The 11th international meeting of art university students Gaudeamus Theatrum on object theatre

The Drak Theatre in Hradec Králové welcomed thirty art university students from the Czech Republic (Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, KALD DAMU, Poland (Akademia Sztuk Teatralnych in Wroclav), and Bulgaria (National Academy of Theatre and Film Arts „Kr. Sarafov ”), who took part in the Gaudeamus Theatrum international meeting. The students participated in the workshop that focused primarily on work with objects, puppet principles, and possibilities of perception of object and puppet theatre. The workshop was led by two instructors, famous authors and puppeteers Ariel Doron and Olivier Rannou. Their week-long work culminated in the show for the public in the Drak Theatre Studio.

The students were divided into two groups working primarily with existing and seemingly useless objects. What can the object represent, how can we relate to it, how can it relate to us? When and how does it become a puppet? They elaborated on these issues at exercises led by instructors, developed situations and etudes, improvised with the objects, and tested various forms and possibilities in animations.

The workshop week also featured a conference called Puppet Theatre – Public Affair? Ariel Doron, as well as puppeteers and art directors of a few Czech alternative and puppet theatres (Tomáš Procházka, Tomáš Jarkovský, Pavla Dobromvská a Pavel Štourač), presented their work there. The main object of the discussion was politics and engagement of theatre and theatre schools, the establishment of puppet theatre for adults, and the issue of definitions and limits of puppet theatre; does puppet theatre really have to feature a puppet or is puppet theatre defined by puppet principles and thinking? As Ariel Doron said, puppeteering and puppetry are more of the philosophy and theatre language he uses in his work, which can result in a show that does not contain any puppets, yet it is a puppet or object performance.

Source: articles by Martina Marková and Alexandra Ratajová on

photo: Milan Hajn

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