State Puppet Theatre Varna

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Държавен куклен театър Варна.jpg

The State Puppet Theatre - Varna was founded in 1952 in the resort of Varna, Bulgaria. More than 250 productions have been put on its stage, more than 20 0000 performances have been played, seen by more than 8 million spectators in total.

The theatre has its own building in the centre of the town, containing an auditorium with 200 seats, a rehearsal stage, dressing rooms, administration rooms, studios and a Museum of Puppets - the only one of that kind on the Balkans.

The repertoire of the theatre offers performances for spectators of all age, starting from classical and modern plays for children, entertaining and vanguard performances for adults to educational productions for students.

Varna Puppet Theatre has been the host of the prestigious International Puppet Festival The Golden Dolphin. It is held every three years at the beginning of October in the town of Varna and it has turned into a centre of the best achievements of puppet theatres in the world.

Founding[edit]

The puppeteer, stage designer and director Georgi Saravanov (1920–2000) was the founder, manager, director and stage designer of Varna Puppet Theatre from 1952 to 1958. Before that, had founded the marionette theatre in Plovdiv in 1948.

In 1951, the community of Varna invited Georgi Saravanov to establish a puppet theatre in Varna. He established a group of novice actors, some of whom had graduated from a musical school. In August 1952, the puppet show The Duckling by Nina Gernett and Tamara Gurevich was played in the old hall of the Varna Commune theatre with marionettes that Saravanov made by himself. His unique puppets from the first performances may be seen at the Museum of Puppets at the theatre.

The other founders included: Yordanka Saravanova, Petya Mandadzhiyska, Olga Peneva, Ruska Tsekova, Stefan Krumov, Avgustina Boeva, Anton Kutikov, Boris Zhelev, Vyara Mihaylova-Popova, Veselin Dionisiev, Dimitar Popov, Konstantin Kotsev, Nedka Pinteva, Neli Dzhedzheva-Mihova, Nastya Mihaylova, Roza Bozadzhieva, Stefan Voykov, Dimitar Bogdanov, etc.

The theatre[edit]

A building was allocated to be converted into a new theatre for the company; this was situated at Vladislav Varnenchik boulevard, behind the Post Station. There were soup kitchens and a cereals warehouse there, but despite having almost no money, the first puppeteers worked to transform it into a theatre. The first premiere in the new hall was The Golden Fish, after Alexander Pushkin, in late December 1953.

In Varna Saravanov staged the performances: The Duckling, The Two Bears, The Golden Fish, Cinderella, The Dragon and the Golden Apple, The Devil's Mill, The Scarlet Flower, Aladdin's Magic Lamp, The Pearl Tears Girl, Life-giving Water and Ivan - the Peasant Son, Darling Beauty, etc. Some of these shows came from Bulgarian and Russian fairy-tales, others from other parts of the world. His preference for the marionettes with the highest degree required an exceptional puppeteering technique from the actors. This circumstance contributed to further achievement of notable puppeteering mastery by the actors' team of Varna.

Five years after its construction, first international event for the theatre - participation in the World Puppet Art Festival in Bucharest, Romania in May 1958.

On 12 July 1985, the theatre moved to a new building in the city centre. Professor Nikolina Georgieva's performance Carnival of Animals was played at the official inauguration.

Managers and artistic directors[edit]

Mihail Mateev[edit]

Manager and playwright of Varna State Puppet Theatre from 1958 to 1968.

Yordan Todorov[edit]

Manager and artistic director of Varna State Puppet Theatre from 1958 to 1968.

His activity resulted in the professional development of all theatre units. In 1970, he became the initiator and promoter of a puppet theatre festival that was transformed into an international festival in 1972 - The Golden Dolphin. He was author of the plays: Maximka, Goldie Golden Girl, Tale of Sleepy Girl, Pie the Parrot, The Raven, etc. He wrote the scripts for Little Ani, Toshko Afrikanski, The Nightingale and the Rose, The Happy Prince, Queen of Spades. Prize for dramaturgy (Pie the Parrot) at the 7th International Puppet Festival of Bulgarian Puppet Play The Golden Dolphin.

