Bulgarian selection for

ACT Festival for independent theater 2019


It is time to announce the Bulgarian selection for ACT Festival for Independent theater #9!

Here are the 8th performances, which will be included in the festival program /in alphabetical order/:

  1. “A Home for Sheep and Dreams” – 36 monkeys
  2. “Bluebeard – marriage without fair-tail ”  – Panic Button Theater
  3. “Cicadas” – NGO Plus – DEBUT
  4. “Hatting machine – Marion Darova
  5. “Life is a dream” – Theater “ZONG” – DEBUT
  6. “Radiance” – Dance studio “Dune”
  7. “Richard 3” – “Subtheatre”, Atelier Plastelin
  8. “Six love songs” – Jhana Pencheva


Siberia burns and in a single day Greenland loses over 3.7 billion tones of its icebergs. Nowadays, making art is not only complicated but also increasingly responsible task. Evaluating art is no less difficult.

It would be great if behind a museum window there was a universal standard for measuring art. How much such a fantastic tool would spare us!

Alas, so far we have to manage with our bare hands.

On the difficult path of selection we had to part with some absolutely worthy candidates, not because we undervalue their qualities, but precisely because we want to emphasize the idea of an ACT Festival as something more than a showcase of this season’s independent productions, as an opportunity for new meetings and exchanges of creative and managerial ideas.

Thus we want to share with you our observations, reflections and arguments.



  • Sylvia Petrova


In this year’s selection, it was important for us to focus our attention on projects that are adequately, authentically and boldly positioned in the socio-cultural space. We looked closely while at the same time doing our best to be up to date with what is happening in the performative time-space outside Bulgaria. We were guided by the following criteria:


  • Up-to-date topics, socially critical highlights and reflections;
  • Artistic provocations that are not an end in themselves, but an important tool, that creates a productive relationship between the viewer and the performer;
  • Strong conceptual charge;
  • Highlighted collectivity in the creative search and mostly the conscious understanding of a project as a research process, not as a means to an end.


We believe that we managed to bring under the festival’s roof 8 quite different projects – in terms of aesthetics and conceptual frameworks – which will present this year’s Bulgarian selection and we hope (as in that favorite children’s game) they will take us somewhere even warmer and warmer… hot… hot…



  • Svetlomira Stoyanova


In its interdisciplinarity, the ACT Festival is a platform for ideas exchange, experimental artistic positions and aesthetic practices, and as such it welcomes those who attempt in their searches – for the first or consecutive time – an unexpected path. This year, the program features both known names and two debuts; performances both from and outside the capital.

It gets hot even from the thought of the forthcoming collaborations; of development of new, experimental forms; of the light and sound as an increasingly important part of the artistic provocations on current topics; of the tireless search for the place of the new technologies on the scene and their communication with performers and viewers /listeners /participants; of visitors and their contribution; of perceiving them as an important part of the creative process.


… and as important, but often underestimated – the projects!

We appeal to all of you who believe in the qualities of your works – describe them as your greatest treasure; “paint” them in words so that they can be seen by the people who make the difficult decision whether to give them festival publicity! Sometimes this can have key importance.


Your work is a powerful engine influencing many other processes and without you the “time” in the cultural world will flow differently and the aesthetic searches and cultural policies will become increasingly heated to the degree of burning and irreversible charring.



  • Boryana Pandova


“The usual non-suspects” – during the analysis of our choices we repeated it so many times we would like to keep it.


It was easy for us to bring the festival lions (and they exist) to the arena, but we decided to jump into the deep and look for new species theatrical fauna.


And, yes, we made compromises.

We made them with the hope and faith that we are investing in the future.

The usual non-suspects are the great expectations.


While the planet is simultaneously burning and melting on our TVs, no art has the right to lie idly on the sofa with a remote in hand…


We are tired of theorizing the eternal and passing by the current topics.

We are hungry for committed and bold projects. Wake-up projects.

We looked for such projects.


In a world where we have come up with so many new ways to play with gravity and where superbodies have emerged – flying, dancing, twisting and jumping in various ways, and where the children rush past us in parkour and leave us with a gaping mouth and blowing hair, we have to raise our expectations for this essential stage instrument – the body.

We want to see it competently, concentrated, shimmering in its focus.

Without sparing. Without lies.


We want art – track finder, ice breaker, chaser, light-wing insect, magnifier, naturalist… We want modern monsters and more powerful fairies. We want an element.


We want our breath to stop; our thoughts to break; to feel our heart rate at the temples; to be infected with ideas. Let’s not play it safe.

We want bold art again!

We want the horizon to be higher.

Thank you for your trust!