East European Performing Arts Platform (EEPAP) supports the
development of contemporary performing arts (dance and theatre)
in 18 countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

International Theatre Festival "Varna Summer", Bulgaria

Sylwia Śmigiel
+ 359 / 2 / 988 44 82; 987 71 96
Information about institution: 

The International Theatre Festival “Varna Summer” is the biggest international theatre event in Bulgaria. It is held every year between 1st- 12th June in the Black Seaside city of Varna in the festivals' framework "Varna Summer". Organizers are the Ministry of Culture, the Municipality of Varna and the Bulgarian Theatre Association. Creator of the festival is the “International Theatre Festival Varna Summer” Foundation.

ITF Varna Summer displays high quality productions from Bulgaria and abroad in the field of theatre, new dance (dance theatre) and performance art.  

Its aim is to present main trends in Bulgarian and international stage practice and to create a platform for intercultural dialogue, exchange and marketing. The programme is created as a mosaic of modules.

Short history: 

The Bulgarian selection keeps its focus on the local theatre developments and features the best productions from the current season. The International program presents high-quality and innovative productions from theatre, contemporary dance and performance art. The festival atmosphere is intensified by various parallel events such as concerts, workshops, exhibitions, meetings and discussions.

The ITF “Varna Summer” started in 1992 as a part of the All-European movement for innovation and as meeting point between the Eastern and Western European cultures and the rest of the world. It began as a festival displaying national art, but 1997 showed to be a turning point. During that time it essentially changed its policy and turned into an international event. There have been several big changes in the program strategy after 1997.

On the one hand, the festival is organized with the idea to introduce to the Bulgarian audience and theatre community the theatre art and achievements from abroad.  On the other hand it provides the opportunity to present contemporary Bulgarian theatre practices in the context of international exchange of theatre artefacts.  

The scope of ITF “Varna summer” is continually expanding, and has since 2007, in partnership with the Sofia Municipality, been showing performances from the international programme in the capital city of Sofia. From 2011 it has progressed further and is now displaying performances in the town of Rousse.

Since 2008, the festival has co-operated with the Art Office Foundation, and has presented a Bulgarian Showcase for innovative and mobile productions addressed not only to the general audience, but also to especially invited selectionists and managers of international festivals and organizations. All showcase productions are subtitled (or translated) in English.