Zlati Zlatev[edit]

Manager and director of Varna State Puppet Theatre from 1991 to 2006.

He staged more than 50 performances at the theatre: The Merry Roosters, Maximka, The Nightingale and the Rose, Love, Love…, The Happiest Man, The Little Prince, Queen of Spades, Long Live Louis XVI, Booboo's New Adventures, Kosse Bosse, a Button for Sleep and others. A number of Bulgarian theatre companies have performed his shows in England, Algeria, Belgium, Germany, Greece, India, Iran, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Turkey, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Japan, Cuba, etc. Zlati Zlatev has been awarded the Cyril and Methodius order, The Golden Badge of the Bulgarian Actors' Union, prizes at a number of festivals and national reviews, The yearly Award of the Ministry of Culture for 2000.

Awards[edit]

2010[edit]

Annual national prizes ICARUS 2010 of the Union of Bulgarian Actors for excellence and high achievements in the theatrical field

2009[edit]

Varna Prize for the actor Boyan Stoyanov

2008[edit]

Varna Prize for the actress Diana Tsolevska

14th International Puppet Festival The Golden Dolphin

  • Prize for development of the theatre's means of expression - for The Cave and the Shadows;
  • Best technical team prize - for SPT - Varna

7th International Festival of Children's Theatres - Banja Luka 2008, RS

  • Award for artistry to Emiliya Petkova and Evgeniya Vasileva in "A Story About the Singing Three"
  • Award for directing to Slavcho Malenov for the performance "A Story About the Singing Three"

2007[edit]

5th International Puppet Theatre Festival for Adults Pierrot, Stara Zagora Award for Experimental and New Forms for The Cave and the Shadows

Varna 2007 Award – collective,for the artistic team having realized the performance The Cave and the Shadows

8th International Festival of Performances for Children The Magic Curtain, Targovishte Award for the acting ensemble for the performance Folklore Fantasies

2006[edit]

15th International Puppet Theatre Festival Three Are Too Many, Two – Not Enough, Plovdiv Award for Thumbelina by the international jury for best vision of a children’s performance

2005[edit]

6th Asian International Puppet Festival, Taipei, Taiwan Best performance prize for Thumbelina

International Puppet Theatre Festival in Shanghai, China The big prize for the performance Thumbelina

13th International Puppet Festival The Golden Dolphin The big prize The Golden Dolphin for an overall performance – for A Story About the Singing Tree; Original music prize – to Vladimir Dzhambazov for the music in A Story About the Singing Tree;

Prize for directing – to Slavcho Malenov for the performance A Story About the Singing Tree Scenography prizes – to Vasil Rokomanov for the décor in A Story About the Singing Tree and to Marieta Golomehova – for the puppets in the performance Thumbelina; Male role prize – to Krasimir Dobrev for his role in A Story About the Singing Tree; Female role prize – to Evgeniya Vasileva for her role in Thumbelina; Best technical team prize – to SPT, Varna

2004[edit]

5th Asian International Puppet Festival, Taipei, Taiwan Best performance prize for Folklore Fantasies

2003[edit]

Puppet Festival, Tolosa, Spain Audience’s prize for Folklore Fantasies

Pierrot IPF, Stara Zagora Prize for Svila Velichkova’s scenography in Alice

2002[edit]

Varna Prize - collective for the performance Folklore Fantasies

Varna Prize to Zlati Zlatev for overall work in the field of puppet art

2000[edit]

Varna Prize to Zlati Zlatev for high creative achievements in the field of directing, for theatre management and for a very good organization and carrying out the IPF The Golden Dolphin

1999[edit]

Varna Prize to the actor Sasho Alexandrov for overall performance and in occasion of his 50th anniversary.

