Win the contest
and realise your project

Create a concept
of a puppet,
animated object,
theatre form.






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.

The competition is to be an impulse to create contemporary animants, not only in theory, but most of all in practice. The idea behind the project is searching for the original forms of the art of puppetry, which may use more and more new technological means, including virtual reality and 3D printing.




“Kubuś” Puppet and Actor Theater guarantees three Competition Laureates:

  • equal financial awards worth 1,000 EUR ( one thousand euros) after the work has been completed.
  • free materials for building the puppet / animated object / theatrical
  • technical assistance in the form of qualified employees of the puppet workshops of the “Kubuś” Puppet and Actor Theater in Kielce, the Museum of Toys and Fun in Kielce and the Design Institute in Kielce.
  • professional consultations with stage designers and puppeteers chosen by the Organizers.
  • accomodation and board for the duration of the project in Kielce.
  • Organization of the show in which built animants will be shown during the Grand Finale of the competition.




4th International Competition for the conception and realization of a puppet / animated object / theatrical form entitled “Animatus”


1. These Regulations, (hereinafter referred to as “Regulations”), determine the rules, scope and conditions of participation in the 3rd International Competition for the Concept and realization of a puppet/ Animated Object / Theater Form entitled “Animatus” (hereinafter referred to as “the Competition”).

2.The aim of the Competition is to discover new puppet forms, in particular using new materials and new technologies.

3. The organizer of the Competition is Theater of Puppet and Actor “Kubuś” in Kielce of Stefan Karski (hereinafter referred to as the “Organizer”) with its registered office at ul. Large 9, 25 – 304 Kielce, NIP: 657-02-34-815. Contact person: Karolina Gregorczyk-Rożkowicz, tel. 698859302,

4. The competition is co-financed by the Ministry of Culture, National Heritage and Sport. Competition is not run for profit.


1. Participants of the Competition may be adults (the participant is not required to graduate or study at an artistic university) who during the Competition will perform a Competition Task and meet other conditions described in the Regulations.

2. In justified cases, it is allowed to submit one work carried out by the team, consisting of maximum of two authors (Participants).


1. The Competition Task consists in designing an innovative theatrical form, a theater figure/ puppet/ animated object containing.

2. The conditions of participation sending an email to containing:

a) the original design of a puppet / animated object / theater form in PDF or JPG format (it can be a drawing / scan / visualization / photo / graphic design), in size not bigger than 100 MB (the file should be readable after opening). The design should be sent by the website.

b) correctly completed Application Form

3. Incomplete applications sent after the end of the Competition or failing to meet other requirements stated in the Competition Rules will not take part in the Competition

4. Each Participant of the Competition can make maximum 1 entry to participate in the Competition.

5. Only projects that have not participated in other competitions and have not been previously performed by the authors can be submitted to the Competition.


1. The competition “Animatus” takes place on the June 16, 2021 to final of the competition (November 2021).

2. The competition consists of two stages:

a) Entries to the Competition in the first stage should be sent from June 16, 2021 to 31 August, 2021.

b) The decision of the Competition and selecting winners will take place until 6th of September 2021.

c) The second stage of the competition consists in presenting the works of the Competition Committee until 15 September (the organizer accepts the possibility of meeting online)

d) The decision of the second stage and the appointment of three Laureates will take place by September 20, 2021.

e) Three Laureates on the day of the final of the Competition will present their own theatrical forms in the form of etudes to the public and on the Internet.


1. The Competition Commission chosen by the Organizer will supervise the proper course of the Competition.

2. The Competition Commission in selecting the best projects will primarily take into account:

a) form original;

b) application of modern materials and new technologies in creating the theatre form;

c) the cost of materials needed to produce a theatrical form (can not exceed 700 euros).

3. The Competition Commission, after discussions with selected Competition Participants, selects three Laureates of the Competition.

4. The decision of the Competition Commission is final and unquestionable.


6. The Laureates of the Competition are obliged to:

a) the construction of a puppet / animated object / theater form according to the project presented and accepted by the Organizer at the Puppet and Actor Theater “Kubuś” in Kielce in the period: October – November 2021.

b) preparation independently or in a collaboration with actors from the Theater of Puppet and Actor “Kubuś” an etude presenting a ready puppet / animated object /theatre form

c) A minimum of one presentation of a created puppet / animated object / theater form and consent to record and publish the presentation on the Internet for an indefinite period.


