A Guide to the 54th International Puppet Theatre Festival PIF

10 09 2021

54th PIF, poster

The 54th International Puppet Theatre Festival PIF will take place in Zagreb from 17 to 23 September. See the festival program bellow:

Friday, September 17th

20.00 h KUC Travno GRAND OPENING OF THE 54th PIF (invitation only)
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, Branko Mihaljević Children Theatre Osijek and Joza Ivakić City Theatre Vinkovci, Croatia

Dramatization: Hermína Motýlová, Petronela Dušová
Translation: Maja Lučić
Director: Petronela Dušová
Set and puppet design: Miroslav Duša
Assistant set designer: Lorna Kalazić Jelić
Costumes: Lorna Kalazić Jelić
Music: Ivica Murat
Stage movement: Maja Huber
Light design: Igor Elek
Video projection: Dražen Golubić
Assistant director: Aleksandra Colnarić
Cast: Areta Ćurkovć, Maja Lučić, Ivana Vukićević, Aleksandra Colnarić, Đorđe Dukić, Gordan Marijanović, Srđan Kovačević, Tena Milić Ljubić
About the show: Beauty and the Beast is a romantic and mysterious fairy tale for the whole family in which the power of love overcomes fear and prejudice. To date, this fairy tale had many different adaptations for film and stage. This performance is based on the dramatization of František Hrubín, which the creators fully adapted into a performance that’s enchantingly timeless and contemporary. The story caries a great metaphor of life. One’s real beauty does not lie in one’s appearance but in one’s heart. As all fairy tales go, the one in the wrong learns something and the good is rewarded.
Age: 7+
Language: in Croatian

Saturday, September 18th

11.00 h Tkalčićeva Street, Ban Jelačić Square, Cvjetni Square, Zrinjevac Square
 PIFKO’S PROCESSION (children and adults)

17.00 h Zrinjevac Pavillion
STOP MAKING CIRCUS!*, Kindertheater Fraunhofer, Germany
Music: Ari Mog
Director: Martina Veh
Text: ensemble, William Shakespeare, Johann Wolfgang von, Goethe, Lorenzo da Ponte
Stage design: Vlado Král
Cast: Zuzana, Robert Erby
About the show: A clown performance without clowns, with Goethe, Mozart and Shakespeare.
In this performance, we will witness the collision of the dreams and hopes of a nervous actress, an overworked theatre technician and a frustrated theatre pianist.
A dreamy play without dreams... And perhaps the clowns will appear at the end. The stage was designed by a Slovak artist Vlado Kral. He is known for his animation films and the abstract colour design of his stage works.  Ari Mog, a piano player and a composer of Italian origins, has a way of conveying the emotions of clown theatre in a striking atmosphere of sound images.
Duration: 45 min
Age: 5+
Language: in German, English and Croatian

LGL, The Sky Above, photo: pif.hr18.00 h KUC Travno
THE SKY ABOVE, Ljubljana Puppet Theatre, Slovenia
Authors: Tin Grabnar, Tjaša Bertoncelj, Tadeja Pungerčar
Directed and conceived: Tin Grabnar
Dramaturgy: Tjaša Bertoncelj, Nina Šorak
Puppet design: Jasna Vastl
Music: Mitja Vrhovnik Smrekar
Violin: Pavla Smrekar
Set design: Tin Grabnar
Sound effects design: Mateja Starič
Language editing: Mateja Dermelj, Tina Malič
Puppet design assistant: Nastja Miheljak
Set design consultant: Sara Slivnik
Lighting design: Kristjan Vidner
Lights: Kristjan Vidner
Cast: Anita Gregorec, Lovro Finžgar
About the show: With the performance, director Tin Grabnar and other members of the creative team aim to raise awareness about the causes and effects of climate change, about the interconnectedness of events and people’s behaviour across the globalised world, and about the power of the individual to change things for the better. The Sky Above takes us where few people have set foot, where the living conditions are different from what we are used to, where forests no longer grow, and where life has adapted to one of the most extreme environments on Earth: the Arctic, the kingdom of the polar bear, a landscape of sea, covered most of the year in a thick layer of ice and snow. This is also an area of high biodiversity, one telling new environmental stories every day. The main protagonist is Nanook, a polar bear. Having just climbed out of his shelter, Nanook is taking a curious look around and making his first steps across the white plain, snow crystals giving way under his paws. A long and challenging journey lies ahead of him, and its fate also depends on us...
The performance is created in co-production of: Ljubljana Puppet Theatre, Mladinsko Theatre, University of Ljubljana, Kino Šiška Centre for Urban Culture.
Age: 5+
Duration: 40 min
Language: in Slovenian with Croatian subtitles

