International Puppeteers Unionn

Mezinárodní loutkařská unie

Union International de Marrionette


UNIMA Clubs, or a friendly gathering of friends of the puppet theatre (with small refreshments and a bit of art) are held by the Czech UNIMA Centre at irregular intervals, at exceptional occasions for members only.

Recollection of some of the most successful UNIMA Clubs:

15. 5. 1991
Richard Teschner – lecture with video projection (Klaus Behrend – Austria), the evening complemented by a performance of an old puppet variety show of the Zvoneček ensemble of Prague
(organizational guarantor – the Realm of Puppets Art Scene)


10. 4. 1992
W. A. Mozart: The Magic Flute – Mozart Opera
W. A. Mozart: Don Giovanni – National Marionette Theatre
Duranty – Kawon:The Man Who Sold Blows by Clubs – Realm of Puppets, Prague
Ivan Wernisch: The Meeting – Tatran, Sudoměřice u Bechyně
(organizational guarantor – the National Marionette Theatre)


25. 9. 1992
UNIMA Club in Třeboň


22.- 23. 7. 1993 
Theatre evenings within the framework of the Mozart Open Festival
J. Krofta – M. Klíma – P. Matásek: The Tower of Babylon – DRAK, Hradec Králové international project
J. Marek – D. Dvořák – Ch.W. Gluck: Orpheus and Euridice – National Marionette Theatre
W. A. Mozart: Don Giovanni (500th performance) – National Marionette Theatre
(organizational guarantor – the National Marionette Theatre)


14. 8. 1993
John Doctor Faust – performance with historic puppets of the puppetry family Lagron , presented by the Realm of Puppets of Prague at the famous Vavřinec Fair in Domažlice.
(organizational guarantor-the Art Scene of the Realm of Puppets)



11. 5. 1994
Films by Jiří Barta – narration and projection of illustrations from the work of the creator of animated films of world repute. Opening of the exhibition held on the occasion of the 65th anniversary of the origin of UNIMA. (organzational guarantor – the Art Scene of the Realm of Puppets)


15. 11. 1994
A meeting over beer and goulash with Peter Schumann, who headed the theatre workshop in the Archa Theatre.
(organizational guarantor – the Art Scene of the Realm of Puppets)


14. 5. 1997
From the vision of a self-contained building for the puppet theatre in Prague to the representational puppet theatre in the Municipal Libraray – lectures by Alice Dubská and Dr. Jiří Hilmera with projection of film documents. Presentation of the Almanac of the Realm of Puppets .
(organizational guarantor – the Art Scene of the Realm of Puppets)


17. 2. 1998
The Man With Three Talents or the Faded Avantguard, imitated or unappreciated?

(An attempted portrayal by Vláďa Šmejkal and a glance into the creative workshop of the Surrealist Theatre, the Art Scene of he Realm of Puppets and the film group Zahradníček – Šmejkal.)
The Convalescent Home of Jester Isomat – (Ozdravovna šprýmaře Isomata) – stage reading
Punch on the Waves of Phantasm Ocean (Kašpárek na vlnách Fantas oceánu)
Songs from the puppet show
Be silent, Europe or a Man With Three Hands (Mlč, Evropo čili Muž se třema rukama) -stage reading
Atom of Eternity (Atom věčnosti) – a film from 1934
Hands on Tuesday (Ruce v úterý) – a film from 1935
Story of a Soldier (Příběh vojáka) – a film from 1935
(The Club was repeated on May 21, 1998, organizational guarantor the Art Scene of the Realm of Puppets)


7. 4. 1999
Puppet Cabaret by Fred Schneckenburger – a visit of the exhibition at the National Museum with lecture by Hana Ribi-Štěpková
(organizational guarantor – the Art Scene of the Realm of Puppets)


19. 5. 1999
Readings from the Memoirs of Anna Podzemná-Suchardová, with film shots by Vojta Sucharda and singing by the “Spolecnost s rucenim neomezenym” (company unlimited) A toast to UNIMA’s 70th anniversary. (organizational guarantor – the Art Scene of the Realm of Puppets)


23. 11. 1999 Remembering Josef Křešnička in memoriam of his 60th birthday – Performed by members of the Realm of Puppets, Prague, Radost Strakonice and a pupil of the elementary art school in Strakonice. The personality of J. Křešnička was characterized by J. A. Novotný (organizational guarantor – the Art Scene of the Realm of Puppets)


2. 2. 2000
Puppet Theatre of Vlastimil Rada – a visit to the exhibition at the Lobkovic Palace at the Prague Castle with an informal meeting
(organizational guarantor the Department of Theatre of the National Museum)


6. 6. 2001
The Travels of Jan Brát and his Progeny through Theatrical Europe – lecture by Doc.Alice Dubská with illustrations
(organizational guarantor – the Art Scene of the Realm of Puppets)


19 May 2004
“UNIMA was born” – UNIMA’s 75th birthday
A collage of contemporary documents, songs, acts and film shots inspired by the convention of puppet professionals in Prague in 1929, which inspired the UNIMA foundation.                                                                                            Performers (guests): Theatre of Spejbl and Hurvínek, Naïve Theatre Liberec.
The guests were Pavel Bém, the Mayor of Prague, Margareta Niculescu, the UNIMA President and Miguel Arreche, UNIMA Secretary General.
(organization guarantor: Říše loutek, the event took place under the auspices of Vladimír Vihan, the Mayor of Prague1)


24 November 2004
Meet and Greet: Massimo Schuster
Soon after the 2004 One Flew Over Puppeteer’s Nest we used the opportunity that Massimo Schuster, the UNIMA President, was in Prague on a business trip and we organized a meet and greet in the UNIMA Club.


