The Festival is traditionally held the first twelve days of July in Kotor – a magical backdrop, a UNESCO World Heritage site in one of the most beautiful bays in the world. It begins with the mayor of Kotor handing the keys of the Old Town to the children and thus, symbolically, the care of the town to them. The Festival was established in 1993 just a dozen steps from the building of the Kotor theatre in which the first puppet show was held in 1829.
It is the most important festival dedicated to the theatrical arts and to children and young people in South-Eastern Europe. It has been declared a cultural event of special significance in Montenegro and is supported by the European Union Culture Programme 2007-2013. It is held during the summer holiday season in the most beautiful locations in the Old Town.
The walls, squares, piazzas and piazettas become stages, and the theatre brings together all the arts in the joy of creativity and the creation of joy. After 200 years it brings the theatre back to Kotor to stay. The Festival is devoted to children and young people, but also to all those who nurture the child within them. It seeks to safeguard the values of peace, tolerance, equality and education. It serves to recognise and encourage the interdisciplinary abilities of children and their contribution to the future development of society. Or to use the words of UNICEF: Today’s children: Tomorrow’s world. It encourages the professional development of children’s and youth theatre, presenting the best in puppet, dramatic and multimedia shows from Europe and the world over.
In its 23 years, the Festival has:
– been attended by more than 350,000 people at 50 locations
– staged more than 435 theatrical performances
– taken more than 20,000 children through 750 artistic programmes
– hosted 2,700 artists from 43 countries.