Small Season Festival 2016

Created in 2005, this annual festival provides a space for young artists to showcase their work and experiment their ideas. It has established itself as the most active forum for unconventional art in Bulgaria, bringing together artists, new audiences, theatre experts and cultural managers.

From 24 June to 3 July 2016, the festival proposed a multitude of activities and events in the fields of theatre, dance, film, music, photography, arts and scenography. Among performances showcased during the festival those nominated for the “Sfumato – New Names” distinction were invited to feature in the programme of the theatre’s next season; participants were invited to attend workshops and Sfumato gives support to the production of future projects.

The 2016 edition was open to international young theatre artists.


The UTE Decentralized Academy presented:

Second Hand

Masterclass directed by Margarita Mladenova and Ivan Dobchev

at the Sfumato Laboratory Theatre Sofia, Bulgaria

With the participation of actors from ISO Theatre and Bulgarian actors.

One major part of the 2016 festival's programme was the exclusive masterclass for the ISO Theatre collective that was brought together again from 27 June – 2 July 2016 thanks to the support of the Creative Europe programme of the European Union. The international actors from Bulgaria, France, Germany, Greece, Poland and Portugal participated in a masterclass with artistic director Margarita Mladenova and stage director Ivan Dobchev.

A public presentation of their work was shown on 1 July at the big hall of the Sfumato Theatre.

The ISO participants:

Petya Alabozova (Germany/Bulgaria),

Bilyana Georgieva, (Bulgaria)

Sophie Lewisch (France),

Aglaia Katsiki (Greece),

Benjamin-Lew Klon (Germany/Poland),

Boris Krastev (Bulgaria).

Luís Puto (Portugal),

Angélique Zaini (France),

"The idea is through the garment to resurrect the human, his unique personal being and so to form his monologue."

– a fragment of "Not I" by S. Beckett.

"We will apply as creative tools theatrical techniques and practices "outside-inside"; we will provoke the imagination, the sensory memory and the ability of the actor to empathize “entering” in someone's life. We will find path from the game to the no-game, through a series of individual attempts to a theatrical re-construction of the genius text of Beckett, formed by the monologues of a group of nameless people. Let us look at the nameless human, the human second hand." M.Mladenova, I.Dobchev

>> Presentation to the audience on 1 July 2016, 7 p.m.

at the Big Hall, Sfumato Laboratory Theatre

About the ISO Theatre : Developed in the context of the 2012 UTE Decentralized Academy, the idea of creating a collective of young theatre artists from all over Europe first arose in the course of a masterclass directed by Russian theatre director Lev Dodin in Saint Petersburg.

Named after the Stanislavski concept of “Super Objective” the “ISO” International Super Objective Theatre was created with the aim to explore — on the ground and on stage — what being European means today. Originally composed of 14 young European actors from Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, Portugal, France, Italy and Israel, the ISO Theatre recently integrated new members from Germany, Poland and Palestine, thus forming a group of artists from 8/9 countries in Europe and beyond.

In June 2015, thanks to the support of the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union, the Union des Théâtres del'Europe invited the ISO actors to participate in a workshop Le déjeuner sur l’herbe, free outdoor theatre action of actors, led by the only director in the group who interpreted the famous painting of Manet - in the context of the Small Season, organised in cooperation with the Sfumato Theatre in Sofia.

More info

A project organised by the Union des Théâtres de l’Europe in cooperation with the Sfumato Laboratory Theatre. In context of the Small Season Festival and

the CONFLICT ZONES | ZONES DE CONFLIT network programme of the UTE.

With the support of the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.



Other highlights of the programme

Friday, 24 June 2016

Projections of films

The first steps of approved film directors

Georgi Dulgerov

>> 11:00 p.m. in front of the theatre 

My Death or They Said They Admired Me

Presented by the National Theatre of Greece

Experimental Stage-I / Extravagant Union

He wakes up in his bed only to realise he is dead. He thinks, he remembers, he "experiences". His body is taken back to a homeland he refused. The funeral is to take an uncongenial turn. Tethered between intimacy and public image, he will be presented with a sound revelation, ultimately stirring him into a haunting vision of violence; a result of the blending of his past with their present.

