The largest-scale festival of contemporary puppetry in the world highlights the Baltic states
The most prestigious and largest-scale festival of contemporary puppetry in the world, Festival Mondial des Théâtres de Marionnettes, which takes place in France, will showcase the visual theatre of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania as one of its focal points in the programme of the festival taking place in 2025.
"We have been working for a long while towards the goal of bringing the programme of the Baltic visual theatre to this festival; and now we can say that the deal has been made in this respect. During the meeting with Pierre-Yves Charlois, the artistic director of the festival, it was established that the festival taking place in 2025 will include the Baltic states as one of its focal points, which is creating opportunities to take productions from Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania to the world stage," said Leino Rei, manager of the International Visual Theatre Festival Tallinn Treff. Rei, who is currently participating in the Festival Mondial des Théâtres de Marionnettes, led the organising of the Baltic Showcase, a festival presenting the Baltic visual theatre, which took place in May 2022 in Tallinn. The aim of the festival, which is organised jointly by the visual theatre networks of the three Baltic states, is to present the Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian visual theatre to the audiences of the Baltic states as well as to the organisers of international festivals; and by doing so, to open the door to the international stages for the Baltic theatre folk.
"A lot of work is still ahead of us, but it feels great that the preparatory work we have been doing – the Baltic Visual Theatre Showcase, which was launched last year, and the years of activity of the Tallinn Treff – has been fruitful," said Rei, manager of the festival Tallinn Treff, which has been organised by the Estonian Theatre for Young Audiences (ETYA) ever since 2007.
According to Joonas Tartu, General Manager of the ETYA, who is also participating in the Festival Mondial des Théâtres de Marionnettes, such an achievement reflects the work that is being done at the ETYA. He emphasised the indispensable contribution of the theatre staff and the collaborators by saying: "The work that everyone in our theatre has been doing and is doing daily has taken us to such a level that it’s impossible to ignore us."
The Festival Mondial des Théâtres de Marionnettes is taking place for the 22nd time this year. During the 9 festival days, 87 theatres from 25 countries are giving altogether 452 performances. About 150,000 visitors from all over the world are attending the festival.
The next festival Baltic Showcase will take place in 2024 in Lithuania.
In the photo (from the left): Leino Rei, Artistic Director of the festival Tallinn Treff; Pierre-Yves Charlois, Artistic Director of the Festival Mondial des Théâtres de Marionnettes; Mirko Rajas, Artistic Director of the ETYA; and Joonas Tartu, General Manager of the ETYA. Photo: ETYA