The Puppet Theatre
Has Not Had Summer
Holidays since 2012!
The world of theatre typically goes on holiday in July and August.
The Puppet Theatre in Ostrava, however, has not taken a summer
holiday for nine seasons.
The summer programme came with the
new extension to the theatre built in 2011,
because these gave the puppeteers two
new areas to play in: an alternative stage
in the basement opening into an outdoor
amphitheatre. The amphitheatre provides
a very comfortable room for seventy visitors
but when the programme is very attractive,
an audience of 160 willingly squeezes in.
The first year of Léto s pimprlaty (Summer
with Puppets) was held in 2012. The
alternative stage housed an interactive
exhibition of puppets from previously
performed plays. Children could try out
the puppets and produce a puppet of their
own from paper. On Sundays, amateur
companies played fairy tales in the
Ever since the first year, the theatre has
offered a programme for groups: in the
past few years, there have been regular
morning programmes for urban day-camps
which allow children to make their own
puppets, prepare their own play with the
assistance of instructors, then act it out.
in the halls of the Museum of Ostrava.
Visitors were presented summaries
on individual types of puppets, on the
history of the Puppet Theatre and Czech
puppeteering, and enjoyed an exhibition
of photographs by Jindřich Štreit, who
documented the development of the
play “Oberon,” which took the puppet
company on successful trips abroad.
Another part of the exhibition was
interactive, introducing children to
various types of puppets, letting them
touch them and try out puppeteering.
Each group of visitors was guided by
two lecturers who assisted the children
when making a simple puppet at the
end of their excursion. Pimprlárium
opened every summer from 2013 to
2017. The exhibition travelled to Galerie
umění pro děti (the Gallery of Arts for
Children) in Prague, Muzeum Třineckých
železáren (the Museum of Ironworks in
Třinec), Dům dětí a mládeže Čtyřlístek
(the House of Children and Youth, FourLeaf Clover) in Ostrava – Poruba, and
several elementary schools in Ostrava.
Pimprlárium also went abroad: the
exhibition was installed in the Cultural
Centre in Oroszlány (Hungary), and
at the international festival Teatralia in
Change of Title and Outdoor Attractions
In 2018 the name and concept of the
summer festival changed from the original
Léto s pimprlaty (Summer with Puppets)
to Pimprléto (Puppet Summer). The
exhibition of Pimprlárium was replaced
with arts-and-crafts/drama workshops
for the public. The summer programme
has gone professional: over the past few
years, the Sunday Fairy Tales have been
performed by professional companies
and actors from the Czech Republic and
Slovakia. The programme often includes
concerts and plays for adults.
Outside the Puppet Theatre are
interactive attractions and games made
of wood and metal, such as giant Tic-TacToe, designed by Tomáš Volkmer, whose
previous artwork defined the formation
of the Puppet Theatre, namely via the
most remarkable statues decorating the
front side of the building.
Origins and Success of PIMPRLÁRIUM
In 2013, on the sixtieth anniversary of
founding of the theatre, a vast interactive
exposition named “Pimprlárium” (Puppet
Collection, or Puppet World) was created
by Petr Dvorský, Tomáš Volkmer and
Hana Volkmerová. It was first installed
POSITIV 2/2020 ǀ 93