International Puppet Festival (IPFEST) Kenya 2018




October 17th – 21st, 2018



 The 9th International Puppetry Festival “IPFest2018” Kenya will take place in Nairobi, Kenya from 17th to 21th October 2018.   This will be the first time that International Puppetry Festival of this magnitude will be held in Kenya.  Alongside hosting the 9th IPFest2018, the Kenya puppetry fraternity will be celebration it’s Silver Jubilee Celebration – a celebration of 25 years of the existence of puppetry and folk media programmes for health, social justice and political change in Kenya.

Every aspect of the IPfest 2018  is being designed with long term sustainability in mind and with a commitment to building partnerships between different embassies, theatre companies,  governments and all stakeholders across the world  interested in investing in the future of art for children and young people.

IPFest2018 will spark creativity in artists, teachers, researchers and academics as well as creativity in children and young people. It will link into the growing demand for quality arts education on the continent.


 The 2018 festival theme is Towards Breaking Barriers. The theme, “ Towards Breaking Barriers” emanates from a conscious desire to deconstruct the idea of place and space of performances through cross-border and cross cultural mixed ability puppetry, physical and object theatre presentations. The festival also intends to create a platform of expanding, sharing and enhancing skills and knowledge of Kenyan puppeteers as creative entrepreneurs. We want to affect the lives of many young aspiring art entrepreneurs for the better and take the most creative and most able journey that will radically improve not only their own life prospects as art entrepreneurs, but also their ability to act as forces of positive change within their own communities.

As such, IPFest2018 will seek to intergrate and present multimedia and mixed ability puppet theatre works involving able and disabled people drawn from across the world,  through a collaborative partnership aimed towards  breaking social, political and economic barriers across the world.

We believe that hosting the 9th International Puppetry Festival 2018 will bring about increased awareness and enhanced bilateral relationship toward development of puppetry and artistic programmes through, Cross-Border and Cross Cultural Partnership


 “IPFest 2018” vision is to ensure that the value and transformative power of puppet theatre and art in the lives and education of children and young people is recognized and embraced.


The festival will build on the lessons learned from the previous festivals and will focus on the highest standards of puppet performance targeting children and youth and adult. IPFest 2018 will focus on the aesthetics and pedagogy of the art of puppetry by presenting diverse and professional performances, workshops and conference presentations.


Presentations at the IPfest 2018 will be accommodated under four main platforms.

 a. The Professional Puppetry Performances

IPfest2018 emphasizes on development of collaborative puppetry performances between  Artists from Africa and artists from other nations. This is seen as a long term benefit and sustainability of KIPT puppetry programme.

A total of 20 international and professional puppet, object, figure and image theatre companies from all over the world will be invited to present performances showcasing an array of unique and innovative styles.

Organizations working with people of all abilities (deaf, physically challenged etc) will be invited to participate too.

b. The Skills Exchange Workshops and Training

Ten (10) Workshops with leading practitioners from Africa and the world held on different aspect of theatre and development will be conducted.

The workshops will feature diverse aspects and topics in puppet theatre, such as puppet construction, shadow puppetry, marionettes, masks, sounds and lighting, puppet theatre production, script writing, puppetry and therapy, puppet theatre in cross cultural cooperation and economic and democratic development.

The training’s are also intended to enhance and improve region puppeteers’ skills in group dynamics/management, puppetry/puppet theatre in education and cross cultural cooperation.

c. Directors’ Forum

This is a one day Research Conference into Theatre for Young Audiences in Africa and the World.

It will involve 100 participants including art directors, choreographers, physical and puppet theatre artistes, dancers, street artistes, theatre experts and artists from different countries and art organizations. Research papers, new works and development in the area of puppetry will be shared.

d.  The Young Puppeteers Forum

One unique aspect of the IPfest 2018 is the involvement of ASSITEJ Kenya in its organization.  ASSITEJ Kenya endeavours to promote the art of theatre for children and young people in Kenya and represents the interests of young artists in the international fora. We believe that hosting this platform during the festival can bring about increased awareness and systemic changes on the development of theatre for young audience and by young people.

ASSITEJ Chapters from Africa, America, Europe and Asia in the   just concluded The 49th ASSITEJ World Congress in Cape town in May 2017 expressed a lot of interest in participating in the activities happening in Africa to support and advocate for the development of theatre for children, youth  and young audience in the continent.


Participation is open to all puppeteers around the world.


Application to participate in IPFEST 2018 is on going. It closes in February 2018. Application form is available at Down load and send it back or if you can not access it , just request through email or


 Sponsorship is being sought from individuals, embassies, donors, corporate and private sector. There are many ways you could support IPfest 2018. These include;

  • You could consider being the main sponsor of the festival.
  • Support or sponsor an activity or aspect of the festival such as the gala night performance, internal transport for the participants, or publicity in print and electronic media or technical logistics which include hire of venue, sound and lighting equipment.
  • Support any, or all of the festival platforms i.e. the Festival Secretariat, the professional performances forum, the skills exchange workshops, the Directors’ Conference forum and the Young Puppeteers forum.
  • Support a collaborative production between Kenyan puppeteers and international artists You could as well support a puppetry production performance from the participating schools to the festival.
  • Commission a puppet theatre production and performance (from any country) on a theme of your choice.


  • Encourage creativity and improve puppet theatre skills by exposing African puppeteers and audiences to professional puppet theatre techniques of international standards.
  • Establish interest and support for puppetry and folk media as a cultural medium for social change in Kenya and Africa
  • Create collaborative puppetry and artistic programme between Kenyan and other international puppeteers and artists.
  • Present at least 20 new international and professional puppet, object, figure and multi-media performances from puppet theatre companies from Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and America.
  • Consolidating Kenyan participation in the worldwide network of puppeteers and young artists.
  • Raised consciousness on the role of puppetry in social education on peace building and treatment
  • Involvement of ministry of education, ministry of health and ministry of sport, culture and Arts in the development of puppetry for social change and as a teaching and learning tool for teachers and pupils


 A Festival Organizing Committee (FOC), presently comprising seven members has been established too. It comprises

  • The Festival Director,
  • The festival Coordinator
  • Artistic Coordinator,
  • Publicity and Marketing
  • Fundraising manager
  • Festival secretary,
  • An Accountant,
  • ASSITEJ Kenya representative.


To express interest to participate in IPFest 2018, fill the attached form and mail to IPfest secretariat /

Expression of Interest Form
Surname I am interested in making ;
Other Names # Doing a performance
Organization # Making a research /paper presentation
Mailing Address # Conducting a workshop/Training
Title of the performance /Presentation



 Synopsis / Brief Information About Your Presentation



Target Audience / Maximum No



Technical Requirement














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