Prologue: Our festival forerunners!

For many years, in fact since the 1990s, the course of events at the Bábkarská Bystrica festival has been divided into the prologue and the main programme. Prologue takes place a couple of weeks before the festival and its main purpose has always been to give heads up to our audience as well as to all inhabitants of our city that a jolly celebration of the art of puppetry, namely the Bábkarská Bystrica international festival, will be underway shortly.

Since theatre is the form of art that combines many various types of art (e.g. music, literature, visual art, acting, dancing, puppets, etc.), our pre-festival events have always focused on various cultural events. Thematic exhibitions, for instance, became particularly popular. They were later joined by street shows, film screenings, live advertising, art workshops and so on. Until 2012, we organised the exhibitions in cooperation with the Central Slovakian Gallery; since 2014, the exhibitions took place in a theatre marquee in the municipal park under the Memorial of the Slovak National Uprising. Since it is a rather unusual space, the exhibitions have never been traditional either and have always been connected to various surprises and experiences.

Another popular Banská Bystrica-based institution, which has cooperated with us for many years in organising exhibitions and various other side events of the festival, is the State Scientific Library. This year, its foyer will host an exhibition of photographs that are thematically connected to the festival’s 2018 edition.

And now for this year’s main exhibition: The platform for families with children!!!

When organising this year’s edition of the festival, we joined forces with two institutions that have always shown great understanding for pursuing the festival’s mission to connect the seemingly unconnectable and thus amplify the festival experience. One is an affiliate of the Slovak National Museum, namely the Museum of Puppet Culture and Toys at the Modrý Kameň castle. Thanks to its commitment, the permanent exposition of small family theatres from Modrý Kameň castle will find its way to Banská Bystrica again. The other is the Department of Puppetry at the Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava whose principals and pedagogues approached their students and asked them to act as untraditional interactive chaperons for small and grown-up visitors throughout the exhibition. We won’t say no more – let yourselves be surprised!

And now for the explosion of talented children under the theatre marquee!!!

The theatre marquee has seen various events during Prologue – concerts, premiere of a fairy tale, creative workshops and so on. This year, which is under the sign of togetherness, we decided to give space to the children. Not just any children but talented children who study acting and dancing in elementary art schools and in their spare time they attend playgroups and amateur clubs at schools and community centres. From an early age, they have been exposed to artistic incentives that may have a decisive impact on their future.

We are very proud to be able to present to you eight of these inspiring ensembles that are brimming with sheer joy. For the very first time, Prologue also features children and young people from Romani community centres. Dear parents! Take your children with you and come recharge your batteries! Dear children! Take your parents along and come have some fun!

The parade of this unique explosion of children’s acting and dancing talent has been prepared by Monika Tatarková in cooperation with leaders of children’s ensembles and the festival’s Dramaturgical Council.