1. The organizer guarantees three Laureates of the Competition:

a) equivalent awards worth 1,000 euros (in words: one thousand) after the realization of the work mentioned in § 6 section 1 of Regulations. In the case of two authors of one work, the amount will be divided among the members,

b) free materials for building a puppet/ animated object / theater form, after prior agreement with the artist and approval during individual conversations

c) technical assistance in the form of qualified employees of the puppetry workshops of the Puppet and Actor Theater “Kubuś” in Kielce, the Toy and Fun Museum in Kielce and the Design Institute in Kielce,

d) consultations with selected by the Organizer scenographers and puppeteers,

e) accommodation and meals for the duration of the project in Kielce.


1. The Organizer and Participant of the Competition agree that the design of a puppet / animated object / theater form, and work based on this project are a creative activity within the meaning of art. 1 point 1 of the Act of 4 February 1994 on Copyright and Related Rights (Journal of Laws of 2006 No. 90, item 631, as amended).

2. The Contest Participant declares that the work listed in §8 paragraph 1 of the Regulations is his exclusive property and is not encumbered with the rights of third parties. Participant of the Competition assumes full responsibility for any claims made by third parties in connection with the use of the work by the Ordering Party.

3. By declaring his participation in the Competition, the Contest Participant declares that he is not a member of any collective copyright management organization and has not entered into any contract with any similar organization under which the organization could acquire copyrights to the posted work mentioned in §8 paragraph 1 of the Regulations or otherwise obtain the right to manage these rights.

4. The Participant of the Competition grants the Organizer a non-exclusive license to the developed project  and work based on this project specified in §8 section 1 of the Regulations.

5. The Competition Participant authorizes the Organizer to use the creative activities listed in §8 section 1 of the Regulations in the following fields of use:

a) on the Internet, in such a way that everyone can have free access to the work in a place and time chosen by them for the period from the day of premiere for an indefinite time;

b) exclusive use and use in advertising materials (including ATL, BTL and others);

c) recording and reproduction in advertising materials by any graphic techniques;

d) public display at all open and closed events, including exhibitions;

e) putting into the computer’s memory and placing on the Internet, public displaying;

f) creation and distribution of dependent works;

g) inclusion of the work as an element of other works.

5. In the event of the occurrence of exploitation in unknown circumstances at the time of the conclusion of the contract, the Organizer will contact the Competition Participant in writing to transfer the right to use the work in the new field of exploitation.


1.Information about the Competition as well as these Competition Regulations are available for inspection at the Organizer’s office, as well as on the website at

2. During the Competition, the website may display current information and reports on the course of the Competition.

§ 10

1. The Administrator of the Participants’ data is the Organizer, the data will be processed in order to realize the Competition. Participants have the right to inspect their data and correct it. Providing data is voluntary, but necessary to participate in the Competition.

2. The Organizer reserves the right to share and process information that is the subject of the Competition and to publicize information about the victor of the Competition. Competition Participant agrees for the above.

§ 11

1. Joining the Competition is tantamount to accepting the terms and conditions of the Competition Regulations.

2. The Organizer reserves the right to change these Regulations and / or their terms. However, the changes will work for the future and will not violate the acquired rights.

3. In all matters not covered by these Regulations, the provisions of the Civil Code and the Act on Copyright and Related Rights shall apply.





Digittry: a fusion of a number and a puppet  – considerations on the concept of digittry, created by Agnieszka Błaszczak from the combination of the words digital and puppetry. The basis of this concept is building a bridge between the analog world and the digital world in the context of the performing arts. The phenomenon of digittry can occur with the joint participation of three elements: puppetry (e.g. in the form of animation, the concept of movement or mimetics), digital technology and a human (artist, scientist or viewer). Within the concept of digittry, these three realities combine with one another  on many levels – practical, metaphorical and metaphysical, forming an inseparable whole.

  • The lecture will be devoted to sculptures, which are little known at present, and in the past centuries often used in various types of religious ceremonies, equipped with mechanisms enabling the animation of the presented figure, in the first place, Christ. During the lecture , numerous examples of this type of imagination from all over Europe, including Poland, will be presented. First of all, however, their construction will be explained, allowing one to move one’s character’s arms, legs or head, and sometimes also the  eyes or… tongue. One will also be able to learn about the mechanisms that allowed, for example, blood to flow out of the wound in Christ’s side. In order to outline the full picture of the centuries-old practice of creating this type of figures, their function and perception by the faithful will be discussed.

Until the end of the 20th century, combining puppet theater with various media was mainly based on the use of film, video technology and computer animation. The development of digital tools meant that at the beginning of the 21st century, the emphasis shifted to various combinations of puppetry with digital practices. On the basis of selected phenomena of world and Polish puppetry, the consequences of the synergy of puppet theater with various media will be discussed, including: the aesthetic effects of mediatization of the puppet stage, experimental solutions in the field of animation techniques and puppet construction, the use of digital technologies and the transformation of reception practices. The above-mentioned examples will show the blurring of boundaries between different domains of performative activities, which leads to redefinition of the terms “puppets”, “animation”.


