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The COVID pandemic deprived the theater of the most important thing – the meeting with the audience

The COVID pandemic deprived the theater of the most important thing – the meeting with the audience.

This was said in an interview with BTA by the director of the State Puppet Theater / DKT / – Sliven Efimia Pavlova, who is part of the history of the theater since 1971, has participated in almost all iconic performances, and since 2001 is director of the cultural institution.

This year the theater turns 60 and along with the challenges of the coronavirus, the team is preparing to celebrate its anniversary.

“We may have had difficult seasons due to various circumstances, but this has never scared us, because you can handle the effort and work,” she commented. Here, you are struggling with something unknown and you are practically deprived of your right to work. It’s important for us that when we have an art product, as many audiences as possible can see it. “

The year marked by the pandemic was very difficult for the puppet theater. Out of more than 300 performances a year, only about 80 were played last year, some of which were before closing. They were forced to refuse to participate in a number of festivals.

In the summer, they tried to do outdoor performances at two schools and the city’s art high school. There they showed their traveling performances, which give the opportunity to go outside the theater, and capacity was also limited due to distance requirements.

In November last year, the local health inspectorate closed the Sliven theaters, the only theaters in the country without the right of 30 percent of the audience. Due to the illness of part of the team, there were no performances in December, which is traditionally strong for the theater, due to the Christmas holidays.

Although the current situation does not provide security, DKT-Sliven is preparing for its anniversary and preparing new performances. According to Efimia Pavlova, the Sliven Puppet Theater has received countless awards and distinctions at national and international festivals over the years.

The theater has its ups and downs, she said. He started very quickly very young with performances that immediately imposed him and was eagerly awaited everywhere. Among the iconic titles are “The White Heron”, “For the first time the big tour of Punch and Judy”, “The Little Prince”, “Zlatka – the golden girl”, “We, the sparrows” and many others. Pavlova also remembers the decline in 1990, when the troupe disbanded. The theater then lost ownership of the building when it was restituted and returned to the mufti’s office. Since then, the cultural institution in Sliven is the only one among the puppet theaters that pays rent.

The celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Sliven Puppet Theater will begin on June 14 with a concert by actress Gabriela Hadjikostova, who will arrive from Hungary with three musicians. According to the director of the puppet theater, the concert will be an aesthetic appetizer for the audience on the eve of the actual day of the anniversary – June 15.

According to her, Hadjikostova is a very interesting and unusual performer and works with great musicians. The location of the music event is to be specified, and it is possible that it will take place in Sliven Hall, where there is a larger capacity of seats due to the restrictions due to the epidemic.

On June 15 in the hall “Orphan Wanderer” will be opened an exhibition “From touch to stage” with dolls, scenography, sets, costumes, posters curated by set designer Boris Dalchev. The Chronicle “60 years of Sliven Puppet Theater” compiled by the theater critic Bogdana Kosturkova will be presented.

A creative workshop will be organized for children to make puppets – favorite characters from the theater’s performances, with the help of an artist – performers, set designers, actors from the theater. A play is being prepared, the title and plot of which the theater’s management has so far decided to keep secret. There will be living statues on the main street, as well as a balloon show.

Efimia Pavlova expressed hope that many of the people who have participated in the history of the theater, in emblematic performances, not only for the Sliven theater, but also for the puppet art in the country, will come to the holiday. “We were all extremely lucky because we worked with the best – Zlati Zlatev, Lydia Alexandrova, Prof. Atanas Ilkov, Vasil Apostolov, Petar Pashov, Slavi Malenov and many others who have made efforts to have this theater,” she said. .