The Bábkarská Bystrica Festival is held every two years. This biennial belongs to the long-standing and profile festivals of Slovak theater and puppet art. It presents the results of current trends in domestic and foreign puppetry for children and adults. It has existed on the Slovak scene since 1977 – in the 80’s it was organized as a show of Slovak puppet theaters, in1994 – 2008 took place as an international festival of Slovak puppet theater in confrontation with puppet theater in Central Europe, in In 2010 he changed the concept and name to: Bábkarská Bystrica, Dvojitý impulz, an international festival of contemporary puppet theater for children and adults. The First Impulse program is dedicated to children (from the youngest to teenagers) and their parents. The Second Impulse program is focused on adults.


1977 – 1992

The festival was founded in 1977 as a national show of Slovak professional puppet theaters. It was held under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture of the SSR. The show was a biennial. The main organizers at the time were the Regional Puppet Theater, the Association of Dramatic Artists, or the Central Slovak National Committee, the Institute of Art Criticism and Theater Documentation, and others.
Since In 1982, the festival was competitive. The Prizes for Acting, the Prize for Dramaturgy, Directing, Scenography, Music and the Children’s Jury Prize were awarded.
In r. 1992 Bábkarská Bystrica took place as a festival of puppet theaters with international participation (more information in: X. Bábkarská Bystrica, V. Predmerský, National Theater Center Bratislava I. Ozábalová, 1996)

1994 – 2008

In the1994, the festival profiled itself as an international festival of Slovak puppet theaters in confrontation with puppet theater in Central Europe and invited ensembles from all over the world.
Its main organizer was the Puppet Theater at the Crossroads. The fact is that BDNR formulated the concept of the festival as a show of theaters in the Central European region before the establishment of the Visehrad Four (in 1996). The initiators of the change were: M. Pecko, I. Škripková, E. Farkašová and J. Zavarský.
Bábkarská Bystrica since 1994 to 2010 presented the current forms and manifestations of puppet theater for children and adults in the Visegrad Four countries and invited ensembles from around the world: from the USA, France, Switzerland, Italy, Israel, etc.
In r. 1998, in the times of the so-called cultural transformation, when BDNR belonged to the Central Slovak Intendature with XIII. the festival did not take place, despite the fact that it was ready. Officially due to the cancellation of the subsidy by the then Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic, a month before its opening. In fact, it was a political decision, it was a sanction for the theater’s protest against the transformation of culture by the then Minister of Culture I. Hudec. The BDNR has joined the theater strike.
In the program part of the festival in From 1994 to 2008, professional collaborators from Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary participated as guarantors of the selection of performances of these countries. The Slovak part was not selective. All Slovak professional puppet ensembles with one production could take part. Later, independent groups and theaters joined them. The festival was interdisciplinary. Since the 1990s, it has been a permanent part of thematic exhibitions in cooperation with the Central Slovak Gallery, radio productions, professional seminars and conferences, as well as street theater.

2004 – 2008

Since 2004, the festival has been a competition. The festival awarded three prizes. They were created in cooperation with the Theater Institute in Bratislava. Their goal was to popularize and support the creation of puppet theaters.

award for creative work in the field of Slovak puppet theater, guaranteed by the Theater Institute,
prize for creative work for artists from V4 countries, guaranteed by the Visehrad Fund,
under the guarantee of the chairman of the Banská Bystrica self-governing region.

The holders of the Quarrel Award are:
BDNR Banská Bystrica, J. Hollý KUBO, directed by M. Pecko, dir. 2004
Old Theater Nitra, T. Pěkný HAVRAN Z KAMEŇA, directed by O. Spišák, dir. 2006
Old Theater Nitra, J. D. Salinger WHO CATCHES IN RYE, directed by J. Krofta, dir. 2008
Dezorz Puppet Theater Bratislava, A. Hrča PERUN, THE HUMP OF THE GODLESS AND THE POGROM OF SLÁVIA, dir. 2010