The MEINHARDT & KRAUSS Group has existed since 2003. Its creators are a puppeteer  and a director Iris Meinhardt, a director and a video artist Michael Krauss, and a composer Thorsten Meinhardt. The performances of the Stuttgart ensemble live in the intense interpenetration of puppet theater, film, new media and contemporary music, and recently also robotics. They skillfully combine high-tech and poetry, virtuality and flesh, in an original theatrical language, which in a surreal spirit encourages taking  the perception of the seemingly unreal for granted.

The independent band Meinhardt & Krauss visited over 20 international festivals with their productions, where they won awards such as: “Grünschnabel”, “Swiss Prize for Innovative, Young Theater” and a nomination for the “George Tabori Sponsorship Award”. “Flausen + Young Artists in Residenz” awarded by “Theater Wrede.” MEINHARDT & KRAUSS run national and international workshops on figure theater and new media. In addition, they are guest lecturers at the “Musikhochschule Stuttgart”, “Folkwang Universität der Künste Essen” and ” HfMDK Frankfurt ”.

Link to the ZOOM platform:
Warning! The meeting is free. The number of places is limited

  • Forum Forms is an initiative created as part of the International Animatus Competition organized by Actor and Puppet Theatre  “Kubuś” in Kielce, serving as  the exchange of experiences and ideas in the field of experimental forms of puppet theater. Participation in the  Forum of Forms  consists in presenting one’s  own innovative puppets and theatrical objects during a meeting of people interested in  theater of form (including directors, set designers, actors, enthusiasts). It is to serve as an inspiration and discussion, which may result in future cooperation or project implementation. In the studios of individual artists, non-obvious forms are created that we will not see on stages – these are the forms of “tomorrow”, fragments of forms, unfinished  works. It is worth discovering, analyzing, looking for ways to revive or process them.

Link to the ZOOM platform:
Warning! The meeting is free. The number of places is limited

“Animatus.NOW” is an exhibition documenting the stages of creating works by the winners of the competition: Paulina Araszkiewicz, Małgorzata Tarasewicz-Wosik, Łukasz Skwara. We will see the technology of creating modern forms, the process of experimenting with matter, and the final results. The works are characteristic because of their  innovative approach to the tools and materials used by the authors. The renowned theater photographer, Bartek Warzecha, is responsible for the photographic documentation of the process of creating forms.

COATINGS  – Paulina Araszkiewicz

„Coatings”  is an installation that tells about women and their position in the contemporary world. I focus on the problem of defining women’s values through their appearance and age. Currently, it is physicality that is the most important in women and blurres  everything else, at the same time making their voice inaudible. In the work of Paulina Araszkiewicz, fragile, over-aestheticized representations of female bodies are gradually destroyed. The laureate focuses on the contrast between the essence and the body, the physical enclosure to which women are often reduced, which makes them lose their value as they get older.


POST – PUPPET – Małgorzata Tarasewicz-Wosik

“Post – Puppet” is an independent sculptural object that can be freely animated in various ways. The different parts of the puppet’s body can be joint  in endless combinations. The starting position of the puppet  resembles the symbolic posture of a man who starts a dance. This position  inspired Małgorzata Tarasewicz-Wosik to start research on capturing the movement and immobility of a puppet  as, on the one hand, an independent object, and, on the other, a form that needs animation by  the actor. The laureate bases her research on the thesis: Movement-Existence. Immobility-Dummy. Existence-Object


UNREAL PUPPET- Łukasz Skwara

“Unreal Puppet” presents a  marionette virtually controllable with hand gestures using a motion sensor. The project illustrates the possibilities of transferring the art of controlling puppets to the virtual world and answers the question,  whether we are able to tell stories using virtual strings. A short etude presents the possibilities of using a graphics engine for games for the purpose of performance  in a virtual scenery. Graphics and sound effects created in real time and controlled by the movement of a virtual puppet,  each time create a unique audiovisual experience.

“Various means of expression are a source of individual expression that always leads  towards original solutions. At the same time, the puppet tradition has not disappeared from our horizon. We can always refer to it”, wrote prof. Henryk Jurkowski in 2011.  After nearly a decade, these words still seem relevant today. The young generation of puppeteers in their performances constantly refer to classical patterns, although they use them in an innovative and attractive way. During the conversation, we will try to discuss the directions and effects of these searches, focusing on the most interesting examples of recent seasons.

Link to the ZOOM platform:
Warning! The meeting is free. The number of places is limited


The “Animatus” competition is realized by the “Kubuś” Puppet and Actor Theater in Kielce of Stefan Karski. Project co-financed by the Ministry of Culture, National Heritage and Sport of the Republic of Poland.