The Ljubljana Puppet Theatre (LPT) is the main Slovenian puppet theatre staging puppet and drama performances for children, youngsters and adults. Its predominant target audiences are children and young people. The public institution was established in 1948 (as the City Puppet Theatre). In its work, the LPT builds on the hundred-year tradition of Slovenian puppetry.
With the establishment of the Museum of Puppetry at the Ljubljana Castle, the LPT officially became the caretaker of this precious, century-old heritage. The theatre manages five regular and several smaller, occasional venues. At these venues, which offer seating for approximately one thousand people, it produces fifteen premieres a year and is visited by around 110,000 spectators.
The LPT also pays special attention to cultural and artistic education in all its dimensions and at the national level cooperates in the endeavours to strengthen the standards and systematically place quality cultural content in the programmes of educational institutions. Every two years, therefore, it joins forces with the Slovenian Theatre Institute and Cankarjev dom in organising the Golden Stick Festival, a national festival providing an overview of theatre performances for children and youth.
The second festival organised by the LPT, which takes place every even-numbered year, is the LUTKE International Puppet Festival. This festival brings the best foreign puppet to Slovenia productions and promotes all kinds of contemporary interdisciplinary and genre developments.
In addition to its regular programme, the LPT has in recent years developed a special programme profile for emerging artists and forms named BiTeater. This programme includes experimental productions which enrich the medium of puppet theatre with other artistic registers. BiTeater traces the limits of LPT’s performative variety, which ranges from cultivating the marionette tradition to contemporary problem plays for youth.
- founded 1948
- 70 employees
- 160 freelancers
- 120.000 spectators per season
- appr. 13 per year
- appr. 35 shows in repertoire
- appr. 1200 events/ shows per year
The LPT is a member of the International Puppetry Association UNIMA, ASSITEJ – International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People, the Slovenian Puppetry Artists Institution, Small Size, an international association focused on productions for early years (under six years of age), and one of the founding members of NEECPA, a network of puppet centres joining primarily the key players from Scandinavia, the Baltic region and Russia.
The theatre is aiming towards diversity in aesthetic approaches; we are including different artistic initiatives from a variety of contemporary expression, because we would like to attract contemporary audience–young generation.
While a decade ago our main audience were children between 4 and 8 years, in recent years we have developed our program for the second period of primary school (9 to 12years). Good reception of this was followed by demand from schools and we can state firmly that expansion of our target audience became permanent.
Our next achievement in the field of TYA happened with the productions Brainstorm (Ned Glasier, Emily Lim and Company Three, directed by P. Ekart) and The Right to Be a Human (original play by young authors, directed by M. Bulc). These two productions triggered a phenomenon among teenage audiences (last years of primary school beginning of secondary school).
As we see our role in the society as an important bridge toward culture of adult audiences and we have an obligation for the affirmation in school programs (primary and secondary schools), the frame of the ConnectUp project seems to complement our aims perfectly.