Puppet theater: more than just entertainment

Puppets are not just figures made of wood, board and fabric designed to entertain for a few brief moments. They can be used for educational purposes too.

Environment and Biodiversity

France Dives-sur-mer, Calvados, France

Gildas Clochard-Bossuet

40,000 euro to the Selection Committee at 2005/12/06

Project leader

CréAm (Centre régional des arts de la marionnette)

«The creation of this workshop will fulfill the dual role of preserving a major cultural heritage (puppet-making and puppet shows), and meeting a real need among the socially underprivileged.»

Gildas Clochard-Bossuet

For 20 years, in Basse-Normandie (France), CRéAM (Regional Center for Puppet Arts) has organized a theater festival of the same name. Given the success of this annual event, the center decided to embark on a new project that would involve the creation of a permanent structure operating year-round. The core of this project is a workshop established in the former library of Dives-sur-Mer.
Dedicated to artistic training and open to a variety of audiences, these premises will be used to develop a variety of artistic, entertaining and educational activities. They will include courses to assist with the elocution of handicapped children, and the development of shows for the underprivileged in Caen. Exhibitions will also be held.

A base for outreach programs

At the same time, to help children pass their time in hospital, puppet shows are created and then toured to the hospitals in the region. This activity is included as part of the "culture in hospitals" program introduced by the region in 2004. Finally, the center works closely with local mental institutions to foster the development of children monitored by the medical and legal authorities.
The 40 000 euros contributed by the Veolia Foundation covered the cost of purchasing all the equipment needed to run the workshop and the puppet shows for hospitals.