At the end of December 2010, when all the puppet theatres were protesting against the prepared methodology for the future determination of subsidies, it was sadly interesting to read the forums on the Internet. As in the film protests, as in the protests (much simpler) of the dramatic theaters, even now these ‘opinions’ were, as a rule, fiercely negative towards the creators. These are lazy people who are just waiting for the state, and what they produce is primitive and bad, not competitive, and so on. Let’s squeeze out the more important thing from one of the opinions: ‘Every art made with handy materials becomes amateurish. And now the children are watching all sorts of movies with amazing effects – how will you keep their attention with a curtain ???’
There is no objection here. The competition with the cinema, with the digital techniques is doomed (in the theater in general, in the puppet theater in particular). The poor theater can only rely on what no one can take away from it: its live happenings, in front of the viewer. And whether these eyes will be amazed, enchanted, crying or smiling – depends only on the theatre itself.
More and more attention will be paid to the magic of the incarnations of the doll, the speed of transformations in the show, and – here’s something that cinema can not! – the mastery itself in performing them.
So the battle is not lost. It will be won by the talented, tireless, seekers and discoverers…
Months ago, the International Message on the occasion of March 21, 2010 – World Puppet Theater Day, written by the great theatre director Robert Lepage, was distributed.
Here it is:
Like many people, I was deeply shocked by the earthquake, which recently devastated Haiti. Viewing photos, retransmissions of live on television and on the Internet, I asked myself, along with all supporters of the performing arts, what would be the most effective means of expressing such a cataclysm in the human dimension? Who would be the best mediator who, without causing humiliating regret, can inspire solidarity, without being moralistic – to provoke the best in our own body the echo of the physical pain of wounds and amputations?
In fact, I wondered how one could transpose on stage not only the grief of the people of Haiti, but also their resilience, which both shakes and inspires us?
It seemed to me that the doll would be the best mediator to express this tragedy. Her helplessness, her vulnerability, but equally the power of her purity and innocence make the connection between the intimate and the unique with the viewer. Such solidarity probably stems from a major advantage it has over human theater and cinema: the actor plays a role, and the puppet is always real.
Unlike the actor, the atrocities passed on to the doll are not insincere. When her threads are torn, when she is defeated, ridiculed, humiliated, abused or torn, she never complains. She is repairing herself, recovering again and is back on her feet as if she were new.
This truth endows the dolls with extraordinary power, as they seem to be capable of both the atrocities of fate and the courage the world needs to recover from the ruins.
What faith in the power of the doll, of the art of puppetry, what a definite conviction that the future belongs to them!
Let us take a refreshing sip from the power of Lepage’s quoted words, let us hold in our weary puppet palms at least a mustard seed of his faith. Thus, the road to Hamburg will seem to us not only somehow clearer and more acceptable, but also only possible, only having some meaning for us…
Dear Readers… – Nikola Vandov
Theory, History, Experience, Polemics
Тhe Theatrical Reform And ‘AKT-UNIMA, Bulgaria’ (in documents)
Freedom Is A Deficiency Category – A Conversation Between Patricia Nikolova And Katya Petrova
An Inquiry Into The Adaptation/Dramatisation In Puppet Theatre. With The Participation Еlsa Laleva, Nikolina Georgieva, Slavcho Malenov, Теоdora Popova, Тоdor Vulov
My Pathways In Life And Art – Atanas Ilkov
Valeri Petrov or About The Melancholic Trumpet Of The Saint Bernard Dog – Patricia Nikolova
Wayang – The Shadow Doll Of Indonesia – Joanna Spassova-Dikova
Festivals and forums
19th International Puppet Theatre Festival ‘Three Are Too Many, Two – Not Enough’, Plovdiv, Bulgaria
In Plovdiv In September – Bogdana Kosturkova
‘Three Are Too Many, Two – Not Enough’ – The Formula Is More Than Successful – Patricia Nikolova
Conversations In Plovdiv – Boryana Georgieva In Dialogue With Desislava Mincheva, Petar Todorov, Veselka Kuncheva, Magdalena Miteva, Ivo Ignatov-Keni, Francis Monty, Olivier Ducas, Katya Petrova, Viktor Boytchev
Plovdiv Notebook – 2010 – Nikola Vandov
6th International Street And Puppet Fair, Sofia, Bulgaria
About The Fair And Something More – Katya Petrova
The Town Became A Scene! – Nikola Vandov
Sofia 2010 – A Victory Of The Dolls – Liliana Bardijewska
Ist World Festival Of Puppet Schools, Saint-Petersburg, Russia
Thoughts Engendered By Ist World Festival Of Puppet Schools – Nikolina Georgieva
When The Love Leads Us or A Story With Dolls – Mihail Baykov
Let Me Tell You About A Fair… – Еlsa Laleva
And Some Sad Thoughts About… – Ivan Raykov
A Political Tale – Patricia Nikolova
‘King Shushumiga’ Gives A Wink From The Scene Of Pazardjik Theatre – Peter Zmeicharov
Frivolous Enwoodenment – Veselina Gyuleva
Improvisations For Pleasure – Svetla Beneva
‘The Bride Of The Vampire’ On The Scene Of Sofia Puppet Theatre – Krasimira Vasileva
Oh, I Am Dreaming Of Love! – Mihail Baykov
Unique Schoolbook – A Conversation Between Nikola Vandov And Anastasia Savinova-Semova
Elena Vladova And Her Last Book – Slavcho Malenov
50-year Old Russe Dolls – Nikola Vandov
The Story Of A Horse – Henryk Jurkowski
History Performance 2010
‘Sivina’ Award And Its First Winner Zhivko Dzuranov
Award For Stefan Moskov
Cinderella – Еlsa Laleva