and potential for cooperation between schools and theatres in Czech and Slovak context:
- Ms Jana Nechvátalová, Czech Republic, head of lecturing department,
Theatre DRAK, Hradec Králové;
- Mr Silvester Lavrík, Slovakia, playwright, author and director of
The Dezider Kardoš Elementary School of Arts.
The aim is to open the themes of cultural and aesthetic literacy. Following the example of other European countries, we intend to give all children an opportunity to attend theatre and be given elaborately conceived chances to develop cultural and theatre literacy.
A Festival not to be missed:
- Distinguished puppet ensembles from abroad and Slovakia in one place at one time.
- Smorgasbord of the crème de la crème – theatres for all age groups, from toddlers to adults, performances with puppets, objects, masks, physical theatre, video mapping, sign language, etc..
- Multiple debuts at Bábkarská Bystrica and in Slovakia:
- Cirka Theatre (Norway) with an exceptional show Garage;
- Ljubljana Puppet Theatre (Slovenia) with award-winning production Somewhere Else;
- extraordinary Traffic music (France) with a one-man show for children Let’s Go, Kiki (the production won Moliére – the supreme French award for work for children and young people);
- Ukrainian production Who Is in The Park? with sensory interactive performance;
- Academia Teatro Dimitri (Switzerland), school of puppetry, movement, physical theatre with a production of Sini.
- Special attraction – Puppet Clinic from Wroclaw (Poland) brings giant puppets in the performance of Cirkus Tarabumba.
- Festival exhibition Theatre Century – Traces and Attitudes at The National Science Library that holds the exhibition made in cooperation with the Slovak National Museum – Museum of Puppet Culture and Toys, the Theatre Institute in Bratislava (open until 21 October);
- Creative working sessions led by theatre lecturers from the Czech Republic and Slovakia for teachers and others interested, focusing on theatre techniques and methodologies in teaching, and the potential of theatre in the development of emotionality and critical thinking
- Know-how exchange with Europe’s utmost puppeteers during post-performance Q&As led by theatre professionals.
- Discovery of themes related to creative thinking
The festival Bábkarská Bystrica received the 2017 EFFE quality award by the European Festival Commission, thus becoming one of its 26 laureates. Thousands of festivals across genres from all over Europe take part in the competition. Bábkarská Bystrica received the European award of excellence for the concept Bábkarská Bystrica TOUR. The Festival carries on travelling to schools to reach the audience.
Advancing the concept, the 23rd edition of Bábkarská Bystrica is held across the city and at a number of schools – Elementary School of the Free Slovak Broadcaster (Slobodného slovenského vysielača), in Elementary School at Ďumbierska 17, The Andrej Sládkovič Grammar School, and the Academy of Arts.
Additional venues include the Festival host, the Puppet Theatre at the Crossroads, as well as the Studio Dance Theatre, and additional points of interest, such as the Urban spot and the square Námestie SNP.
Partners & donors
Bábkarská Bystrica is held under the auspices of Mr Ján Lunter, the Chairman of the Banská Bystrica Self-Governing Region.
Bábkarská Bystrica 2022 is supported from the public funds by the Slovak Arts Council.
The Festival has been made possible with funding from the Banská Bystrica Self-Governing Region.
The City of Banská Bystrica has given support within the framework of the Theatralia project.
The main Festival convener is the Puppet Theatre at the Crossroads in Banská Bystrica.
The main Festival associate is the Theatre Institute in Bratislava.
The main media partner is the public broadcaster Radio and Television Slovakia.
The Puppet Theatre at the Crossroads is founded by the Banská Bystrica Self-Governing Region.
Puppet Theatre at the Crossroads
Skuteckého 14, 974 01 Banská Bystrica
Phone: +421 907 807 999 (mobile), +421 48 412 55 13 (landline)
Jakubovo námestie 12, 813 57 Bratislava
Phone. : +421 2/20487 102, 103
23rd edition of Bábkarská Bystrica Everyday Theatre In light of European puppet theatre and creative learning drew to its end
The international festival of contemporary puppet theatre Bábkarská Bystrica ended on Sunday afternoon, 2 October 2022, with The Cabinet of Miracles or Orbis Pictus, a performance by the Naive Theatre Liberec. The Festival stretched over seven days and across a number of venues in two Banská Bystrica: Puppet Theatre at the Crossroads and Dance Studio, in four schools – Primary School of the Free Slovak Transmitter, Elementary School at Ďumbierska 17, The Andrej Sládkovič Grammar School and the Academy of Arts. Performances were also held in Urban Spot and on the SNP Square.
The 8 venues hosted a total of 31 performances, 23 new titles for children, young people and adults, created by theatre ensembles from 9 European countries: the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, and Ukraine.
