13th-16th May, 2021

Materia Magica is an International puppet theatre festival organised every two years since 1997 by Klaipėda puppet theatre. Festival organisers seek to present such form of theatre art that would cross the borders of age and deep-rooted stereotypes, the one that would combine traditional form of representation with new, experimental trends, its multidisciplinary nature with clear shapes.

A global pandemic has forced the world and lots of various activities to stop, imposing new conditions: the only chance of survival is to adapt and find new ways of living in such conditions. We are forced to reevaluate the existence itself – existence of a theatre as well as a creator in the theatre. During this quite long period of time theatre has learned to broadcast premieres in an online environment. Actors and directors have learned to rehearse through computer screens. Hope is temporary. One can’t get rid of a bad feeling, that such suffocated art does not have much time: theatre deprived of its spectators slowly stops breathing.

I breathe
Breathing is a basic human right and condition of existence. We ourselves and all that surrounds us breathe. In a puppet theatre a puppet breaths in the hands of a puppeteer. With the first shudder of its diaphragm begins the magic of a puppet theatre. Without breathing everything stops, ends, dies.
So what are the options for an artist to breathe in a modern world? What is this oxygen, what’s an inhale, what’s an exhale? Did a theatre left behind a closed door leave a tiny gap for the air?
Yes, as a puppeteer makes a puppet breathe and talk, this festival seeks to present the puppeteers that have managed to find a way to breathe during these times of suffocation.

Invitation to artists
International puppet theatre festival Materia Magica organised by Klaipėda puppet theatre invites all puppet and object theatre artists as well as multidisciplinary creators and theatre companies to submit applications to participate in Materia Magica 2021 festival.

Invitation theme
Festival organisers encourage artists to explore the theme of breathing and inspiration: perhaps it will be a story of a canary that have always wanted to see America, but couldn’t, since it has been trapped in a cage. Or maybe it will be an inspiring story about a mole that has made himself a pair of glasses and was able to see the sun for the first time. Or maybe you will tell a story about people who could not breathe freely, because they were oppressed by time, illness, system, sadness or racism and yet managed to survive? Or are they still prisoners of the restrictions? Perhaps it’s a performance about our planet that struggles to breathe or a fish stuck in an oil spill? Let’s talk about breathing – in all its forms, on all the levels. Let’s talk about the wonderful, life changing gulp of air.

Materia Magica will wait for puppet and object theatre performances that will be shown to Klaipėda citizens and guest in May 2021. It’s hard to predict what the situation will be next year due to the pandemic, although we hope that we’ll find a way to show your plays and performances for small groups of people, outdoors or in a virtual space.
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