report , Charleville-Mézières, France, 1524 September 2006 Claudia Every three years the generally quiet town of CharlevilleMézières, in the Ardennes region of France, gives itself over to an exciting festival of world puppetry.1 Home of the Institut International de la Marionnette (International Institute of Puppetry), as well as France's own national school of puppetry, L'École Nationale Supérieure des Arts de la Marionnette (ESNAM), Charleville holds a special place in the hearts of puppeteers and puppet lovers across the globe, who have attended festivals there as far back as 1961, taken or offered workshops at the school, or pursued scholarly studies at the Institute's Centre de Recherches, which holds more than 6,000 books and 1,200 videos. The three-year hiatus between festivals, which some would like to shorten to two, helps build anticipation for what is perhaps the largest puppetry festival in the world. In September 2006, the festival offered more than 250 shows from more than forty countries as part of both its main program ("Programme In") and fringe ("Programme Off"), along with twelve exhibits on puppetry and an endless stream of street performers occupying every inch of open air space or perambulating around the city in striking costumes.
Asian Theatre Journal – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Mar 4, 2007