Founded in 1984, Puppet Animation Scotland champions puppetry, animation and visual theatre both in Scotland and internationally.

Puppet Animation Scotland is a Creative Scotland Regularly Funded Organisation. As well as our annual Puppet Animation Festival and manipulate Visual Theatre Festival, Puppet Animation Scotland provides year-round workshops, networking opportunities, funding opportunities, practical advice, support and encouragement to all artists working with puppetry, visual theatre and animated film. We promote and celebrate these art forms as valued art forms integral to Scotland’s rich and diverse cultural life. Based in Edinburgh’s Summerhall, arts complex, we have an open-door policy and we are always eager to meet artists who have a passion for the art forms we champion.

Our Puppet Animation Festival is the UK’s largest and longest established annual performing arts events for children, celebrating its 35th anniversary in 2018.  Since 2000 over 250,000 people have attended. (PAS: Puppet Animation Scotland reports/2000-2019).

Our children’s festival is dynamic and continually evolving partnership with local authorities, organisations and venues throughout Scotland. Every Easter over the past 35 years puppeteers have presented their work to large and enthusiastic audiences in city centre theatres, urban community and arts centres and the smallest of village halls across the nation, touring high quality puppetry productions and workshops the length and breadth of the country.

During the manipulate Visual Theatre Festival, presented annually since 2008, leading, award-winning companies, artists and film-makers from Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Scotland, Spain, Sweden and the USA have provided the vibrant, dynamic core of the festival.

Celebrating and promoting puppetry, visual theatre and animated film for adult audiences, manipulate also inspires the creative ambition of Scottish-based theatre artists, also providing them with opportunities to develop further their technical skills and expertise.

Each year, Scottish-based artists over the age of 18 of whatever disciplines (theatre, dance, sound, film, spoken-word and visual arts etc.) can apply to the Creative Fund to explore elements of their creative and technical working practices which relate integrally to puppetry, visual theatre and animated film, or any combination of these art forms.

We welcome applications which articulate clearly and concisely how specific, time-limited research and development will enable artists to explore a new, vital, exciting creative concept and/or enable them to enhance their current working practices and learning. Following the Selection Panel’s decisions, Puppet Animation Scotland’s Artistic Director meets with each successful applicant to ensure that the aims and outcomes they have identified for their project have the best possible chance of being achieved.


Simon Hart Artistic Director of Puppet Animation Scotland, Edinburgh

Simon Hart

Artistic Director & CEO

Melanie Purdie

Festivals & Projects Manager

Heidi Gordon


Mayanne Soret

Digital Communications Assistant

Puppet Animation Scotland is a company limited by guarantee and a registered Scottish charity (SC022042). Our Board of Directors is made up of a wide range of arts professionals who, as well as ensuring that legal and fiscal best practice in the running of the organisation is maintained at all times, offer their experience and expertise, helping to inform and guide all aspects of our strategic aims and objectives and their development.

  • Phil Adams, Planning Director, Cello Signal (Chairperson)
  • Emma Brierley, Theatre-maker and performer
  • Norah Campbell, Head of Arts, British Council
  • Ronan McMahon, Theatre-maker and performer
  • Jonny Murray, Senior Lecturer, Film and Visual Culture
  • Emma Jayne Park, Theatre-maker and performer
  • Caitlin Skinner, Theatre Director
  • David Stewart, Accountant, McFadden Associates
  • Mark Thomson, Theatre Director

Organisation Handbook

Comprehensive information about the duties and responsibilities of our Board of Directors and employees, as well as details about our aims,objectives and policies

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Environmental Policy

Details about our environmental commitments. If you are interested, you can request the Environmental Action Plan which details all of the steps we are taking to reach our goals.

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Equalities, Diversity and Inclusion Policy

This policy outlines our commitments to equalities, diversity and inclusion with reference to all aspects of Puppet Animation Scotland's activities.

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