11th International Puppet Festival The Golden Dolphin Prize to Vera Stoykova for her role in Cosse Bosse, to Sunny Suninski for the production of Aladdin

1998[edit]

Festival of Chamber Performances, Vratsa Staging prize to Sunny Suninski and female role prize to Diana Tsolevska in the performance Portraits;

Varna Prize - collective for the production of the performance Portraits

1997[edit]

Puppeteer Prize for the performance The Mad Kite:to Kiryakos Argiropulos for staging, to Petya Stoykova for scenography and for acting mastership to Vera Stoykova and Zhivko Zhekov

1996[edit]

10th International Puppet Festival The Golden Dolphin The big prize is awarded for theatre company’s high professional overall performance 1995

Varna Prize – collectivefor theatre company’s overall performance

1994[edit]

Burborak Festival, Smolyan Prize for the most vivid and unusual means of expression in the performance Birds.

Fifth International Festival of Puppet Theatres, Teheran, Iran.The big prize The Golden Mask for Play of Lights and Shadows and Yellow Boy

1988[edit]

Seventh International Festival of Bulgarian Puppet Performance

The Golden Dolphin Special Diploma for dramaturgy to Yordan Todorov (Pie the Parrot)

1985[edit]

Fourth National Competition of Puppet Theatres in Gabrovo Acting awards to:Sasho Alexandrov, Ivan Petrov, Mariya Antonova and Zhivko Zhekov (As the French Say); Second Award for directing to Venelin Kyossev, Second award for stage design to Maya Petrov, Second award for music to Dimitar Boyadzhiev, acting awards to Diana Valcheva and Zhivko Zhekov (Star Boy); Children’s Jury award.

First Award of the Ministry of Education for very good and systematic collaboration with the schools in raising children’s aesthetic awareness.

Award of the Bulgarian Actors’ Union to Diana Valcheva for best female part in Star Boy

1984[edit]

Dolphin Awards to the stage designer Angel Nedelchev and to the actor Venelin Kyossev (Motley World).

Week of Children’s Book and Arts First award to Motley World.

The Order of Cyril and Methodius, 1st degree to Petya Mandadzhiyska

1983[edit]

Week of Children’s Book and Arts First award to Spring Carnival.

The Comedy Show Festival, Gabrovo Award for the performance Toshko Africanski

1982[edit]

Varna Awardto the actor Venelin Kyossev

1981[edit]

Fourth International Festival of Bulgarian Puppet Performance The Golden Dolphin The big prize is awarded to the theatre company for the performance Booboo directed by Slavcho Malenov

1980[edit]

First Award of the Ministry of Education, the Komsomol and Bulgarian Actors' Union to the performance Chimi

1979[edit]

Third National Competition of State Puppet Theatres Directing awards to Zlati Zlatev (Love, Love...) and to Slavcho Malenov (Chimi), stage design award to architect Ivan Tsonev.Acting awards to:Todor Dimitrov, Dimitar Zhekov, Mariya Boyanova, Galya Peeva, Petya Mandadzhiyska and Konstantin Boyanov

1978[edit]

Varna Prize

Third International Festival of Bulgarian Puppet Performance The Golden Dolphin The special award of the festival is awarded to the theatre company for its sustained interest in Bulgarian puppet plays, its contribution to the development in puppetry as well as for staging of Rumeto and the Old Lion and The Happiest Man.Directing award to Zlati Zlatev, stage design award to Ivan Tsonev.Acting awards to Dimitar Zhekov, Yolanta Raykova, Petya Mandadzhiyska and Todor Dimitrov

1977[edit]

The Order of the Red Banner of Labour for theatre’s 25th anniversary and for its overall contribution to Bulgarian culture.

PIF International Festival of Puppet Theatres, Zagreb, Yugoslavia First Award to the performance Sleeping Beauty.