19 March 2005
Gathering on the occasion of Milada Trčková’s exhibition
A gathering of puppeteers and arts fans took place in the Lobkowitz Palace at Prague Castle. It was a tribute to the former UNIMA member Milada Trčková held on the occasion of the end of the exhibition “Academic Painter Milada Trčková – A Fairy-Tale Life” (in cooperation with the National Museum).


25 May 2005
“Puppets and Therapy”
Marka Míková’s and Marie Veselá’s lectures on the use of puppets in the therapy of children patients and in geriatric facilities.
“Hudlice Feast”, the production of the Lepšík family puppet theatre.
(organization guarantor: Říše loutek)


Pavla and Vítězslav Kuschmitz Club
Říše loutek hosted the UNIMA Club dedicated to production and projects of artists and puppeteers Pavla and Vítězslav Kuschmitz. Visitors could see parts of their theatre and non-theatre projects as well as short excerpts from their interesting video library. The evening also saw the installation of a small exhibition about UNIMA promotion and inspiring demonstrations of puppet technologies by the Kutchmitz couple (organization guarantor: Říše loutek).


4 October 2006
Remembering J. A. Novotný
The UNIMA Club called “He Who Never Lost His Face” was dedicated to remembering the theatre critic, teacher and screenwriter J. A. Novotný. The attractively assembled evening brought a trailer from Hudlice Feast adapted by J. A. Novotný, and Emil Radok’s unique movie Johan Doctor Faust, based on J. A. Novotný’s screenplay. (Organization guarantor: National Film Archive and Říše loutek)



20 May 2007″Puppeteers for PUPPETEER, PUPPETEER for puppeteers”
The show of facts, documents, fables and contemporary facts inspired by 95 years of existence of PUPPETEER magazine. The premiere of the anthem of PUPETEER magazine.  (Organization guarantor: Říše loutek)


1. 3. 2008
“A Dream Come True”
The UNIMA Center organized the UNIMA Club called “A Dream Come True” dedicated to the Chrudim Puppetry Museum, its history and current challenges. The meeting also included screening of the film documentary “The House Where Puppets Live” and a short performance “How the Mydlář House Came to Chrudim”. The foyer of the theatre hosted the exhibition dedicated to the museum. Although Jarmil Chládek was not present, visitors had the opportunity to listen to his paper “How the Chrudim Puppetry Museum Was Found, or Who, What, When and How Did Good for or against It”. The full text is available in the section UNIMA and puppets in publications and print.


9 February 2010 
“The Last Caravan”
Říše loutek organized the UNIMA Club on 9th February with the main programme being the screening of the movie of the FURIA FILM Ltd from Bratislava on the life of the last authentic comedians in Central Europe (in Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary and Germany “The Last Caravan”. The outstanding documentary (screenplay by Ida Hledíková-Polívková, directed by Peter Beňovský) reminded the viewers of the troubled lives of their protagonists. A sensitively depicted story of the Dubský family led by the proud ringmaster and the journey of her “last caravan” to the Museum of Toys and Puppets in Modrý Kameň in Slovakia is both the prologue and epilogue of the movie. Those who had seen the great film documentary for the first time were excited. Czech viewers were probably most excited about the chapter about the Kopecký family (from Matěj Kopecký associated with the DRAK Theatre in Hradec Králové, his son Matěj, the former member of the Naïve Theatre and daughter Anna Nováková, who now works with her husband in the independent company to Rosťa Novák, who has recently become a media star thanks to his project “La Putyka”).


7 December 2010
„95 + 95 + 80“
The club evening remembered anniversaries of outstanding figures of Czech puppet theatre – Vojtěch Cinybulk, Čestmír David and Jiří Vorel.


8 November 2016

After a longer break another UNIMA Club took place on18th November 2016 and was dedicated to Jan Novák’s The Phenomenon of Czech Puppetry, which is a study mapping the history of 84 Czech oldest puppet companies, which are unique phenomena. Their continuous existence is one of convincing reasons to enlist Czech puppetry in the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage. Apart from the launch of the book with the presence of companies celebrating their anniversary, visitors could learn about news from UNIMA, reports on prepared celebrations in 2019 and information about the UNIMA Congress (it is the first time in UNIMA history a woman has been Secretary General – Idova Otegui from Spain, Dadi Padumjee from India was re-elected the President). The extensive participation of companies and guests was the prove of amateur puppeteers’ interest in meeting, renewing their collective membership in UNIMA and the opportunity to popularization of the activities of the Czech UNIMA Centre. We must definitely count with their active participation during the 90th anniversary of UNIMA foundation.


23 May 2018

On 23th May Říše loutek organized the UNIMA Club dedicated to the celebrations of 90 YEARS OF THE THEATRE IN THE MUNICIPAL LIBRARY or the Říše Loutek’s Journey from Letná to the New Theatre. The series of film documentaries, memories and live songs gave joy to the club visitors who met in great numbers. Říše loutek presented itself after an extensive reconstruction funded by the Prague Municipality in 2018.

The foyer was decorated by the exhibition “Vojta Sucharda and Saint Vitus”, which remembered 50 years from the death of the Říše loutek founder and ringmaster.