The first day of the 31st Varna Summer International Theatre Festival captured Varna’s main square and the Drama Theatre with street performances from the Czech Republic and the ode to theatre, “Performance and ½” .
The summer cannot start without the Varna Summer International Theatre Festival, Mayor Ivan Portnikh said at the official opening of Bulgaria’s biggest theatre event on 1st June. The whole day was full of festival events. Starting at 11 a.m., together with the Varna Puppet Theatre, the festival greeted the youngest spectators on the occasion of Children’s Day with the theatre’s production “The Three Fairies”. At 12 p.m. they could join the street parade “Fable” of the Czech Theatre V.O.S.A., which led on a theatrical journey through the world of animals. It was guided by the actors from the Varna Puppet Theatre Balena Landjeva and Daniel Dobrev. “They have wonderful puppets,” Balena told the festival blog. “The lion is a symbol of land animals, the eagle is a symbol of air, and the fish is a symbol of water; the company also has a fire show. We decided to combine everything into one big theme about nature, about learning about the elements and how they affect us. They were represented by the big puppets. They are really amazing.”
“The Czech Republic and Bulgaria, the two nations have a long history of cooperation. Varna is an important city for it. Many Czech intellectuals and teachers have come here, a number of Czechs have worked in the field of archaeology and urbanism and have left their mark, such as the Sea Garden, for example,” noted Radka Rubilina, director of the Czech Centre in Sofia, with whose support the festival is presenting three street performances from the Czech Republic this year. “And these theatre companies in the festival programme, they are playing with this idea of a space that belongs to everyone. The performers go high up, they go down, they go into the audience, and everybody can take part in that space of theatre. So, it’s very spectacular.”
The official opening of this year’s edition took place on the main stage of the Drama Theatre – Varna with “Performance and ½”, a production of the Bulgarian Army Theatre directed by Stoyan Radev with the participation of all the fourteen actresses from its ensemble. They filled the stage with candid stories about their relationship with the art of theatre.
After the performance, the main square of the city was illuminated by the amazing show of the Mansterville Fire Circus “Propane Punk Show” from the Czech Republic.
The festival continues until June 10 with over 30 events in its program.
Follow the festival blog in English and Bulgarian with interviews with the participants and feedback from theatre professionals and spectators.
The Varna Summer International Theatre Festival 2023 is organized by the Via Fest Foundation with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture, the Municipality of Varna through the Culture Fund, the National Culture Fund and the First Investment Bank. Partners of the festival are Art Office Foundation and Homo Ludens Foundation. The festival is hosted by TMPC – Varna / Stoyan Bachvarov Theatre, State Puppet Theatre – Varna, Festival and Congress Centre – Varna, Boris Georgiev City Art Gallery, Rebunkers Cultural Centre and the Archaeological Museum.