18.30 h Zrinjevac Pavillion
THUMB SIM, THUMB TAM*, Mali Teatar, Croatia
Text: Silvija Šesto
Director: Davor Dokleja
Dramatization: Igor Baksa
Music and rhythm: Nikola Švenda
Actor: Igor Baksa
About the show: The play based on the text of the illustrated short story by Silvija Šesto – Thumb Sim, Thumb Tam – is performed by the actor not only with words, but also by various other means of narration, of which the use of rhythm and the technique of body percussions dominate. It is a story about the thumbs of a boy named Darko, which often fought throughout his childhood, dividing the boy into two. Tolerance, diversity, the need to unite, overcoming personal turmoil, friendship and togetherness are just some of the topics dealt with in this layered text.
The aim of this play is to introduce children to ways of playing without toys or screens. Ways that arise from the most basic tools for playing – arms, legs, face, body and voice.
Duration: 35 min
Age: 3+
Language: in Croatian

20.00 h Forum Gallery
Opening of the exhibition: THE SKETCH. THE STORY., Puppets Occupy Street Festival, Romania (children and adults)

Sunday, September 19th

The Dog That Couldn't Bark, photo: pif.hr11.00 h KIC
THE DOG THAT COULDN'T BARK, State Puppet Theatre - Plovdiv, Bulgaria
The performance is based on the fairy tale by Gianni Rodari
Director: Veselin Boydev
Stage design: Christina Stoilova
Music: Ivan Garbachev
Cast: Daniela Teneva, Dimiter Nikolov, Nataliya Vasileva, Rumen Karamanov
About the show: A tale about a little dog, abandoned in a bag. He is alone in an unknown place and with nobody to teach him how to bark. Along his journey, the doggy has many unexpected encounters – some funny, some dangerous… But in the end, he sings his own song. Like a real dog! The story is filled with music, humour and surprises.
Age: 5+
Duration: 50 min
Language: in Bulgarian with English subtitles

16.00 h KUC Travno, Park
MY PUPPET, puppetry workshop (for elderly)

17.00 h Zrinjevac Pavillion
STOP MAKING CIRCUS!*, Kindertheater Fraunhofer, Germany (5+)

The Emperor's New Clothes, photo: Boštjan Lah18.00 h ZPC
THE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES, Maribor Puppet Theatre, Slovenia and Rijeka City Puppet Theatre, Croatia (6+)
Based on the story by H. C. Andersen
Director: Zoran Petrovič
Art designers: Toni Soprano, Monika Pocrnjić
Dramaturge: Marek Turošík
Reviewer: Metka Damjan
Costume designer and author of the videos: Toni Soprano
Music: Josip Maršić
Light design: Toni Soprano, Andrej Firm
Master of light and video: Andrej Firm
Master of sound: Jure Auguštiner
Puppet design: Monika Pocrnjić, Toni Soprano
Set design: Lucijan Jošt, Branko Caserman, Nina Šabeder, Toni Soprano, Monika Pocrnjić
Cast: Uroš Kaurin, Tilen Kožamelj k. g.
About the show: Children play in an old abandoned textile factory. Ropes, fabrics, threads, lamps and shadows become their toys. They tell each other stories and imagine a world where the factory is reopened and their parents have to go back to work. The only way for that to happen in the real world is to persuade the emperor to reopen the factory. But maybe there’s another way: deception.
The original puppetry performance is an adaptation of the world-famous Hans Christian Andersen story. This is not only an exciting play, but also serves to introduce children to the topics defining the modern world: politics, consumerism, globalisation and the fight for a better life. The story tries to entertain the children while contemplating on the world in which they are growing up.
Age: 6+
Duration: 45 min
Language: in croatian