The winners of the Henryk Jurkowski Prize are:
Líšeň Theater (Czech Republic), Domové rekviem (Bad Game), directed by P. Dombrovská, dir. 2004
Alfa Theater, Pilsen (Czech Republic), A. Dumas Three Musketeers, directed by T. Dvořák, dir. 2006
Lalki Theater and actor, Opole (Poland), Drums – 4 dance (s), directed by K. Kobylka, M. Ordak-Kaczorowska, dir. 2008
Lalki and Actor Theater, Opole (Poland), W. Gombrowicz Ivona, Princess of Burgundy, directed by M. Pecko, dir. 2010

The holders of the Audience Award are:
A. Anderle Traditional Theater, Banská Bystrica, The Smallest Circus in the World, 2004
Alfa Theater, Pilsen, Czech Republic, Three Musketeers, year 2006
Bóbita Theater, Pécs, Hungary, for the production King Thrush King, 2008

Since 2010, the Festival has also awarded the Children’s Audience Award, which is decided by a children’s jury.

Its first holder was the Train Theater from Jerusalem (IL) with the production Circus Cubes.

Eight years from the so-called stage. Central European Festival (1994 – 2008) are clear evidence of unprecedented bustle, incentives and mutual inspiration of domestic and foreign ensembles and individuals / hens. At the end of the 1990s, it resulted in regular hosting of creative personalities of various nationalities from the V4 countries (directors, set designers and other artists) among Central European countries and invitations to host domestic ensembles abroad, resp. ensembles performing at festivals to festivals in other countries.
It would certainly be interesting to process these facts, we just randomly select examples of so-called of cultural mobility: invitation of BDNR to France, to Poland, to the Czech Republic, J. Hollý KUBO, invitation to the Minor Theater, Jungle Book to France, Poland, invitation to the Kecskeméth Puppet Theater, Ophelia’s Shadow Theater, to the Czech Republic, Poland, invitation to BD Košice, Zlaté pierko , to France, invitation of the Kvelb Theater to Italy, invitation of the Train Theater from Israel, Circus Cubes to the Czech Republic, Poland, etc. Two books dedicated to puppet theater were published at this stage of the festival: X. Bábkarská Bystrica, Vladimír Predmerský, Ivica Ozábalová, National Theater Center Bratislava, 1996, Shamans, Mages and Comedians, Guide to Puppet Theater, Bábkarská Bystrica in Visegrad Confrontations, published by the Theater Institute, 2002 The festival brought a lot of news in the field of theatrical communication with the audience. Its organizers respected the motto: Create a space of greater possibilities (D. Tatarka), Master (J. W. Goethe) turns out to be limited, Art is supposed to make a person happy (unknown author). They were inspired by foreign festivals and gradually promoted news in the organization of the festival to diversify life in the city, to attract audiences that are already common events at festivals: grand opening on the square in Banská Bystrica (masks, procession, Trávničkovo kvarteto, 1994), street theater and various attractions (since 1994), installation of buildings in the city (since 1996), fireworks (for the first time in 2000, on the occasion of the baptism of Villa Dominika), fire show, opera singing on the square (2002) , first tent / tent as a theatrical playing space (since 2002), live advertising in the city, allegorical cars (since 1994), festival chronicle in STV (since 1996), creative workshops for children (since 2002) etc. On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the BDNR, a documentary was made about the theater and the House of Good Ghosts festival (2000, STV, directed by L. Bariak). Since 2004 includes the creation of a documentary about the festival. The main financial partners of the show were: Regional Office of the Banská Bystrica Region, Banská Bystrica Self-Governing Region, grant funds of the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic, Pro Slovakia, International Visegrad Foundation, Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic, various other international sources and cultural institutes in Slovakia.
The main partner of the festival was the Theater Institute in Bratislava.


