3rd International Conference on Training in the Arts of Puppetry


May 15-20, 2019 in Florianópolis, Brazil

The Third International Meeting on Training in the Arts of Puppetry will address the theme:

Staging and diversity of contemporary theatrical creation processes.

Traditional puppet theater such as the Indonesian, Indian, and Chinese shadows, the Chinese hand puppet theater, the Bunraku, the Pulcinella family, the puppi Siciliani, the Czech rod marionettes - to mention only a part of this vast territory - presents strictly defined forms, adapted to the puppet genre, with a fixed dramaturgical structure and a definite gestural vocabulary. In the traditional repertoire, stories and characters change while aesthetics and impact on the audience remain the same. The type of puppets - their physiognomy, their color pallet and their dynamics - is in perfect harmony with the type of dramaturgy that has been created for them. The puppeteers are committed to achieving the performance virtuosity so much appreciated by the public and the differences between artists are expressed in fine performing nuances and in the fine art aspect of the puppets. The staging, even when it is innovative, follows the codes of each of the forms. With respect to traditional puppet theater training, knowledge is often transmitted through master-student learning.

Contemporary Puppet Theater is situated at the other pole of creation. Inspired by the potential of its new expressive means, artists from the fields of dance, mime and the visual arts turned to puppetry. This encounter has given birth to new and spectacular forms, which combine the puppet with the body of the actor, which invented the  “body masks” and the fictional or imaginary body, and which converge at the intersection of puppetry, acting and mime performance. The imaginary invades the plateau. The staging changes its status; it becomes a conceptual act and the director, a creator.

What dramaturgy must we invent for a theatre that is constantly seeking its form and is continually changing? What will be the markers along the way for the author, the playwright, and the director? Should we create rules and handbooks? Could it be even possible? We know that there is no definitive truth.

Contemporary theater seldom starts with a text written for the stage. Its sources are often a literary text, a musical piece, a theme, an idea, and a desire to question reality. The dramaturgical structure is created for the show; writing and staging must work in a relationship of complicity, evolving together until the end of the creative process.

After having discussed the definition of puppetry and puppet theater in 2015, the pedagogy and the links between traditional and contemporary theater in 2017, the Third International Conference on Training in the Arts of Puppetry 2019 organized by the UNIMA Training Commission in collaboration with the Universidade do Estado de Santa Catarina, in Florianópolis and with the participation of academics, practitioners and students will examine different aspects of the current notion of directing:

• How to define the director? Its functions differ according to the processes of creation and are not definitive.

• How to teach directing? What directing? For what theater?

• What could be the pedagogy for a puppet theater in constant transformation? We should consider that today “the puppet” is born of a profusion of contemporary forms, produced with an overflowing inventiveness: how to approach directing and be able to teach it in this perspective of a theatre in permanent evolution?

We intend:

- To explore what is directing today, in relation to the diversity of the creative processes and the diversity of the dramaturgical forms.

- To explore the pedagogy (s) of directing. How does pedagogy meet the requirements of a theatre, which presents a broad diversity forms?

- To explore the history of the staging to show the various historical periods and the directors thinkers who, seeking to give substance to their shows, had deep reflections with respect to the aesthetics of the show, to the relationship between show and spectator and the impact that the show will have on it.

- To explore the importance (extension) occupied by the visual image in the contemporary theatre, question its functions in the dramaturgy of the show, and the relation with the current technologies.

For this purpose we propose work topics such as:

1. Conference on the evolution of the staging, its goals, its challenges, and the relationship between staging and dramaturgy.

2. The presentation of unique creative processes, linked to artistic personalities.

3. Practical workshops that show various pedagogical approaches to the teaching of staging.

4. Debates and round tables with the guests in the presence and with the participation of students and teaching artists.

The Universidade do Estado Santa Catarina), Florianópolis, will host the conference.

You can find more information on the UNIMA website.