Arts Award of the Komsomol, the governmental Committee of Culture and Ministry of Education

1976[edit]

Award of the Children Centre for Literature and Arts, Sofia

Arts Award of the Komsomol, the governmental Committee of Culture and Ministry of Education

1975[edit]

Varna Prize for the production of the performance The Golden Bird.

Second International Festival of Bulgarian Puppet Performance The Golden Dolphin A gold medal to the theatre for its sustained interest in Bulgarian puppet plays.Awards to:the stage designer, architectIvan Tsonev and the director Zlati Zlatev for the performance The Golden Bird, the director Evdalina Saradzhalieva and the stage designer Maya Petrova for the performance Your Little Star; the actors Todor Dimitrov, Tsvetana Neshkova and Georgi Kotsev.

Arts Award of the Komsomol, the governmental Committee of Culture and Ministry of Education

Award of the Bulgarian Actors’ Union for a high standard of artistic achievements in The Golden Bird

1974[edit]

Varna Prize for high artistic achievements in the performance Queen of Spades directed by Zlati Zlatev and of the actress Petya Mandadzhiyska (the Countess).

Honorary medal by the governmental Sports and Youth Committeefor exceptional merits in the education of children and youth.

The Order of Cyril and Methodius, 3rd degree to the actress Sofia Nenova

1973[edit]

Second National Competition of State Puppet Theatres Awards to:the director Zlati Zlatev and the stage designer architectIvan Tsonev (Queen of Spades), the stage designer Lyubomir Tsakev (The Land Where You Could Do Whatever You Like), the actors Petya Mandadzhiyska (the Countess) and Nedka Pinteva (for supporting in the same part) in Queen of Spades, Tsvetana Neshkova (Vladko) and Todor Dimitrov (the Traffic Warden) in the same show.The Best Children’s Performance collective prize was awarded to the performance The Land Where You Could Do Whatever You Like.The technical staff of the theatre was also awarded a collective prize.

The Order of Cyril and Methodius, 1st degree to the actress Yordanka Kovacheva in the occasion of her 50th anniversary and 25-year-long career on stage

1972[edit]

Varna Prize for high standard of artistic achievement in the show The Nightingale and the Rose after Oscar Wilde, directed by Zlati Zlatev, stage designer Nikolay Izvarin.

First International Festival of Bulgarian Puppet Performance The Golden Dolphin A golden medal to the theatre for its sustained interest in Bulgarian plays and for the show Maximka.Individual awards to the director Zlati Zlatev, the stage designer Lilyana Angelova and the actors Dimitar Zhekov (Chernyo Chernev) and Dimitar Serafimov (Dr. Dalgokrakov).

The Order of Cyril and Methodius, 2nd degree to the actress Avgustina Boeva in the occasion of her 50th anniversary.

The Order of Cyril and Methodius, 3rd degree to the actresses Petya Mandadzhiyska and Vyara Popova

1970[edit]

Festival of Bulgarian Puppet Performance The Golden Dolphin A gold medal to the performance The Merry Roosters.Individual awards to the director Zlati Zlatev, the stage designer Nikolay Izvarin and the actresses Sofia Nenova and Nedka Pinteva

1969[edit]

Puppet Theatre Festivities, Varna Awards to the director Nikolina Georgieva and the stage designer Nikolay Izvarin (Miniatures), to the stage designer Danail Raykov (The Island of the Cannibals) and to the actors Petya Mandadzhiyska (Mitko from The Island of the Cannibals) and Zlati Zlatev (the Rabbit from Miniatures).

