International Puppet-Theater Festival for Adults "PIERROT" 2019

International Puppet-Theater Festival “PIERROT”, is a unique festival in Europe, awarded by the European Festival Association with an European Label for Importance and Innovation EFFE 2019-2020 (Europe for Festivals, Europe Festivals). It is a bi-annual festival held u in the period 24-29 September in the city of Stara Zagora, Bulgaria, under the patronage of the Mayor of the city. The organizers of the festival are the State Puppet Theater - Stara Zagora, the Municipality of Stara Zagora, the non-profit association “PIERROT”, and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Bulgaria.



Programme Policy


Our strategic goal is to promote cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue through diverse forms and methods of puppet-theater art for adults.


The programming policy of our festival is unique because it:

  • promotes both modern art and culture, as well as the avangard and unconventional forms;
  • presents a variety of artistic practices and forms of expression, focusing on the synthesis of different types of arts;
  • presents the Bulgarian puppet-theater art and the world achievements in this field to the Bulgarian audience;
  • offers a rich programme of fringe and accompanying performances and events for a wide audience;
  • stimulates creativity and innovation and enables young artists to have a debut stage.

Our uniqueness is also in:

  • our ability to mobilize and attract new audiences and collaborate with different social groups;
  • seeking new alternative spaces for stage performances;
  • implementing new methods for effective dissemination of information.




The Festival has an established reputation and a growing popularity, as well as an ongoing support by partners at national and international level. This makes it a meaningful, desirable and needed international art forum. The local government perceives the festival as a good opportunity to promote the city nationally and internationally and has included the festival in the Cultural Calendar of the Municipality. We have a valuable expertise and we have established international networks of collaboration and partnership. The state cultural organisations that won prizes in the competition programme of the Festival “PIERROT”, have received an additional subsidy from the Ministry of Culture, which makes the competition interesting and desirable. Partners of the festival are: Ministry of Culture, Municipality of Stara Zagora, Association of puppet theaters AKT UNIMA - Bulgaria, Art Office Foundation, Midialidare Estate EOOD, cultural institutes of Stara Zagora, media at regional and national level as well as representatives of business and non-profit organizations.


Public Benefits


The Festival has proven track records in enhancing cultural policy at local level and demonstrates the benefits of decentralization and regionalization of the cultural life in the country. We strive to stimulate theater organizations to produce puppet-theater productions for adults and we work for enhancing cultural exchanges between the puppet artists and culture professionals from Bulgaria, Europe and the rest of the world. Our festival is an indisputable catalyst for the development of the local business, transportation services, hospitality and restaurant industries, and creative industries.


Managerial Aspects


The focus in the management of the festival is the development and involvement of diverse audiences. Our team is creative, has rich experience and skills, and charms the cultural community with a vision and loyalty. Our competitive advantage is also in providing adequate moral and material incentives and benefits for the participant in the festival.


Success Factors


Our team organizes and presents the Festival “PIERROT”, for the 11th time in 2019.

The success factors are:

  • Strong leadership and a clear vision, combined with flexibility.
  • A combination of tradition and modernity in the festival’s programme.
  • Openness to the public and building up strong customer relations.
  • Attracting local support and volunteers.
  • Attracting donations and direct funding.
  • Broad media coverage for increasing the festival’s image.
  • Stimulating the sense of belongingness among the citizens of Stara Zagora.


What Shall we Offer to Our Audience This Year?


We present traditional, as well as experimental and new forms of puppet-theater art for adults in the competition programme. The programme is a colorful bridge between past, present and future.

Among the rich programme this year, we will have the pleasure to see on stage:

  • The Japanese Theater NO, declared by UNESCO as part of the world's intangible cultural heritage.
  • The exhibition of Arch. Ivan Tsonev (1928-2017) "Scenography for Puppet Theater". Arch. Ivan Tsonev is an architect, scenographer, designer, artist, and director - one of the main representatives of modernity in the Bulgarian puppet theater.
  • The premiere of the book "Stories for Clock, Dolls and Linden Tea" and the memories of the theater teacher Stefan Yankov in the book "Theatrical Geography, Stories, Personalities". We will pass gradually through the contemporary aspects of the arts, marked with traditional, experimental, moving, and visual performances. We will have the pleasure to meet the expert in in animation Henri Kulev and to enjoy advanced examples of the contemporary Bulgarian animation. We will see a great experiment – the great novel of Orwell "1984" in a form of puppet show for adults. We will also look into the future and the virtual reality: the exhibitions “Digital Ink” supported by OBB Bank, the architectural installation "Conglomerate" by the Union of Bulgarian Artists, and the installation "Clean" by Christian Bakalov.


The music programme of the festival includes: the multi instrumental performance of "Two Men Orchestra", saxophonist Viktor Tot, the concert of Nadia Toncheva "Under the Sky of Paris". The accompanying programme of the festival targets also arts managers and producers - we will offer an interesting interactive seminar moderated by Prof. Dr. Lidia Varbanova - a proven international expert in this field. The accompanying events includes also exhibitions, concerts, installations, multi-instrumental performances, street theater, motion theater, ballet, seminars, discussions, screenings of short animation films, launching of books by well-established as well as young authors, and many other events.


How to Find Us:


Ul. "Gen. Gurko 46, Stara Zagora 6000
Tel./Fax: 00359 42 620 420

Director of the festival: Darin Petkov

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