Plovdiv Drama Theatre is the first professional Bulgarian theatre, founded in 1881, and one of the leading cultural organizations in the country nowadays. It is a state repertory theatre, which manages three stages in the amazing ancient city of Plovdiv – European Capital of Culture 2019. After burning down in a fire in 2013 the main stage was renovated and is currently one of the best equipped theatre stages in the country.
A great number of the most prominent Bulgarian actors and directors have begun their careers at the Plovdiv Drama Theatre. The theatre’s productions, creative team and actors are recipients of numerous prestigious national theatre awards. Its managerial team has been awarded Best Managment and Marketing Award by the Ministry of Culture twice – in 2012 and in 2016.
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 – Shakespeare, Maksim Gorky, Neil Simon, Jordi Galceran, Tuncer Cucenoglu, Kamen Donev, Yordan Yovkov, William Gibson, Sarah Ruhl, John Patrick Shanely, Henrik Ibsen, Vassily Sigarev, Konstantin Iliev, Alan Ball, Georgi Markov, Alexander Sekulov, Milen Ruskov, Philip Ridley, Peyo Yavorov, etc. to name a few.
Two of the theatre’s productions have achieved astonishing theatrical records – Kamen Donev’s one-man shows A Teacher’s Views on Folk Art and A Teacher’s Views on Education. In the last ten years (2007-2017) A Teacher’s Views on Folk Art has been performed over 450 times. Kamen Donev is the only actor who has overcrowded Hall 1 (4000 seats) of the National Palace of Culture 15 times with the same show. A Teacher’s Views on Folk Art is acclaimed throughout theater festivals in Bulgaria, and also audiences in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Berlin, Luxembourg, Vienna, Brussels, Troxy hall in London, and the Munich Philharmonic. Certainly the show’s 287,289 viewers are its greatest recognition— something yet unaccomplished by another production in the history of Bulgarian theatre. Kamen Donev’s second lecture A Teacher’s Views on Education (2013) has repeated the success of the first show. His latest show About Weddings has sold out the largest Bulgarian events venue – Arena Armeets Hall (12 000 seats) four times to date (2017)
The theatre hosts the аnnual international theatre festival Stage at Crossroads, founded in 1996 by one of the most beloved and recognized Bulgarian actors – Stefan Danailov. He has been a professor at the National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts since 1988 and Minister of Culture from 2005 to 2009.