20.00 h KIC
Shattered Childhood, photo: AUKTHE NEXT GENERATION
: student's performances, Academy of Arts and Culture in Osijek, Croatia
SHATTERED CHILDHOOD*, Vanja Čiča and Lorenco Tolić
Authors and performers: Vanja Čiča, Lorenco Tolić, Andrija Krištof, Marijin Kuzmičić
Menthors: izv. prof. artD Maja Lučić, doc. art Tamara Kučinović
About the show: Shattered childhood is the finally puppetry exam in the third year of the undergraduate Acting and Puppetry study programme of the Academy of Arts and Culture in Osijek. This emotional story about war and the horrors it brings was based on the motifs of the book We Too Experienced War, a collection of children’s essays, stories, letters and desires, all written during the Homeland War in Slavonski Brod. At the heart of the story are a brother and sister Karlo and Marija, who, after more than twenty years, return to the cellar of their family home where they spent the hardest days of the devastation of their home town. In a cellar full of memories, they reminisce about both the awful and beautiful moments that marked their young lives.
Age: 12+
Duration: 65 min
Language: in Croatian

20.00 h ZKM, Polanec
STOREYS*, Zagreb Youth Theatre College, Puppet Studio, Croatia
Puppets and set design: studentska grupa Lutkarskog studija Učilišta ZeKaeM-a / the student group of the Puppetry Studio at the ZeKaeM
Assistance in set design:  Miljenko Sekulić, dugogodišnji suradnik / Miljenko Sekulić, long-time associate
Artistic-educational guidance: Natalie Murat Dean
Voice recording: Marija Farčić, Matija di Giorgio
Lighting: Milan Kovačević
The Great Puppet animation: Filip Siretz
The Great Puppet voice: Matija di Giorgio
Cast: Leonora Brajković, Hanna Jovanov, Klara Jovanov, Tea Toplak, Nika Pribanić, Vedrana Iva Rimac, Filip Siretz, Lucija Katarina Šešelj, Hana Šimunić, Iva Toplak, Korina Vekić
About the show: The play is based on the motifs from the short stories by the Swiss author Peter Bichsel, which the young puppeteers tried to translate into the medium of a puppet. The peculiar characters from Bichsel’s stories inspired the students to create their own puppets, which they placed in their confined space and attempted to devise possible relationships between them.
The dramaturgical link between all of the stories became Bichsel’s story Storeys which envisages a house/building as the subject of the story and, thus, brings Bichsel’s way of seeing the world closer to the puppetry perspective familiar to us, where the object of the story on set takes on the main role in the story.
Age: children and adults
Duration: 40 min
Language: in Croatian

Monday, September 20th

Thumbelina, photo: pif.hr11.00 h KUC Travno
THUMBELINA, Split City Puppet Theatre, Croatia
Based on the fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen
Director and Dramaturge: Branimir Rakić
Puppet and set design: Luka Duplančić
Composer: Joško Koludrović
Puppet technology: Nenad Keč
Cast: Andrea Majica, Ivan Medić, Milana Buzolić-Vučica
Also participating in the performance: Željana Cvitanović, Zdravko Radovniković
About the show: In this puppet dramatization of one of Hans Christian Andersen’s most famous fairy tales, we will meet a small creature named Thumbelina who, regardless of her size, does great things. Despite the many obstacles on her journey, which serves as a metaphor for growing up, the tiny and fragile Thumbelina shows great perseverance, determination and courage, without sparing herself in that part of life that calls on our empathy – helping others.
On the road to finding her world and someone similar to her, Thumbelina successfully overcomes the first fears of being separated from her loved ones, but she also overcomes the influences of others around her, who she does not allow to stop her in her search.
Age: 3+
Duration: 40 minuta
Language: in Croatian

12.00 h KUC Travno, Park
STRETCHY LITTLE DRAGON, puppetry workshop (children and adults)

