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.