Plovdiv Drama Theatre is the first professional Bulgarian theatre, founded in 1881, and one of the leading cultural organizations in the country. It is a state repertory theatre, which manages four stages. The ensemble performs in Plovdiv, tours Bulgaria, and presents at foreign festivals. Many of the most popular Bulgarian actors and directors have begun their careers at the Plovdiv Drama Theatre. The theatre and its actors are recipients of numerous prestigeous national theate awards. Its managerial team has been awarded Best Managment and Marketing Award by the Ministry of Culture twice – in 2012 and in 2016.
The theatre hosts the аnnual international theatre festival Crossroads Stage. It also carried on the traditional hosting by the previous Rhodopi Drama Theatre of the Rhodopi International Theatre Laboratory – an annual summer gathering of theatre practitioners and scholars, which allows professional participants to work with and train students and each other in distinct approaches from around the world.
The Plovdiv Drama produces 8 new shows each season and rotates over 20 titles each month. The repertoire includes both Bulgarian and foreign titles of all genres by contemporary and classical authors.
In 2007-2010 Plovdiv Drama Theatre was a participant in the major project Black/North SEAS funded by the EU “Culture” Programme. SEAS was a European platform for intersecting arts with other sectors of society. The primary focus was the creation and distribution of interdisciplinary artworks on a transnational basis. Cultural operators, artists, public officials and scientists were connected in a four-year long multi-lateral cooperation stretching from the North Sea to the Black Sea. Plovdiv Drama’s unique street performance Suitcases was presented in Bulgaria, Istanbul, England, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Slovenia. The theatre has participated in several smaller-scale EU projects in the last few years.