Fairi Tale About Lost Time, photo: pif.hr18.00 h ZPC
FAIRY TALE ABOUT LOST TIME, Puppet Theatre in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Director and author: Tamara Kučinović
Dramaturgical associate and assistant to the director: Nikša Eldan
Puppet and set designer: Alena Pavlović
Puppet technology: Alena Pavlović, Luči Vidanović
Text adaptation: Nedžad Maksumić
Composer: Atilla Aksoj
Costume designer: Nadina Hubana
Light designer: Tamara Kučinović
Set and puppet production: Alena Pavlović, Luči Vidanović, Đenan Behmen
Master of sound and light: Amer Ćatić
Cast: Sergio Radoš, Igor Vidačković, Fatima Kazazić, Nina Popović, Nermina Denjo
About the show: "A Fairy Tale About Lost Time" is one of those plays that talks about timeless topics like the one about wasting time. It is an interesting and above all poetic play about a boy called Petja Mihajlovič Zubov who, due to being different, shy and able to feel the world and the time granted to him, turned into an old man. This unbelievable event happened on one spring afternoon when the time granted to him, as it was granted to everyone, got tired of waiting for Petja to make one simple, yet so desired move and to give one smooth butterfly to a girl named Stasja who liked to read books and who made his blood buzz in his ears, gave him goosebumps and made his heart stop for a millisecond. So, the time ran away from Petja without looking back. Because of this unfortunate event that happens once in a trillion years, Petja turned into an old man and Stasja turned into an old woman. Forced to find her in a sea of other old women in order to regain his time, Petja gets to know himself by accepting his feelings.
Age: 7+
Duration: 45 minuta
Language: in Bosnian and Croatian

19.00 h Mamutica, Plateau
STOP MAKING CIRCUS!*, Kindertheater Fraunhofer, Germany

What If I'm Not There, photo: pif.hr20.00 h ZKM, Polanec
WHAT IF I'M NOT THERE, Academy of Arts and Culture in Osijek, Croatia
Exam performance by Maja Lučić in her 2nd year of Puppetry Directing grad
Based on the same story of Sergei Grigorievich Kozlov
Authors of the text: Maja Lučić i ansambl / Maja Lučić and the ensemble
Dramaturge and director: Maja Lučić
Mentor: doc. art. Tamara Kučinović
Visual identity of the performance: Maja Lučić
Set making: Maja Lučić s obitelji, Siniša Ardelić / Maja Lučić and family, Siniša Ardelić
Puppet making: Maja Lučić, Tamara Kučinović, Toni Leaković
Music: Maja Lučić
Cast: Toni Leaković, Andrija Krištof
About the show: Somewhere at the edge of the world, and perhaps even beyond it, there is a forest. In that forest, two friends – a bear and a hedgehog – had spent every night sitting on swings and looking at the sky. That evening was no different. It looked like the two of them would once again look at the sky and wish on shooting stars together. But… The hedgehog was unusually quiet that night. It was clear that the evening would be different. It was clear that that was the evening when the hedgehog would ask the question that would change their lives forever…
Age: 12+
Duration: 45 minuta
Language: in Croatian

20.00 h KUC Travno
PUPPET ON THE BIG SCREEN: HI EVERYBODY, puppet film projection, ADRA Croatia

Tuesday, September, 21st

Chrono-Dwarves, Photo: pif.hr12.00 h ZKL
CHRONO-DWARVES, Bratislava Puppet Theatre, Slovakia
An adventurous story about a journey towards The Tooth of Time in the form of puppet cinema.
The performance is based on the book Překlep a Škraloup written by Tomáš Končinský and Barbora Klárová
Adaptation, directed by: Jakub Maksymov
Set design, puppets and costumes: Olga Ziębińska
Music: Lazar Novkov
Author of the text of the song Chrono-numero: Petr Váša
Dramaturgy: Peter Galdík
Camera: Jakub Ťapucha
Photographs: Juraj Starovecký

Cast: Michal Adam, Miriam Kalinková, Róbert Laurinec, Ľubomír Piktor
About the show: You can see the result of their work every day, but you haven’t had the chance to see them until today. Who are they? Chrono-dwarves – servants of the Tooth of Time. They damage computers, bleach clothes, erase road markings. To put it briefly, everything in this world is getting older thanks to them. Chrono-dwarves are taught at school that, in doing so, they carry out their duties to mankind. During a school trip into the human world, one of them climbs onto one young lady’s dress keen to make it dirty with chocolate. And how does she react? She bursts into tears. The world of this little dwarf is turned upside-down in a second. The Tooth of Time does not exist, and even if it does, it has to be destroyed! An adventurous and philosophical story about revolt against authority, broken friendship and a grand journey towards deeper wisdom told in the form of puppet cinema
Dob: 7+
Trajanje: 60 minuta
Jezik izvođenja: na slovačkom

