Celebration of the 75th Anniversary of UNIMA – Mezinárodní loutkařská unie
The celebration of the 75th anniversary of UNIMA took place on Wednesday, 19 May 2004 in the Říše loutek puppet theatre. The event was organized in co-operation with the ŘÍŠE LOUTEK Theatre Artistic Stage and the Czech UNIMA Centre. It was held under the aegis of the Mayor of the Prague 1 district Vladimír Vihan, who made the opening speech and expressed his pride in the fact that UNIMA had been established 75 years ago in the Old Town of Prague in the Říše loutek theatre, which had served the children audience up to the present. A great surprise and honour for all those present was the personal presence of the Mayor of the Capital of Prague MUDr. Pavel Bém, who greeted informally the participants and thanked the puppeteers for their work.
The festive opening hosted by Vladimír Novák, president of Říše loutek, was followed by a composed programme Zrodila se UNIMA (The Establishment of UNIMA) whose author is Ing. Jan Novák, artistic supervisor of Říše loutek, consisting of a collage of period documentary materials, songs, performances and film shots inspired by the Congress of the Puppeteers held in 1929 in Prague. The production was performed by the members of Říše loutek and the Occasional Mini-Symphony Orchestra of Říše loutek with the External Choir. A short and very witty sketch was presented also by the representatives of the Spejbl and Hurvínek Theatre. The programme was closed by the speech of the UNIMA President Margareta Niculescu from France; among those present was also Secretary General Miguel Arreche from Spain and Mrs. Mina Malíková, President of the Czech UNIMA Centre.
In the course of the subsequent informal party the participants could watch the “table play” Jak chodil Kuba za Margitou performed by Zuzana Schmidová, member of the Naive Theatre Liberec, and see the exhibition regarding the UNIMA establishment in the theatre foyer. Good mood was ensured by the music of the TROMBENIK band led by Josef von Draček.
The organizers were rewarded by the enjoyment and pleasure of the participants and by the praise from the UNIMA supreme representatives.