Directors Project Exchange Program: Andrew Volkoff directs in BulgariaMonday, November 21st, 2011
Drama League Directors Project alumnus Andrew Volkoff is currently in Bulgaria directing a production as part of our international directing exchange program. During his time in residence, he’ll be blogging about his experiences, and we’ll be sharing his posts here.
For more information about The Drama League Directors Project or our exchange program in Bulgaria, click here or call (212) 244-9494.
From Andrew Volkoff:
“Today, it’s almost been a week since I’ve been in Bulgaria. It seems like forever and no time at all.
I think the most unique thing about Bulgarian theatre is that theatres play each show only one night: every theatre is in a repertory mode. In other words, a theatre will present about 7 different shows a week. You could see The Music Man, a dance piece, something by Tennessee Williams, a new Bulgarian play, a childrens’ show, and a Shakespeare all in one week at the same theatre. The actors belong to a specific thetare but perform all over. We have no system like this in the U.S. It’s absolutely amazing and requires a significant amount of planning between all the theatres. In fact, they have one person at each theatre who handles the programming and scheduling. They speak with the person who does their job at another theatre and so on and so on and so on until the schedules are coordinated around the actors at all the theatres. It’s quite a feat of organization.
I’m sitting in lighting rehearsals right now after having seen a show at another theatre featuring two of the actors from our theatre (the Youth Theatre). Lighting and tech happens over a two week period here rather than the 3 to 5 days we usually do and today’s tech was super delayed because the tech guys weren’t finished on stage which is why we’re still up at 10pm working on lights. Now, working on lights at 10pm is not so unusual for the US, but here in the BG, they should’ve been done about 3 hours ago! Oh, and they don’t use lighting designers here: the director designs the lighting with the assistance of a lighting supervisor! Ah, the power!
Have finally gotten over the jet lag (I hope!). Sofia has a certain European charm, but the ravages of Communism and constant occupation and conquering in Bulgaria’s history have taken their toll on the place. Roman ruins mix with Soviet, Byzantine and Ottoman architecture. It’s very unique….