Pursuing the leitmotif of the 23rd edition – the dissemination of creative education into the life of culture and schools – the Festival was divided into three lines:
The Working Festival was held at schools from Monday to Friday with each day dedicated to a different age group. From Monday to Saturday, the Exclusive Festival featured exceptional productions for adults. The weekend Diverse Festival brought diverse puppet productions for the families. Spectators could choose from a wide range of contemporary forms of puppet theatre, puppets, objects, masks, physical theatre, video mapping, character language, etc..
For a number of international theatre companies, the Festival marked their debut at Bábkarská Bystirica, as well as in Slovakia: Cirka Theatre from Norway with an exceptional show Garage, the Ljubljana Puppet Theatre with an award-winning production of Somewhere Else, the French Traffic Music with one-man-show for children Let’s Go, Kiki that received Moliére – the foremost French award for creating for children and young people. The Ukrainian production with a sensually interactive performance Who Is in the Park? also made a debut at Bábkarská Bystrica. Klinika Lalek from Wroclaw (Poland) with their performance Cirkus Tarabumba using giant puppets was a major attraction.
The programme included discussions with the audience led by specialists on different topics related to education through theatre. A total of 29 discussions (22 with children of all ages, 7 discussions with adult performances) were led by 8 professionals from Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
The Festival drew together 2,500 spectators, 36 professional observers from 6 European countries, and 175 performers.
For the first time, the Festival programme offered at schools three creative working sessions dedicated to drama education. Theatre Classic in Graphic Novel (in cooperation with the Theatre Institute in Bratislava) and the 4th Floor were led by Barbara Jurínová and Veronika Kořínková-Willems (SK), lecturers from EduDdrama in Bratislava. The third session was the Forum Theatre led by the theatre lecturer Michaela Váňová (CZ). The workshops presented theatre methodologies and practices that will creatively augment teaching and support creative learning. The sessions drew 57 teachers from Banská Bystrica and across Slovakia.
On Wednesday, 28 September 2022, an international conference and a plenary discussion on Learning through Theatre, held at the Puppet Theatre at the Crossroads, was convened in cooperation with the Theatre Institute in Bratislava. The conference brought together 45 participants from theatres and schools, an distinguished lecturers from 5 European countries: Ragnhild Tronstad from Norway – chief advisor on theatre at Kulturtanken; Špela Šinigoj from Slovenia – theatre lecturer and dramaturge at the Slovenian National Theatre, who presented the project Cultural Bazaar; Tintti Karppinen from Finland – pioneer in drama education, award-winning theatre lecturer and teacher; Jana Nechvátalová from the Czech Republic – head of the Theatre Lecturing Department at the Drak Theatre in Hradec Králové; and Silvester Lavrík from Slovakia, director of The Dezider Kardoš Elementary School of Art.
The speakers shared their experience in learning and education through theatre in the school system in their home countries. The discussion about the state of education through theatre in Slovakia and the possibilities of cooperation between the Ministry of Culture and Education at all levels of administration proved of utmost importance. The participants agreed to launch a theatre cultural forum to promote education through theatre in the impending reform of education in Slovakia. We have fulfilled the Festival intentions to reflect the themes of creative learning.
Festival exhibition Theatre Century – Traces and Attitudes made in cooperation with the Slovak National Museum – Museum of Puppet Cultures and Toys, the Theatre Institute in Bratislava and The National Research Library in Banská Bystrica is open until 21 October at the National Research Library in Banská Bystrica
During the Festival, 6 issues of the Festival daily Fest-in were published, as were 5 pre-festival and 5 festival podcasts on learning through theatre at home and internationally. The Festival also benefitted from the input by partner schools and 15 volunteers.
Festival Bábkarská Bystrica was held under the patronage of the Chairman of the Banská Bystrica Self-Governing Region, Mr Ján Lunter.
Festival Bábkarská Bystrica 2022 was funded from public finds by the Slovak Arts Council.
Festival has been made possible with financial support from Banská Bystrica Self-Governing Region.
The project Theatralia, funded by the city of Banská Bystrica, was held within the framework of the Festival on the SNP Square.
The main convenor of the showcase if the Puppet Theatre at the Crossroads in Banská Bystrica.
The main collaborating partner of the Festival is the Theatre Institute in Bratislava.
The main media partner of the Festival is Radio and Television Slovakia (RTVS).
The Theatre is founded by the Banská Bystrica Self-Governing Region.
Festival Bábkarská Bystrica is one of 26 European laureates of the EFFE award (2017).
Puppet Theatre at the Crossroads
974 01 Banská Bystrica, Slovakia
landline.: +421 48 412 55 13
mobile phone: +421 907 807 999