The third edition of the “ANIMATUS international competition for the production of puppets, animated objects or theatrical form”. The time of submitting projects has commenced.

Animatus” is an international competition for the concept and realization  of a puppet, animated object or other theatrical form, which is initiated by the Theatre of  Actor and Puppet “Kubuś” in Kielce in 2018. The first two editions of this competition attracted several dozens of applications both from Poland as well as from abroad. Three of them were realized in a form of installations presented in Kielce. Every year the Grand Final of the competition is accompanied by presentations of awarded objects, performances of invited theatre creators as well as debates and lectures.

The aim of the Animatus project, carried out in cooperation with the Design Institute in Kielce and the Museum of Toys and Fun in Kielce, is to search for new means of expression in the area of puppet theater (also puppet theater for adults) and to support innovative set design projects.

The main idea of the event is exploring the theatrical form in confrontation with the development of new technologies and various aesthetic concepts. Current situation in artistic world caused by pandemy of corona virus gives this even even greater sense. 

Atists have to face the chalenge of finding new, digital ways of creations and communicating with the audience, Limitaions of intermpersonal relations naturally direct our attention towards activities based on form or multimedia.

Long before the appearance of the Covid-19 virus, the previous edition of Animatus awarded the project of a giant puppet called “Mammoth”, which can be used theatrically outdoors while maintaining social distancing. Another awarded project “Golem 01” embedded in virtual reality also gains a new meaning, and although technologies will never replace the experience of traditional theater, they are worth discovering and artistically processing them. We encourage scenographers, designers, creators of various fields of art, visual and theater arts, who do not have to be graduates of art schools, to submit  ideas   to the Animatus competition.

The competition task is to prepare the original design of a puppet/ animated object / theater form, intended to be used in a theatrical etude, performance or internet activity. The deadline for submitting applications and projects, , expires on the 25th of September 2020 at 3 p.m. Detailed terms and conditions for participation in the competition are specified in the regulations (available to download below).

The submitted works will be assessed by a professional jury who will select the most interesting projects to the second stage of the competition. Then, by August  16, 2020 these authors will present detailed assumptions of their proposals. After that,  the Competition Commission will eventually select three winners of the competition.

Each of the winners will receive an award of 1000 Euro and will take part in artistic residency, within  which they will carry out their competition project.

The organizer of the competition will provide residents with free accommodation and board in Kielce, as well as workshops and materials necessary for the realization  of the project and technical assistance in the form of qualified employees.

Available to the winners will also be consultants: set designers, constructors, actors, puppeteers, directors and media experts. During the residency, the laureate is obliged to perform the awarded project, which will be finally presented during the audience show in Kielce as well as online.

  The word ANIMATUS, derived from Latin, means “animated, gifted with life”, and as we know, the foundation of puppetry lies in the assumption of animated matter. Professor Halina Waszkiel, searching for a new definition of a puppet, created a name that best describes contemporary puppet forms, ie: “ANIMANT – an absolutely arbitrary material or non-material object (e.g. shadow) subjected to animation by the artist-animator. (…) An animant can be a human-like puppet, hand puppet, stick puppet, rod puppet,  shadow marionette, shadow puppet, mask, any object, a piece of material, even a streak of light, but treated as a stage character, dialogue partner, carrier of ideas, aesthetic object,  building a metaphor, something what the actor introduces to the stage and shows viewers as the third element of the performance.

The essence of the theater is the meeting of the actor and the audience. The essence of the puppet theater is a meeting of three partners: an actor, a spectator and a puppet. And it does not matter if the actor is visible to the audience  or hidden behind the screen – he is always there anyway.

Robert Drobniuch, director of the “Kubuś” Theater and the originator of the competition, says that “it is to be an impulse to create contemporary animants, not only in theory, but above all in practice”. He also adds that “the idea of the project is to search for original forms in the field of puppetry art, which can use newer and newer technological means, including  VR, AI or 3D printing”

We hope that “Animatus” will be an attractive challenge for artists, enabling them to develop and create creative explorations.

We invite you to participate in the competition.

Please send any questions to:

or by phone: +48 698 859 302 project coordinator Karolina Gregorczyk

The “Animatus” competition is organized by the “Kubuś” Puppet and Actor Theater from the funds of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage from the Culture Promotion Fund and the Mayor of Kielce.