International Jerusalem Puppet Festival 2021

Cozy One Man Band/Photo: David Siebert

The creativity, playfulness, and artistry of the International Jerusalem Puppet Festival offers sheer pleasure for all ages! Everyone loves gifts, surprises and celebrations – and the Jerusalem Puppet Festival has chosen these as its themes for this year’s festival. Marking 40 years to the Train Theater, the 30th Jerusalem puppet Festival will take place from August 22 – 26, 2021. A gala opening event on August 22nd will celebrate the inauguration of the new Cultural Center of the Train Theater in the Liberty Bell Park.

The festival will present 33 original plays, as well as two international guest productions from France and Spain:*

“Cozy one man band ” by Compagnie La Muette (France), will feature the virtuoso puppeteer and musician Santiago Moreno in a musical object theater with the smallest orchestra in the world. “VIDA” (Spain) is a play where puppeteer Javier Aranda, considered the rising star of puppet theatre, showcases puppet theatre with playful palms and a basket of objects and also an uncensored version of the show for adults. Some see Javier as the next star in the world of puppet theater. The artists’ visit to Israel is supported by the Spanish and French embassies.

Maase Beolam/Photo: Kfir Bolotin

Performances for children will include:

“My Biggest Sister of All” (The Train Theater), is an entertaining stage adaptation based on Uzi Ben Canaan’s well-known book. It combines four actors and an Object  Theater. In collaboration with visual artist Shay Persil, Director Danielle Cohen Levy created a boundless, exciting, and surprising stage world. The play “Mothergoose” (The Train Theater) will premiere an innovative adaptation of Mother Goose’s well-known songs. Creator Galia Shomer stitched together the worlds of words   into Designed clothing by the artist. The play “The Big Bang,” a new work by the Itim Ensemble and creator Zvi Sahar, will present a fictional fantasy that takes place in space, in a puppet cinema adaptation. Finally, ” Oh-so Fresh Fruit Juice ” By Hila Goldenberg and Adili Liberman will premiere a fascinating stage adaptation of a story about witches combining physical work and text.

Performances intended for adults reflect the use of diverse artistic means – object theatre, circus, puppetry and other forms of visual art – to convey mature themes: “Silence Makes Perfect,” a play by Yael Rasooly and Amit Dolberg, is a staged fantasy that reveals a painful personal story about sexual assault. “Missing faces- Live” by Iris Erez is a show that combines contemporary dance language with images projected on iPads worn on the actors’ bodies. And “Reality Check” by Nimrod Farchy connects a rope doll to a contemporary circus on an arena-shaped stage.

Carte Blanche/Photo: Gerard Alon

Funny, evocative, and poignant, Michal Svironi’s “Carte Blanche” is an imaginative work of theatre that utilizes imagery, movement, text and music to create an experience that is as thought-provoking as it is delightful. There is a graceful lightness to Svironi’s stage presence, as she merges visual humor with a clever, fast-paced text. Hitting the audience with the toughest truth to contemplate (death, if I must spell it out for you) right at the start, Carte Blanche touches on so many themes – emotional, philosophical and practical – love, the generation gap, human frailty, art and the meaning of life; all interwoven with lively personal stories. Carte Blanche premiered at the Theatronetto in 2021, where it received an Honorable Mention. (

An outdoor complex for the whole family on the subject of “Surprise” under the artistic direction of Dafna Kron and Shahar Marom, will contain – lots of surprises! The audience is invited to taste, linger, bounce, experience, and participate in the carnival of surprises: installations, performances, dance and sound, and multidisciplinary works created by more than twenty artists. Among the creations: a potion-brewing station where different strange-colored flavors mix together according to the power of the stars; an “open house” at the Academy of Professional Surprise – APS, and more…

The new children’s cultural center of the Train Theater, built with the generous donation of the Davidson family from London and the Jerusalem Foundation, is located in the south part of Liberty Bell Park, and comprises theater halls, an outdoor stage, a play room, a workshop corner, and a dining area for the whole family. The center will host a permanent “Gift Exhibition”, with gifts made by the theatre’s artists since its inception. The exhibition is curated by Hadas Ofrat, a co-founder of the Train Theater. The festival will offer free activities as well, including an outdoor stage with street performances in the afternoon, a unique playground, and a workshop area. A “Surprise Party” will close the festival, with the wonderful  DJ RAMZI with and PUPPET CINEMA VJ created by the best puppeteers in Israel: Ariel Doron, Zvi Sahar, Eilat Golan, and Iris Domani.

The full schedule may be found on the Train Theater website:

Tickets are on sale via the website, or call: *4524. Early bird prices until August 21st are 45 NIS for children’s shows and 60 NIS for adult shows. During the festival tickets prices will be 60 NIS for children’s shows, 80 NIS for adult shows.


The festival is supported by the Ministry of Culture, the Jerusalem Municipality, the Jerusalem Foundation, Mifal HaPais, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


*Information on the festival and shows (other than Carte Blanche) was provided by the festival.