International Exchanges

The U.S./Bulgaria Stage Directors Exchange

The U.S./Bulgaria Stage Directors Exchange, a partnership with Art Office/Sofia and funded in part by the Trust for Mutual Understanding, is open by invitation only to professional directors and artistic directors.  The exchange develops research, production, and collaboration opportunities for American and Bulgarian directors in both countries via international exchanges and residencies.

Since its inception in 2010, the program has facilitated an educational artist training program between Sfumato Theatre and Shakespeare & Company; supported the artistic director of About Face Theatre, Andrew Volkoff, as he directed the Bulgarian premiere of John Kolvenbach’s Love Song at the Nikolai Binev Youth Theatre in Sofia; hosted the Program Director of the Varna International Theatre Festival in New York City, where he attended work at multiple festivals; and many more initiatives.

In 2013, the Drama League, in conjunction with the Present Company, proudly presented the American debut of the acclaimed Theatre B+ production of The Spider at the New York International Fringe Festival.

Actors Penko Gospdinov and Anastassia Liutova in the Theatre B+ production of The Spider, written and directed by Dimitar Dimitov and Yordan Slaveykov.  Presented in NYC at C.O.W. Theatre, August 9 -16, 2013. Photo: Richard Termine. 

Written and co-directed by Dimitar Dimotrov and Yordan Slaveykov, The Spider tells the story of conjoined twins – a brother and a sister – spending a last birthday together the night before the operation that will separate them forever.  Both loving and hating their existence, they struggle to face this momentous decision: should the remain together, or separate? Should they escape to into freedom or cling to the reality they have always known?

The Village Voice called it the top show of the Fringe Festival, and “the reason one goes to the theatre”! The New York Times “[couldn't] look away” from the “impassioned performances”, and credited the Drama League for “helping to sprinkle some Eastern European tragicomedy in a Fringe program filled with lighter fare”. The Spider was also the winner of Best Theater Experiment and Best Actress at the 2012 St. Petersburg ArtOKraina International Festival.

The Ivan Vazov National Theater, Sofia, Bulgaria

Since 2009, The U.S./Bulgaria Stage Directors Exchange has included international exchanges resulting in collaborative productions, assistantships, educational exchanges, collaboration workshops; and research visits for:

  • Raiko Baichev, playwright
  • Jesse Berger, Artistic Director, Red Bull Theater
  • Shelley Butler, stage director
  • Rachel Chavkin, Artistic Director, The TEAM
  • Ida Daniel, stage director
  • Vesselin Dimov, stage director
  • Dimitar Dimitrov, playwright/stage director
  • Ivan Dimitrov, playwright
  • Javor Gardev, stage director
  • Georgi Georgiev, playwright
  • Svetlozar Georgiev, playwright
  • Joey Guastella, The Foundation Center
  • West Hyler, stage director
  • Nikolai Iordanov, Artistic Director, Varna International Theatre Festival
  • Petar Kaukov, Deputy Artistic Director, Nikolai Binev Youth Theatre
  • Alexander Manuiloff, playwright
  • Kevin Moriarty, Artistic Director, Dallas Theatre Center
  • Margarita Mladenova, Artistic Director, Sfumato Theatre
  • Jim Nicola, Artistic Director, New York Theatre Workshop
  • Vasilena Radeva, stage director
  • Cara Reichel, Artistic Director, Prospect Theater Company
  • Tony Simotes, Artistic Director, Shakespeare & Company
  • Yordan Slaveykov, playwright/stage director
  • Tea Sugareva, stage director
  • Asen Terziev, Chief Coordinator, Varna International Theatre Festival
  • Daniela Varon, Artistic Associate, Shakespeare & Company
  • Iasen Vasilev, playwright
  • Andrew Volkoff, stage director
  • Kalina Wagenstein, Art OfficeSofia

To inquire about participation in this program, professional directors and artistic directors should email gshanks@dramaleague.org.