17.00 h Mamutica, Plateau
THUMB SIM, THUMB TAM*, Mali Teatar, Croatia

18.00 h KUC Travno, Park
STRETCHY LITTLE DRAGON, puppetry workshop (children and adults)

The Paul Street Boys, photo: pif.hr20.00 h ZPC
THE PAUL STREET BOYS, Mostar Puppet Theatre, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Director: Tamara Kučinović
Dramaturgical associate and assistant director: Matea Bublić
Set and puppet designers: Ivana Živković, Sheron Pimpi – Steiner
Composer: Petar Eldan
Light designer: Tamara Kučinović
Master of light: Arijan Knezović
Sound technician: Dario Šunjić
Cast: Jelena Kordić Kuret, Jadranka Popović Miljko, Marta Haubrich, Ružica Bošković, Anela Planinić, Ivan Nevjestić, Tibor Oreč
About the show: The Paul Street Boys is one of those books that is hard to forget, that reaches our hears and gets straight to the essence of humanity, celebrating the breadth of interpersonal relationships. This youth novel, telling the tale of a bold fight of ordinary boys from Paul Street for an ordinary playground that represented infinity and freedom for them, against a group of large boys in red shirts, is as relevant today as it was 113 years ago, in 1906, when it was written by Ferenc Molnár. His characters are alive, fully realised, worthy of detailed descriptions and rich inner lives. By choosing this material as the starting point for a theatre performance creates a certain sense of responsibility not to omit as much as one detail of this story about growing up, friendship and community. Each death causes us to grow up too fast, and the death of close friends, who lost their lives fighting for a piece of a playground, brings about the desire to become human in the truest sense. This play speaks to the importance of each person, each life and every single being, which can bring about change.
Age: 9+
Duration: 50 min
Language: in Croatian

20.00 h KUC Travno
PUPPET ON THE BIG SCREEN: LITTLE MERMAID AND BOY ROKO*, puppet film projection, AO Croatian Film and New Media (children and adults); PRESERVATION*, puppet film projection, Aurora Adams, Great Britain (children and adults)

20.30 h ZKM, Polanec
TIME IS THE SECRET*, Zagreb Youth Theatre College, Puppet Studio, Croatia
Puppetry Studio at the ZeKaeM School, 7th and 8th grade
Artistic-educational guidance: Natalie Murat Dean
Lighting: Saša Bogojević
Sound: Miroslav Piškulić
Puppets and set design: polaznici grupe P5 Lutkarskog studija Učilišta ZeKaeM-a, uzrast 7. i 8. razred / students of the P5 group of the Puppetry Studio at the ZeKaeM School, 7th and 8th grade
Cast: Jakov Bandić, Greta Ciglenečki, Vilim Cvitanović, Eli Eterović, Mihaela Jakubec, Maša Krapljanov, Livia Mirković, Mihael Palatinuš, Anja Pavić, Lara Škaler
The Great Puppet voice: Matija di Giorgio
Cast: Leonora Brajković, Hanna Jovanov, Klara Jovanov, Tea Toplak, Nika Pribanić, Vedrana Iva Rimac, Filip Siretz, Lucija Katarina Šešelj, Hana Šimunić, Iva Toplak, Korina Vekić
About the show: The play was based on the motifs of the children’s novel Momo by the German author Michael Ende which engages with the subject of time in an interesting way.
The group tried to find a way to translate this long children’s novel into the medium of a puppet. We moved in different directions: from dramatic improvisions on the topic of time to developing different puppetry forms to emphasize the essence of the novel. In the process, the theatre of objects stood out, used to evoke the special relationship between people and things / objects through the prism of time – aging, obsolescence, maturing…
Age: children and adults
Duration: 25 min
Language: in Croatian

