PuppeTry is the name of a new Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree (EMJMD) which has been set up by four Central European theatre academies with university status. This programme, the very first EMJMD in performing arts worldwide, is taking advantage of the long-term collaboration between the academies, i.e. Consortium partners. Since the 1980s, and especially after the political and economic changes in Central Europe in 1989, the participating academies have been exchanging teachers and students, presenting each other’s students’ performances at festivals and collaborating on common research in puppetry. All four academies have been strong players in the development of traditional Central European puppetry into contemporary puppet and object theatre, which also involves, beside tradition, impulses from visual arts, film, physical theatre and new technologies. 

The actual groundings of PuppeTry programme were built on a three-year international cooperation project Three Layers of Telling a Story, funded by the Erasmus+ programme (2014 –2017). The aim of the project was to prepare, test and establish different educational programmes with long-term sustainability in the field of theatre and film education, i.e. common trainings, summer universities, joint MA programmes. The project was structured into three parallel working groups that organized professional study tours, allowing the faculty to experience and participate in each other’s work; organized joint workshops, events and conferences. Through these activities, the puppetry working group achieved these final intellectual outputs:

  • At the end of 1st and 2nd year, as a result of workshop activities, work-in-progress performances were presented in the Slovak student puppet festival.
  • Brochures containing the papers of the annual conference, as well as the professional documentation (description, videos) of the workshops were published. 
  • In the 3rd year, the application for an international joint master programme (EMJMD) in puppetry was prepared. 



(University of Theatre and Film Arts, Budapest)

The University of Theatre and Film Arts, Budapest (SZFE) is the oldest art institution of higher education in Hungary that tutors theoretical and practical professionals in the fields of theatre, film and television. The history of the Institution goes back to 1865 when the actor training began in Hungary and the School of Acting opened its gates. On January 1st, 2000 the Institution was awarded the title of university.

The Institution celebrated the 150th anniversary of its foundation in the academic year 2015/2016, the results of a hundred and fifty years of work, which earned unprecedented honour, rank and prestige both at home and in the world. Oscar-winning artists like Mihály Kertész, Vilmos Zsigmond, István Szabó and Géza Röhrig also studied at SZFE. The great director, Béla Tarr or Mari Törőcsik who won the Award for Best Actress in Cannes were also among its students. Over the past decades, the majority of today’s accomplished Hungarian actors and directors got their degree at this institution.

The teachers of SZFE are active artists, creative professionals of art theory and the most respected figures of their profession. The exceptionally gifted students are selected carefully from thirty times more applicants each year. In small groups, using practice-oriented skills development trainings, the Hungarian art tradition is passed on by the masters to the students, while fresh, creative energy constantly renews the artistic practice. The most influential living representatives of theatre, film and television all studied at the University and make the institution a future-shaping, significant participant of the Hungarian cultural identity.

The University of Theatre and Film Arts, Budapest has five institutes, departments:
Institute of Theatre Arts
Institute of Film and Media
Institute of Art Theory and Mediation
Department of PhD in Arts and DLA of Arts
Department of Adult Education and Training

The university courses include Acting, Stage Directing, Dramaturgy, Applied Theatre, Motion Picture Studies (with specializations in Editing, Directing, Sound Directing, Cameraman, Production and Dramaturgy), Production Design, Documentary Filmmaking, and Composing for Theatre and Motion Picture (in cooperation with Liszt Academy). Dance and movement have an important role in the curriculum and for the first time in academic year 2008/2009 a five-year degree programme was launched for Choreographer-Director for Physical Theatre.

SZFE has a Joint Master’s programme called DocNomads together with universities in Lisbon and Brussels and a new Joint Master program for cinematographers called Viewfinder in collaboration with universities in Ireland and Estonia. The current DLA programme was launched in 2000 and the PhD in Arts programme in 2015, respectively.

The University has more than 30 bilateral agreements and sends students for exchange programmes and internships to prominent British, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Lithuanian, and French theatres, workshops, numerous film production companies and television channels. The University also hosts students primarily from Belgium, Portugal, Lithuania, Norway, France, Ireland and Romania.


(Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague)

The Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (DAMU) is a modern, university-level art school in the Czech Republic. It is home to artistic personalities with a broad cultural perspective and an intense desire to grasp the opportunity to integrate theatrical knowledge and skill with artistic experiment. DAMU is a highly selective school, providing professional education in all branches of theatre: acting, directing, dramaturgy, scenography, theory and criticism, theatre management, authorial creativity and drama in education in the fields of dramatic and alternative theatre, performance studies and puppetry. Courses include bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral level studies. The school has strong international connections and actively encourages placements at various European universities. DAMU alumni obtain prestigious positions at the foremost theatres in the Czech Republic. They also go on to establish and act in independent companies, work as freelance theatre artists, theatre reviewers, producers, teachers and/or authors in the broadest sense.


(Theatre Faculty of Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava)

The Department of Puppetry at the Theatre Faculty of Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava was founded in 1989. The objective of the Department is the education and training of students to prepare them for their professional careers in the field of puppet theatre, material theatre, theatre in general and related arts. Beside the basic development of theatre skills supporting the creativity and imagination, the studies emphasise achieving specific skills of contemporary puppet theatre. A variety of approaches and methods of puppet theatre and related arts have their place here. This creates space for many different interdisciplinary projects. The study programme includes the complex preparation of students in the field of acting, directing, dramaturgy, scene and puppetry design and building puppets in three degrees: bachelor, master and doctoral. The Department manages the extensive international co-operation through ERASMUS+ programme and bilateral agreements with universities and partners within and outside Europe. Students and masters from abroad regularly arrive. Among others they come from the UK, Argentina, Spain, France etc. Masters like Neville Tranter and researchers like prof. John McCormick, Dr. Marek Waszkiel and others have given lectures here.


(Puppet Theatre Art Department of the Aleksander Zelwerowicz National Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw, Branch Campus In Bialystok)

The Puppet Theatre Art Department was set up in 1975 as the Białystok branch of the Academy. During their studies, students have an opportunity to get acquainted with acting with a puppet. The Department offers comprehensive and challenging academic programmes and training experiences which prepare students for professional careers in the theatre and related entertainment fields. It offers MA degree at graduation in two specializations: actor-puppeteer and director of puppet theatre and also BA degree in puppet theatre technology. The main objective of the Department is to educate young puppeteers who begin their own career after graduation and also undertake educational activities with children and the young, become involved in therapeutic activities through puppet theatre, find employment in theatres, radio and television. The teaching programme comprises both theoretical and practical subjects and includes making and manipulation of puppets for use in some kind of theatrical performance. To complete the studies, students have to write a Master’s thesis and take part in two spectacles or produce one final exam show.

Apart from regular classes, many art workshops take place. They are conducted by both Polish and foreign artists such as Leszek Mądzik, Leszek Bzdyl, Agnieszka Glińska, Duda Paiva, Michael Vogel, Romuald Collinet, Robert Niżnik, Janni Younge. Organized around different fields of study, these are supposed to complete, expand and diversify students’ knowledge.

The Puppet Theatre Art Department organizes – the International Festival of Puppetry Schools ‘Puppet-no-puppet’ every two years, allowing young puppet artists from all continents to meet.

Associated partners

Associated partners are connected to the Consortium. They support the programme, are advisors for its development, provide internships for students and present their school works. The cooperation with each partner is rather specific and based on individual agreement. Here we provide informative list of cooperating institutions, theatres, festivals, roof organizations, associated with PuppeTry Consortium.

Name of company/institutionCountry
Budapest Bábszínház, BudapestHU
Ciróka Bábszínház, KecskemétHU
Mesebolt Bábszínház, SzombathelyHU
Vaskakas Bábszínház,GyőrHU
Kolibri színház, Budapest.HU
Kövér Béla BábszínházHU
Napsugár Bábszínház BékéscsabaHU
Bóbita BábszínházHU
Magazine Loutkář/PuppeteerCZ
Alfa Theatre, PlzeňCZ
South Bohemian Theatre – Malé divadlo, Č. BudějoviceCZ
Czech Center UNIMACZ
Lizé Puppet Art ColonyTWN
Buchty a Loutky TheatreCZ
Białostocki Teatr Lalek – BiałystokPL
Teatr Animacji – PoznańPL
Teatr Lalka – WarszawaPL
Teatr Guliwer – WarszawaPL
Teatr Baj – WarszawaPL
Teatr Kubuś – KielcePL
Múzeum bábkarských kultúr a hračiek/Museum of PuppetrySK
Bábkové divadlo/Puppet Theatre in ŽilinaSK
Bábkové divadlo Košice/Puppet Theatre in KošiceSK
Professional Training Commission of UNIMAUNIMA/UNESCO
National University of San Martín, Buenos AiresArgentina