In 2010, the concept and name of the festival were changed: Bábkarská Bystrica, Dvojitý impulz, an international festival of a new puppet theater for children and adults. The changes were a response to domestic and international cultural circumstances. E.g. growth and number of various Central European events and music and theater festivals of the V4 countries on the domestic scene and in the surrounding countries (at least 10 events in Slovakia), the formation of the Bábková Žilina festival as a national show, exclusively for Slovak puppet theaters (in 2009). A significant motivation was the internal evaluation of the festival’s dramaturgy and the current situation on the domestic puppet scene. It was necessary to look for new content and a form promising for the future of the festival. To find such a concept that would guarantee the continuity of previous results, and at the same time provide a new stimulus for the development of puppet art at home and in the cultural environment. A concept that would continue to communicate openly with the public. The idea of ​​a Double Impulse was born, the initiators were M. Pecko, I. Škripková, M. Kováčová. The festival was divided into two parts. The first impulse for children. The second impulse for adults. Two impulses independent of each other, which in parallel are looking for current trends and direction of puppet theater for children and adults.


In the subtitle, the word “new” changed to the word “contemporary” and Bábkarská Bystrica, Double Impulse became an international festival of contemporary puppet theater for adults and children. At the 18th year, 32 productions of 23 ensembles from 10 European countries – from Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, France, the Netherlands, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Italy, the United Kingdom and a Greek ensemble operating in Germany – were presented to the audience during six festival days. At the Bábkarská Bystrica festival, we welcomed a total of 3,500 spectators, of which 500 at accompanying events. In the framework of the First Impulse for Children and Their Parents (September 28 – October 1, 2012) and the Second Impulse for Adults (October 2 – October 3, 2012), Bábkarská Bystrica brought a number of theatrical, puppet, art and film events. , cultural, social, age, theatrical, regional and international impulses for the creative pulse. In addition to the competition productions, during the first day of the festival we presented 10 street productions on Štefan Moyses Square and SNP Square in Banská Bystrica.
The festival experienced many firsts: for the first time we presented a section dedicated to performances for toddlers and their parents, we presented the theater-music-film FK-ZONE, ensembles from Greece and Bulgaria as well as the international project Platform 11+ for teenagers. As part of the accompanying program, two international conferences were held: Taboo in Creation for Children and Directorial Personalities in Puppet Theater for Adults, a seminar on gender theater and a discussion with the creators of the Second Impulse.
We also presented awards during the festival. As part of the First Impulse for Children, ten productions from six European countries and the international production of the Platform 11+ project applied for the Children’s Jury Prize. The five-member children’s jury awarded its prize to the Czech Dragon Theater, Hradec Králové for the production Little Girl with Matches (director: Matija Solce). During the Second Impulse for Adults, we presented six productions. The Henryk Jurkowski Prize was awarded to the production Turandot (directed by Paveł Passini) of the Polish theaters Grupa Coincidentia, Białystok and neTTheatre, Lublin. It was decided by an international jury composed of: Jakub Krofta (CZ), Soňa Ferancová (SK) and Róbert Mankovecký (SK). The Czech production of the Ostrava Lebensraum Puppet Theater (director: Marián Pecko) won the Banská Bystrica self-governing region’s award for a humane message.
40 members of the organizational staff took part in the preparation of the festival, of which 16 were volunteers. The festival welcomed 44 observers from Turkey, Great Britain, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Hungary, Germany, Poland, Russia and Slovakia.
The main organizer of the festival has traditionally been the Puppet Theater at the Crossroads, the main financial partner of the festival is the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic and the Banská Bystrica self-governing region, the main media partner is Radio and Television of Slovakia.


