PUPPETS IN THE ATTIC
PUPPETS IN THE ATTIC
The attic of the Rosenfeld Palace is a gateway to a magical world of puppets in the form of a permanent exhibition. The exhibition will lead you through the history of the Žilina Puppet Theatre, the oldest professional puppet theatre in Slovakia. It is a real land of enchantment for both young and old. Follow a trail rich in history, get to know the different types of puppets, see what happens backstage or in a shadow play, have your photo taken as Pippi Longstocking, act out a drama or take control of a dragon and become a real puppeteer.
Puppet theatre has a long and distinguished history in Slovakia. In the past people encountered puppets at special family occasions such as birthdays, weddings and funerals, or annual social events such as nativity scene processions, carnival season, or spring and autumn festivals, as well as in puppet shows at home, in the theatre or at fairs. People would be most familiar with travelling puppeteers. The first Slovak puppeteer was Ján Stražan (1856 – 1939). His theatre known as Stražanovo or Veľké Gašparkovo was popular all over Slovakia.
FOLLOW THE EDUCATIONAL TRAIL
The trail maps the history of the oldest professional puppet theatre in Slovakia. The puppet theatre in Žilina was founded on 01 September 1950 by a group of enthusiasts led by the outstanding Žilina puppeteer Teodor Zvar. The name Žilina Puppet Theatre was first used on 01 April 1961. So far, the theatre has staged 240 productions with over 13,400 performances for more than 3 million viewers in over 37 countries on 4 continents of the world.
TRY YOUR HAND AS A PUPPETEER
The basic types of puppets include string puppets, finger puppets and rod puppets. String puppets are the most complicated to operate. They hang on threads and are controlled from above. Finger puppets, by contrast, are operated from below. They have their origins in shows put on at fairs. Rod puppets are also controlled from below via several rods. The puppeteer controls the puppet’s head with one hand while managing two guide wires that control hand gestures with the other.
HOW ABOUT A SHADOW PLAY?
This type of theatre comes from Asia. The puppets are flat figures – silhouettes that the viewer sees as a black shadow. They appear to move themselves but are controlled from behind. The puppeteers press them against a screen that is illuminated at an angle from above. The spectators can only see the puppets when they are pressed against the screen.
BLACK LIGHT THEATRE
One of the Žilina Puppet Theatre’s most famous productions was Ivan Pilný’s play Revue Ferri and Tonny (1972), which for many years was the theatre’s calling card both in neighbouring and attractively “remote” countries of the world. It holds the record for the most performances – an incredible 873.
Experience black light theatre with your own eyes!
STEP RIGHT UP
Tours of the exhibition:
Mon – Fri 10:30 and 14:00, Sun 10:00 – tours can be booked for organised groups of 10 or more persons by calling telephone number: +421 41 76 49 692.
Guided tours for groups at other times: from 09:00 to 15:00 subject to booking in advance for at least 6 persons. The maximum number of visitors per tour is 20 persons.
Admission charge: EUR 3 / adult; EUR 2 / student, free admission for people under 18 years of age, educational supervisors, pensioners and people with disabilities.