Homo Ludens: Selection

A collection of selected materials from the published issues of Homo Ludens Journal in English translation.

Over the past two decades – since it first appeared in 2000 to date – Homo Ludens Journal has been meeting its Bulgarian readers in the 24 issues published so far in 20 paper volumes reflecting the theatrical life in Bulgaria and worldwide. Figures, views, texts and productions having changed the understanding of theatre art and its boundaries came to life on the pages of the magazine. In line with its traditional headings while always focusing on important topics, problems or debates Homo Ludens has been attempting to make those phenomena and tendencies that have had and have decisive importance for our more thorough and more complex understanding of the theatre’s role in public life rather than to merely see the theatre’s everyday life. The principled position of its editors and compilers has always been that theatre is not merely a machine for building an artistic reality but a means of more intense living and of broadening our personal human experience by the experience of the whole mankind accumulated over the centuries and millennia.

Homo Ludens Journal owes its existence first and foremost to the energy and efforts of its dozens of contributors who publish in it their research, critical reviews, overviews or interviews, actively participate in its discussions, track down archive documents and photographs, translate texts from foreign languages. Thus, both reflections on topical theatre events and fundamental texts about theatre theory and history have reached the Bulgarian readers. And while the work of its compilers and editorial board so far has aimed at the direction of how to inscribe the achievements of the European and world theatre into Bulgaria’s cultural context, this collection of texts published in the journal in the period 2000–2021 has quite the opposite orientation: to present to an international audience both theatre studies of Bulgarian authors and reflections on some significant phenomena of Bulgarian stage.

The studies and reviews selected by the editors aim to simultaneously outline both the horizons and the conceptual thinking about theatre of some Bulgarian authors being among the most active contributors of the journal over the years and one piece of the picture of the contemporary Bulgarian theatre. The texts have been selected based on their target subject: various aspects of theatrology, leading personalities and events of Bulgarian playwriting and stage. They are arranged chronologically as per their publication in the volumes of the journal and are grouped under two headings: Theory and History and On The Theatre Stages.

The authors of the published texts are predominantly Bulgarian theatrologists but there are also historical and theoretical studies of a puppet theatre director and a set designer (who is also the Homo Ludens Journal’s designer). A number of interviews, discussions held and archived memories of theatre artists have remained outside this paper volume because they can hardly be fully understood without revealing the overall context they are inscribed into. Although every text in translation faces such a challenge the publisher of this collection, Homo Ludens Foundation, hopes it would make its modest contribution to Bulgarian theatre’s opening to the international audience and find its readers among the professional and academic circles, among the curious travellers in cultures near and far. In order to be more easily and widely accessible the collection is published both as a paper edition and in electronic form.

We wish you a pleasant reading!

Nikolay Iordanov, Kamelia Nikolova


Editorial Board: Prof. Kamelia Nikolova, Prof. Nikolay Iordanov, Assoc. Prof. Rumyana Nikolova, Assoc. Prof. Asen Terziev, Angelina Georgieva, PhD

Compilation: Nikolay Iordanov, Kamelia Nikolova

Cover: Venelin Shurelov

Illustrations: Elica Georgieva & Venelin Shurelov

Preprint: www.mind-print.com

Issued by Homo Ludens Foundation & Guild of the Theatre Critics and Playwrights, Union of Bulgarian Actors

With the support of National Culture Fund

Sofia, 2021

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