PuppeTry is the new ERASMUS MUNDUS JOINT MASTER DEGREE programme, which has been set up by four Central European theatre academies with university status. It follows a three-year international cooperation programme between these academies via the project: Three Layers of Telling a Story, funded by the European Union program KA 2 – Strategic partnerships. The project PuppeTry is a programme of study created by the University of Theatre and Film (SZFE) in Budapest, Hungary; the Aleksander Zelwerowicz National Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw and the Puppet Theatre Arts department in Bialystok, Poland; the Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava, Slovakia and the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. The intention behind the establishment of this EMJMD programme is to strengthen the strategic role of Central European puppetry training, the exchange of methods and educational approaches in the context of puppet theatre and material performance in the 21st century.
The study programme PuppeTry will offer a unique chance for the students to experience different artistic methods and aesthetic approaches under the leadership of local and guest teachers, attaining knowledge, skills, ideas and practice in both traditional techniques and contemporary object and material theatre of the 21st century. This will be provided through a rotating system which will operate semester by semester in each of the four academies. A selected topic for each semester will be designated within the syllabus of the programme, and elaborated by the four academies in relation to the aesthetic specialisations of each academy. The students will have the opportunity to meet internationally acclaimed Masters of puppet theatre.
The main aims of the PuppeTry EMJMD are: to educate and guide students in order for them to be prepared for professional careers as puppet, object and material theatre artists through practical artistic activities and projects; to initiate students‘ creative research in the area of contemporary puppet theatre and its related forms in order to improve their own artistic development; to foment the students‘ development of wider skills in the area of performing arts and artistic creation; to develop a knowledge of how to disseminate their artistic achievements, instilling an appreciation of professional ethics and promoting theatre culture.
Students will learn to create theatre performances and to work with a variety of stage techniques in the field of contemporary puppetry, object and material performances.
They will engage with all phases of creating a performance project, including: the selection of themes; the building of conceptual and dramaturgical structures; the processing of material, sound, visual and spatial design; engaging with dramaturgical work with material; creating performance material through rehearsal; performing and working with performers; working with puppets and objects and working with audiences.
A graduate from the puppetry specialisation will possess the skills and qualifications of a puppeteer; have attained specific professional skills concerning craft and artistic creation; will be able to use a wide range of acting techniques; and will know the possibilities of different puppet techniques, of object theatre and other unconventional means of artistic expression within the theatre of animated forms. A graduate will be prepared to initiate his/her independent artistic work and will be equipped with the basics of humanistic knowledge, especially knowledge in the area of culture and social communication. A graduate will be able to work as an actor, stage designer, director or musician in the area of puppetry and related arts as an independent artist or as a member of a professional company.
An essential condition for admission to the programme is passing of the first cycle study (Bachelor) in theatre arts or in a related discipline (related disciplines: the art of cinema and multimedia, music, dance, fine art and disciplines of the Humanities). Only applicants who have demonstrated their knowledge of the English language at a level of intermediate language exam (B2) may be admitted to the PuppeTry EMJMD. Admissions starts by filling of the application form in electronic system on the PuppeTry website. Applicants will fill out the on-line application form, where they also indicate if they apply for an Erasmus+ Scholarship and upload required documents in pdf. The selection procedure includes two stages (rounds):
1. Evaluation of the documents provided by the applicant by Entrance Exam Committee:
Motivation Letter including applicant´s professional vision, Curriculum vitae and transcript of academic studies. Depending on the country of origin of the awarded diploma or certificate, there are various methods of authorisation. A list of countries and methods can be found here: List of authorisation procedures by country, Artist’s portfolio, Two letters of recommendation by two respectable academic or arts professionals in English. One of the letters has to be written by a professional puppeteer or respectable puppetry institution.
Applicants with the highest ranking in the first round, will be invited for the second round. Creative assignment for the second round will be delivered aside the invitation.
2. Second round will take place in form of Interview with selected applicants and presentation of assigned creative tasks. Practical creative tasks assigned in advance will be evaluated during interview. The interview with Entrance Exam Committee will take by video conference.
The merits of the applicants will be weighted as follows: In the 1st Round the maximum score is 100 points that will add up as follows: up to 40 pts for motivation letter and professional vision, up to 40 pts for artist’s portfolio, up to 10 pts for previous study experience and transcript of studies, up to 10 pts for recommendation letters. In the 2nd Round the maximum score is 100 points that will add up as follows: up to 25 points for homework video prepared in advance, up to 25 for the questionnaire, up to 25 points for the written ordered text, up to 25 points for the interview. Special care will be taken in the student selection to avoid any discrimination. Applications will be considered solely on the basis of their academic merits, abilities and potential, regardless of gender, ethnic or national origin, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation or any other distinction. At the end of the selection procedure, a ranking list will be compiled of admitted students in decreasing order of merit and according to the number of scholarships available. This list will be submitted to the PuppeTry Academic Board for approval of admitted students and of those who will benefit from an Erasmus Mundus Scholarship or any other available funding. The lists of selected and reserve candidates shall be approved by EACEA. Admitted students who do not qualify for a scholarship, due to the limited number of individual scholarships available, can be admitted to the PuppeTry course on self-funded basis. Self-funded candidates will have to provide adequate proof of financial sustainability for the whole course duration or they can apply for other scholarships.
All applicants shall receive written communication of the PuppeTry Academic Board’s decision. It will arrive in the form of a Notification Letter explaining the grounds of accepting or rejecting the application, also containing information on the appeal procedure. Applicants on the reserve list will also be notified. The notification of acceptance for the selected candidates will include: The official letter of approval; A model Student agreement.