What’s That?

Is it me?

Is it You?

Is this Real?

Or just a Joke?

It’s time we open The Box!

Please close it.

I’m scared.

Unboxed is a funny, sensitive and scary fantasy about a lonely man trying to get in touch with himself and the world. The piece is based on the celebrated live work Boxed by Israeli puppeteer Ariel Doron, who previously visited MANIPULATE with Plastic Heroes in 2017. Here he takes another step into minimalism, and creates a fascinating short story using only a shoebox.

In a bespoke new version created exclusively for MANIPULATE Festival 2021, Ariel presented Unboxed, a dynamic new version of the work made especially for streaming, adapting the idea of the stage show to the internet environment in a homage to YouTube ‘unboxing’ videos.


Ariel is a puppeteer, director and performer. In his work, he uses very little text and a lot of playfulness in order to deal with hard social and political subjects. Each project is created with a puppetry or performance discipline that best suits, with the hope to always expand and question in the media in which it’s created in, and with a desire to inspire viewers to feel, think and react.

Currently living in Germany, Ariel has collaborated with institutions such as Maxim Gorki Theater Berlin, Theater Junge Generation Dresden, Schauburg Theater München, Staatsschauspiel Dresden, FITZ! Figurentheater Zentrum Stuttgart, Hanut 31 Gallery-Theater Tel Aviv and more. He also teaches and is invited to give lectures and masterclasses in institutions such as Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Stuttgart, UQAM Universite de Quebec a Montreal, Central School of Speech & Drama, London and more.

At this year’s festival Ariel is also presenting Object Theatre & The Virtual Stage Workshop.


Created and Performed by / Ariel Doron

Dramaturgy / Tobias Tönjes

Artistic Consultation / Shahar Marom, Florian Feisel, Roni Nelken Mosensin

Commissioned by and co-produced with the generous support of Erlangen Figurentheatre Festival Hanut 31 Theatre Gallery, Tel Aviv and FITZ! Figurentheatre Zentrum, Stuttgart

Image credit: Aurelie Strohmaier


Unboxed is a part of our Digital Festival, through which you can experience boundary-pushing visually led performance and animation, broadcast direct to your home. Please note that you must have access to the internet and a laptop, tablet or similar device in order to attend this event.

Each event will receive a live ‘premiere’ as part of an evening line-up, and will be subsequently available to catch-up until midnight on Sunday 7 February. You can purchase a DAY 1 PASS which allows you premiere and catch-up access to all the works featured on that day.