Festival Bábkarská Bystrica 2014 took place from September 23 to September 27, 2014. First impulse for children (September 23 – September 25) and Second impulse for adults (September 26 – September 27) brought 22 theatrical performances from 5 European countries (Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Portugal) for all ages, not excluding toddlers. The festival welcomed more than 40 individual observers from 8 European countries, more than 150 participants and more than 3,000 spectators. The first impulse of the festival, focused on contemporary creative performances of puppet theater, ended with the awarding of the Children’s Jury Prize, composed of Lucia Jaduďová, chairwoman, Emília Skokanová, Kristína Kostiviarová, Alexandra Janovcová – members attended creative writing and the BDnR Drama Club. The children’s jury awarded three prizes (1. Marvin, Puppet Theater Ostrava, CZ 2. About a Lamb Who Fell from the Sky, Naive Theater Liberec, CZ, 3. Good Taste, Wolf !, Puppet Theater at the Crossroads, Banská Bystrica, SK). During the first impulse of the festival, three important socio-cultural discussions concerning the situation in the field of theaters took place (Why the festival ?, Theater festivals abroad, Impulses of the First Impulse). The second impulse for adults was devoted to the themes of W. Shakespeare, World War II and the anniversary of the SNP. As part of the accompanying events, an international theatrical conference of William Shakespeare and his interpretations in the puppet theater, two exhibitions (Shakespeare’s Walks in Dreams, Imaginarium), one film event (Hamlet does business) and a book presentation (Choice. Cry. in Slovak drama of the 20th century). For the first time in its history, the festival has produced and implemented a unique theater project – site specific in the Radvanský manor house called Start moving out! It was dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the SNP, attended by 25 students of 3 art schools (Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava, JAMU Brno, J. L. Bella Conservatory, Banská Bystrica). The festival was organized by the Puppet Theater at the Crossroads. The main professional collaborator of the festival was the Theater Institute in Bratislava. The main media partner of RTVS. The festival was supported by: the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic, the Banská Bystrica self-governing region, the City of Banská Bystrica and other cultural, social and business entities. The main organizer of the festival is the Puppet Theater at the Crossroads in Banská Bystrica.)

rok 2016

Jubilee and groundbreaking year.
He changed his name to BÁBKARSKÁ BYSTRICA TOUR 2016, Double Impulse.
The festival was visited by more than 3,700 spectators.

The main program of the festival took place from September 30 to October 4, 2016. The program included 21 performances from 7 countries (SK, CZ, PL, HU, DE, IT, Israel). As part of the First Impulse, 14 productions for children (from toddlers to teenagers), as part of the Second Impulse, 7 productions for adult audiences. During the First Impulse, the Children’s Jury worked, which awarded 1st place to the production Bodaj to hus kopla !, Teatr Animacji, Poznań (PL). The impulse TOUR became an absolute novelty and a favorite of the festival. For the first time in its history, the festival went to the audience in the suburbs and villages of BBSK. TOUR took place in 6 BBSK villages: Ostrom Grúni (opening of the TOUR program, a remembrance of the victims of Bloody Sunday 1945), Divín, Ladomerská Vieska, Braväcov, Hriňová and Modrom Kamen. As part of the period activities of the main program, an international conference Art on the Periphery took place, at which lecturers (SK, CZ, IT, FIN) from the field of theater work in non-traditional conditions or with various minority groups discussed. We christened the publication Bábkarská Bystrica – a festival of all sizes, which reflects 20 years, 10 international years of the festival. We prepared the publication in cooperation with the Theater Institute in Bartislav.
For the first time, a weekly international puppet workshop was held under the direction of director Robert Jarosz and theater teacher Justyna Czarnota (both PL) in the beautiful surroundings of the Museum of Puppet Cultures and Toys in Modrý Kamen. The workshop was attended by 10 students, enthusiasts / puppets for puppet theater, who presented the final presentation of the Labyrinth of Dreaming Objects on the last day of the festival. The festival was held under the patronage of Jozef Mokoš, poet and playwright (First Impulse), and the matronate of Jana Oľhová, a member of SND Bratislava and SKD Martin (Second Impulse) and Ľubica Laššáková (TOUR Festival), then chairwoman of the BBSK cultural commission. The 20th year resonated at the domestic and international level as an extraordinary act in the field of theater. In September 2017, the European Festival Association (EFA) awarded him the title LAUREATE EFFE 2017-2018, which put him on the list of 26 most remarkable art festivals in Europe. At the same time, he was awarded the Extraordinary Prize of the Association of Contemporary Theater for the conception and realization of the festival for Iveta Škripková and Marián Pecko at the DOSKY 2017 season award.