UNIMA’s Summer School starts at Topic


Four courses and three performances will be offered from June the 27th to July the 4th


Organized by UNIMA Spanish Federation together with Unima Basque Country and Topic, the Summer School has two objectives: first of all, training for professional puppeteers; this is fundamental as most Spanish professional puppeteers are self-taught.  There isn’t any official education program to satisfy the needs of professionals in the Art of Puppetry in the whole of Spain, as opposed to other countries.

And secondly, training for theatre actors in the Puppet Theatre discipline, introducing them to a highly satisfying artistic melting pot, as well as to education, where more and more teachers are interested in this discipline as a helpful tool for their jobs. Art lovers in general can find new and original ways for their personal and artistic development.

A complete look at the world of Puppet Theatre in four courses

The main course “The power of the puppet” -from June, the 27th to July, the 4th- will be taught by Nevil Tranter, from Australia. Tranter (he can be seen in this picture in a scene from “Punch and Judy in Afghanistan”) is a genius in the Art of Puppetry. Creator of his own unmistakable style, he can evoke unforgettable images in the audience by mixing the oldest theatre techniques with the most avant-garde technologies.

The name of Juan Crego’s panel is ‘Digital and Audiovisual Technologies in theatre set design’ - (June 27th and 28th). Professor Crego will give us both a theoretical and practical approach to this increasingly important field in the development of puppetry, it will be completely new for many of us.

Greta Bruggeman’s panel will be offering ‘The construction and life of puppets’ – July 1st-4th. Bruggeman is part of the Arketal Company, currently based in Cannes. She is a set designer, puppeteer, director… She’s obsessed with one thing: how to bring a toy to life. This obsession has led her to teach not only puppeteers, but also actors, musicians, set designers, painters or sculptors.

“Puppets and Children’s Literature” (June 29th, 30th) is the course included in the programs at  both Topic’s Summer School and the Basque Country University’s Summer Courses. After the success of the collaboration between Topic and the University, we have increased our offer to two courses and two experts who will examine the relationship between puppets and literature from different angles.

On the first night, the Basque writer Fernando Marias, a very prolific author both for adults and children, will explain the process he has been following to bring a literary character to life, to make it real, mainly with the help of social networks.

On the second night, it will be Rodorin, puppeteer, promoter of story-telling events, inventor and multi-disciplinary artist…, who will show us how to bring characters to life, with the use of paper, clothes, objects, toys, books and above all, sensitivity and imagination.

Representation of four shows

Three puppet theatre plays will be programmed during the celebration of the Summer School at Topic, open both to participants and to the general public. This activity, apart from being enjoyable, will contribute to fostering reflection and therefore learning.

June the 27th, at 20.00h, the Ibero Teatro company from Elche presents ‘The rat’, a dramatized lecture for adults.

June the 29th, at 20.00h: ‘Punch and Judy in Afghanistan’, by Neville Tranter from ‘Stuffed Puppet’, a great Australian artist based in The Netherlands and the main panelist on this year’s Summer School.

June the 30th, at 19.00h: ‘Retablillo de títeres y cuentos’, by Rodorin, a series of short stories by contemporary authors and oral traditions.

July the 1st, at 20.00h: the Mimaia Company present their recent debut ‘Adios Bienvenida’, as a result of their three month Creative Residency at Topic last year. The result is a beautiful play for all audiences.

For more information


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