A história do festival
Marionetas na Cidade
In 1998, the company SAMarionetas – Teatro & Bonecos organized in Alcobaça the 1st edition of the festival “Marionetas na Cidade” as the culmination of a series of shows performed by the company throughout that year, and to celebrate the first year as a professional structure. We held an exhibition with all the work done before 1998, we invited the company Teatro de Água Acesa de Matosinhos to represent "the altarpiece of D.Cristobal" and presented a series of shows by the company in halls and streets of Alcobaça.
Continuing this experience and in search of the ideal format, in 1999 the festival was extended to ten days, with six shows being presented in a specific program for schools in the municipality, a debate on the theme “The Marioneta in Portugal”, an exhibition of plastic arts with the theme “A Marioneta”, an exhibition with the estate of Manuel Rosado, street entertainment, six shows for everyone, and the 1st Robertos Theater Encounter.
In the 2000 edition, the format was reformulated, changing to four days, and this model was adopted for later editions, with only minor adjustments. This edition took place in collaboration with the Academia de Música da Banda de Alcobaça and the City Council. We had four shows in the program for schools, four shows for everyone and street entertainment with shows by Robertos. this edition obtained the declaration of cultural interest given by the then minister of culture Dr. Jose Sasportes.
In 2001, there were six shows in the program for schools, street entertainment with Robertos, two puppet-building workshops and three shows for everyone.
Already, in 2002, the programming underwent changes to the initially planned, due to budgetary difficulties; however, the 5th edition of Puppets in the City will still take place. Thus, we had four shows in the program for schools, two workshops for schools and two others open to the general public, street entertainment with Robertos and two shows for everyone.
In 2003, the 6th edition of “Puppets in the City” featured four shows included in the program for schools, four shows for everyone, street entertainment with the traditional Portuguese show “D. Roberto”, and two puppet construction workshops open to the general public.
In 2004, the 7th edition of the festival featured 16 shows, a puppet construction workshop and an exhibition of the estate of the ceded to the company SAMarionetas by the teacher Lúcia Serralheiro of the puppet artist "Cesário Cruz Nunes". It is worth mentioning the presence of under the heading "Dom Roberto invites" of the English company "Prof. Clive Chandler – Punch & Judy Show”.
In 2005, the 8th edition hosted 8 shows all over the city; in partnership with "7ª à 5ª" there was a film cycle dedicated to puppetry that took place throughout the month of October, still in the area of cinema thanks to the partnership with the distributor LNK-audiovisuais, the national premiere of the film was held "STRINGS" by Andres Ronnow-Klarlund, and a puppet-building workshop . Under the heading "Dom Roberto invites" the French company "Théàtre Pas Sage" was present with the Polichinelle as well as Alexandre Pring from Brazil with his "Marieta-M".
In 2006 the festival had its biggest edition ever with 52 shows, 16 companies presented their productions in 11 days. Reference should be made to the continuation of the “Dom Roberto Convida” section with 4 foreign companies, the conference with the theme “Puppets in Portugal”, the collective photography and drawing exhibition “Marioneta”, and the continuation of the film cycle “Fio loose” in partnership with the 7th to 5th commission, the 2nd Meeting of Teatro Dom Roberto, this time with the presence of the last 5 puppeteers who still represent this form of traditional theatre.
In 2007, the Festival celebrated its 10th anniversary, having presented thirteen companies, a conference “stories with puppets”, a photography exhibition with images from the ten editions of the festival, and another exhibition entitled “Puppets in Alcobaça, 1979 – 2007” which presented the collection of marionettes of the company SAMarionetas.
In 2008, the festival had a program for schools, the conference “vidas com marionetas”, a photography exhibition “Other puppets” by João Costa, an exhibition of puppets by Jorge Cerqueira, and another exhibition of glass puppets from the Storm project - Theater of Glass. It also featured the premiere of the show “A Ver Navios, in the reign of D. João VI and Carlota Joaquina”, a co-production by SAMarionetas and Cine-Teatro de Alcobaça. It also had the presentation of several shows on the street.
2009 - Once again the company SAMarionetas organizes the National Puppet Theater Festival “Puppets in the City” in Alcobaça, now in its 12th edition. This year, despite the great financial difficulties that the organization encountered in order to carry out this festival, it is here, once again, to continue to promote the art of puppetry. It should also be noted that this edition was only possible due to the support of the participating companies, sponsors, and anonymous patrons who contributed to the continued existence of this festival on the national scene, asserting itself as the “showcase” of the national production of the theater of puppets. In this edition we had 10 companies in 6 days with 14 shows held in the city of Alcobaça, keeping the “national production” as the highlight of the festival but not forgetting, also, some guests from other countries. The following companies participated: “Teatro de Marionetas do Porto”, “Teatro e Marionetas de Mandrágora”, “Elementary Particles”, “SAMarionetas”, “Cia de Píteres”, “Teatro de Formas Animadas”, “Stephen Mottram”, “The Puppetree Company”, “Mestre Filipe and His Puppets”, “Fio d'Azeite”. The film “O Judeu” by Brazilian director Jom Tob Azulay about the life of António José da Silva was also screened.