First presented as work-in-progress dissertation, featuring an international cast, at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (London, July 2014), the work is a co-production between the newly founded European Theatre Collective EXTRAVAGANT UNION and the Greek National Theatre's EXPERIMENTAL STAGE -I, where the current, updated version of the piece was presented in April 2015.

Featuring: Alexandros Chrysanthopoulos

Written/Directed by Andreas Andreou

Music Supervision by Alexandros Gkonis

Light Design by Semina Papalexandropoulou

Set and Costume Supervision by Eleni Stroulia, Matina Megla, Eleni Arapostathi

>> 10:00 – 11:00 p.m at the Big Hall

(password: kavala)


Tuesday 28 June 2016

Atelier GODS | Looking for the Good Person of Szechwan

With the participation of students in first year directing class of Prof. Ivan Dobchev

National Academy of Theatre and Film Arts (NATFA)  

>> 10:00 – 11:00 p.m. in front of the theatre


Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Atelier | Bohemian NIGHTS

After poems by Dimcho Debelyanov, Alexander Vutimski, Georgi Rupchev, Hristo Smirnenski and Dimitar Podvarzachov

With the participation of students in second year acting class of Prof. Margarita Mladenova

National Academy of Theatre and Film Arts (NATFA)

If you experience a midnight hunger, maybe you need a bite of poetry and not another, but bohemian - the most appropriate for the season. Come to see how it sheds light / literally! / in the summer darkness, she POETRY.

>> 10:00 – 11:00 p.m. in front of the theatre


Thursday, 30 June 2016

Atelier | There is no drama

Concept Stefan Ivanov

With the participation of Margita Gosheva, Elena Dimitrova, Vessela Babinova, Lilia Gueleva, Jana Rasheva, Stefan Ivanov

30 June – 2 July 2016

>> 10:00 – 12:00 Small Hall

Saturday, 2 July 2016

>> 9:30 – 11:00 Demonstration to audience

at the Small Hall



Friday, 1 July 2016

DIGITAL mythologies

With the participation of masters degree students - National Academy of Arts, Digital Art:

Velina Kokalova - Ethereal / Broadcast, audio-visual installation

Martin Stratiev - Textual mirror, installation

Marina Genova - Objective / subjective data, performative installation

Silvana Ilieva - Incubator of dreams, sound interactive installation

Plamen Hubenov - Superluminal, light-sound installation

>> 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. at the Underground Hall


Saturday, 2 July 2016


Discussion: I have an idea

Moderator | Stefan Ivanov

With the participation of Vasil Duev, Bojan Kracholov, Delyan Iliev, Boris Krastev, Chris Sharkov, Vassilena Radeva, Stayko Murdzhev, Margarita Macheva, Anastasia Sabeva, Dina Markova.

The discussion was attended by debutantes and young directors and theatre professionals to share their ideas about theatre and future projects, to talk about the charms and disappointments, about the theatrical context and the semantic horizon that context reaches or should have reached. 

>> 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Big Hall


Sunday, 3 July 2016


Idea Venelin Shurelov (SubHuman Theatre)

Mechanics Borislav Tonev (Bucky)

"Rotor" is the name of a performative automated system that has built into its structure a human figure. The figure is an exhibit embodied the personal and the mechanical. The installation comprises a group of electric motors that provide paths for movement of the performer. The figure is the body of gesture partially closed by the function, partially exempt from the fiction.

>> 9:00 p.m.– 10:00 p.m. at the Underground Hall


The Small Season is held with the support of Ministry of Culture and is included in the "Cultural Calendar" of Sofia Municipality.

Margarita Mladenova and Ivan Dobchev

founders and directors of Theatre-Laboratory "Sfumato"

Executive director of the Small Season | Nedyalko Delchev

Coordinator | Danislava Tomova

Advisor | Stefan Ivanov

and the whole team of the "Sfumato"