Wednesday, September 22nd

Palko, photo: pif.hr11.00 h KUC Travno
PALKO, Bialystok Puppet Theatre, Poland
Written by: Katylin Szegedi
Directed by: Kata Csato
Stage design: Matravolgyi Akos
Music: Krzysztof Dzierma
Cast: Grazyna Kozlowska, Agnieszka Sobolewska, Iwona Szczgsna, Jacek Doilidko
About the show: Palko is a very curious boy who loves exploring the world riding on his favourite scooter. He has a rich imagination, which he develops by reading a lot of books. He is very similar to his peers – cheerful, helpful, friendly. Except for one thing – he is a little bit clumsy...
Will he find true friendship? To find out, come and see the play Palko. Enjoy the intimate performance about learning tolerance and acceptance, for the youngest viewers.
Dob: 2+
Trajanje: 40 min
Jezik: in Polish

12.00 h KUC Travno, Park
STRETCHY LITTLE DRAGON, puppetry workshop (for children and adults)

Sleeping Beauty, Photo: pif.hr18.00 h KUC Travno
SLEEPING BEAUTY, Drak Theatre and The International Institute of Figurative Theatre, Czechia
Puppet slapstick based on the classic fairy tale.
Script: Tomáš Jarkovský, Jakub Vašíček
Direction: Jakub Vašíček
Stage Design: Kamil Bělohlávek
Costumes: Tereza Vašíčková
Puppets: Tereza Vašíčková
Music: Daniel Čámský
Dramaturgy: Tomáš Jarkovský
Cast: Pavla Lustyková, Jan Popela, Milan Žďárský, Jan Čipčala, Petr Seiner, Pavel Černík
About the show: An evil fairy is not invited to be a godmother to an infant princess. Yet, the fairy is not to be discouraged and keeps attempting to reach the baptism at any cost. Will the fairy succeed? The readers familiar with the story know that she will. Our production tells the story in the form of puppet slapstick about the inevitability of faith, when you literally show it out the door and it returns through the window. However, besides evil fairies, there are also good ones. The world abounds with princes seeking fortune and ready to set free cursed princesses.
Age: 6+
Duration: 50 min
Language: in Czech with English subtitles

19.00 h KUC Travno
Book promotion: PUPPETRY LABORATORY, Vahid Duraković, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Thursday, September 23rd

9.30 h Potočnica Kindergarten
STRETCHY LITTLE DRAGON, puppetry workshop (for Potočnica Kinderharten Children)

Zuna, photo: pif.hr12.00 h ZKL
ZUNA, Continuo Theatre, Czechia
Draft and direction: Natália Vaňová
Puppets and stage design: Filip Bednár
Dramaturgy and stage cooperation: Kateřina Šobáňová
Art supervision and costumes: Helena Štouračová
Music: Filip Bednár
Light design: Jiří Šmirk
Cast: Natália Vaňová, Filip Bednár
About the show: Inspired by several magical stories from different parts of the world, the original puppet fairy tale Zuna deals with the themes of responsibility, overcoming fear and the power of our actions. It tells the story of a little girl with an extraordinary gift for magic, who finds herself in the human world. Soon, however, she will find out what anger, greed and hostility can do to love and our deepest dreams. On her travels through this unknown world, she discovers the power of friendship and uncovers kindness where other people never think to look... Or have you also heard what the earthworms are saying?
Age: 4+
Duration: 50 min
Language: in Czech with English subtitles

RON, KNIGHT OF MORNING WOOD*, stop-motion film projection, Jakov Gavran, Croatia

* accompanying programme - not in official competition

Throughout the festival

The workshop will be held as part of the Creative Europe project EU Contemporary Puppetry Critical Platform, and will be conducted during 54th International Puppet Theatre Festival PIF from September 17th to September 23rd. It is an international project between four European countries led by the Ljubljana Puppet Theatre from Slovenia with partners from Croatia (Osijek Academy of Arts and Culture), Lithuania (Vilnius Theatre Lele) and Scotland (Puppet Animation Scotland / Manipulate Festival). The aim of the project is to reposition puppetry critique as an element in public discourse and to make contemporary puppet theatre relevant to the general public, offering the audience an integrated approach and contemporary technology. The critiques created during the workshop will be published on the platform
Workshop instructor: Igor Tretinjak