Participation in festivals[edit]

2010[edit]

4th International Puppet Days, Izmir, Turkey, with Folklore Fantasies 2nd International Review of the Fantastic Arts - MAF, Santander, Spain, with Folklore Fantasies

2009[edit]

Titirimundi International Puppet Theatre Festival 2009, Segovia, Spain, with Folklore Fantasies International Theatre Festival Varna Summer, Varna 2009, Bulgaria, with Beauty is Sleeping and Puss in Boots International Theatre Festival On the Bank, Burgas, Bulgaria, with Beauty is Sleeping

2008[edit]

6th International Festival of Visual Arts August in Art, Varna, Bulgaria, with The Cave and the Shadows International Puppet Theatre Festival Puppet Fair, Sofia 2008, Bulgaria, with The Cave and the Shadows International Puppet Theatre Festival Three are to many - two not enough, Plovdiv 2008, Bulgaria, with The Little Parrot Rony The Golden Dolphin International Puppet Festival 2008, Varna, with Beauty and the Beast, Little Ida's Flowers and The Cave and the Shadows 7th International Festival of Children's Theatres, Banja Luka 2008, RS, with A Story About the Singing Three

2007[edit]

International Tourist Fair in Stuttgart, with Folklore Fantasies and with The Cave and the Shadows showed within the Days of Modern Bulgarian Culture International Exhibition Bulgarian Business in Russia, Moscow, with Folklore Fantasies 17th International Festival of Puppet Theatres in Tenerife, Spain, with Folklore Fantasies 15th International Theatre Festival Varna Summer, Varna, Bulgaria, with The Cave and the Shadows 8th International Festival of Performances for Children The Magic Curtain, Targovishte, Bulgaria, with Folklore Fantasies 15th International Puppet Theatre Festival Three Are Too Many, Two – Not Enough, Plovdiv, Bulgaria, with The Cave and the Shadows Pierrot International Puppet Theatre Festival for Adults, Stara Zagora 2007, Bulgaria, with The Cave and the Shadows

2006[edit]

Titirimundi International Puppet Theatre Festival, Segovia, Spain, with A Story About the Singing Tree 15th International Puppet Theatre Festival Three Are Too Many, Two – Not Enough, Plovdiv, Bulgaria, with Thumbelina International Tourist Fair WTM in London, UK, with Folklore Fantasies International Tourist Fair Philoxenia in Thessalonica, Greece, with Folklore Fantasies

2005[edit]

15th International Puppet Festival in Barcelona, Spain, with Folklore Fantasies International Puppet Theatre Festival in Shanghai, China, with Thumbelina 6th Asian International Puppet Festival, Taipei, Taiwan, with Thumbelina

2004[edit]

5th Asian International Puppet Festival in Taipei, Taiwan, with Folklore Fantasies

2003[edit]

Titirimundi International Puppet Festival, Segovia, Spain, with Folklore Fantasies and The Light Blue Peter Puppet Festival, Tolosa, Spain, with Folklore Fantasies and The Light Blue Peter Tour in Portugal Pierrot International Puppet Festival in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria, with Alice

2001[edit]

2nd Festival of the Black Sea Region Theatres in Trabzon, Turkey, with Play of Lights and Shadows

2000[edit]

Tolosa, Spain International Puppet Festival in Switzerland, with Aladdin 1st Festival of the Black Sea Region Theatres in Trabzon, Turkey, with The Sad Pince

1998[edit]

La Strada 3rd International Festival of Unconventional Art in Sibiu, Romania, with Play of Lights and Shadows 7th International Puppet Theatre Festival in Teheran, Iran, with Star Boy 4th International Puppet Festival in Bucharest, Romania, with Play of Lights and Shadows

1997[edit]

La Strada International Festival of Unconventional Art in Sibiu, Romania, with Four Tales of a Dragon International Days of the Puppet Theatre on the Island of Hydra, Greece, with Play of Lights and Shadows 5th Balkan Festival of Puppet Theatres, Nis, Yugoslavia, with The New Adventures of Booboo and Portraits International Festival of Puppet Theatres in Tolosa, Spain, with The New Adventures of Booboo

1996[edit]

International Festival of Children’s Theatre Oton Tomanich in Subotica, Yugoslavia, with Play of Lights and Shadows 17th World UNIMA Congress in Budapest, Hungary, with Play of Lights and Shadows Tolosa, Spain Japan, with Star Boy and The Dog that Could Not Bark

1995[edit]

1st International Puppet Theatre Festival in Athens, Greece, with Play of Lights and Shadows

1994[edit]

5th International Festival of Puppet Theatres in Teheran, Iran, with Play of Lights and Shadows and Yellow Boy 12th International Festival of Puppet Theatres in Tolosa, Spain, with Play of Lights and Shadows and puppet exhibition

1993[edit]

International Puppet Theatre Festival in Athens, Greece, with Yellow Boy and Four Tales of a Dragon

1992[edit]

International Festival of Puppet Theatres in Dordrecht as well as in Papendrecht and Breda, the Netherlands, with Yellow Boy 15th International Festival of Puppet Theatres in Bielsko Biala, Poland, with Cinderella Japan, with Star Boy and Boubou

1990[edit]

International Festival of Puppet Theatres in Dordrecht as well as in Mepel and Breda, the Netherlands, with The Most Beautiful War and Yellow Boy

1989[edit]

Japan, with Star Boy Odessa, USSR, with Star Boy

1988[edit]

First International Festival of Puppet Theatres in Mexico, with Star Boy

1987[edit]

International Festival of Puppet Theatres in Tolosa, Spain, with Booboo

1986[edit]

First International Puppet Festival organized by the 21st Century Association in Osaka, Japan, with Booboo

1985[edit]

Festival of Puppet Theatres in Bochum, Germany, with Motley World

1983[edit]

Vienna, Austria, with Booboo and The Duckling Magdeburg, GDR, Yordan Todorov’s visit on the 25th anniversary of the theatre

1982[edit]

International Festival of the Arts for Children in Šibenik, Dalmatia, with Booboo International Festival of Puppet Theatres in Lugano, Switzerland, with Booboo and Miniatures International Festival in Magdeburg, GDR International Festival of Puppet Theatres in Mistelbach, Austria, with Booboo

1981[edit]

Turkey, with Booboo and The Duckling India, with Booboo, The Duckling, The Naughty Boy and Miniatures

1980[edit]

13th World Congress of UNIMA in Washington, the USA, with Chimi Cienfuegos, Santa Clara, Camagüey and Havana, Cuba, with Chimi and Wave Your Magic Wand Holidays of Morning Star in London, UK, with Puppet from Puppet Village Part of the cultural program of EXPO, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, with Chimi, The Carnival of Animals and Wave Your Magic Wand

1978[edit]

Prague, Pilsen, Bratislava, Brno, Kosice and other towns of Czechoslovakia, with The Golden Bird and The Carnival of Animals Cieszęcin, Poland, with The Happiest Man

1977[edit]

PIF International Festival of Puppet Theatres, Zagreb, Yugoslavia, with Sleeping Beauty

1976[edit]

Leningrad, USSR, with Maximka and Miniatures Magdeburg, GDR as guest of the National Festival of Theatres, with The Carnival of Animals International Festival in Charleville-Mézières, France, with Miniatures

1975[edit]

Montreal, Quebec, Canada, as part of the cultural program of EXPO 75, with The Carnival of Animals

1974[edit]

International Festival of Arts in Budapest, Hungary, with Miniatures

1973[edit]

Białystok and Czezecin, Poland, with Queen of Spades and The Land Where You Can Do Whatever You Like

1970[edit]

Białystok and Warsaw, with Miniatures and The Merry Roosters International Festival of Puppet Theatres in Algeria, with Miniatures and The Merry Roosters

1969[edit]

World UNIMA Congress in Prague, Czech Republic

1958[edit]

International Festival of Puppetry Art, Bucharest, Romania with Dazzling Beauty

External links[edit]

Sources[edit]

The Theatre Magazine, issue 9-10, 1999, Miroslava Topchieva,critic