Programme Puppet Theatre Acting

Established: 1962

Educational Degree: Bachelor

Duration: 4 years (8 semesters)

Form of Education: Full-time 



The NATFA programme in Puppet Theatre Acting is unique in Bulgaria as no other university has a similar education. It aims to prepare highly qualified actors for puppet theater, with rich practical skills and theoretical knowledge, who meet the contemporary professional requirements for creative work in the puppet theaters, as well as working as freelancers.

Educational priorities include modules on building an artistic stage image through a theatrical puppet; building an artistic stage image through the interaction of an actor and a theatrical puppet; and building a dramatic artistic stage image without a theatrical puppet. The goal of the educational process is that students would master both classical and modern puppet systems (glove puppets, marionette puppets, improvised hand/object puppets, mask puppets, Italian comedia dell’arte, Vietnamese water puppet theater, Chinese shadow theater, ultraviolet technology, “black camera” technology, etc.) and learn to use their dynamic and performative capabilities as a language. The obligatory modules also include work on the fields of speech, music and vocal, stage movement, clowning, dance, combat and acrobatic techniques, etc. Efforts are focused on final results in which the future actors would be able to perform convincing symbioses between their expressive abilities and the image of the theater puppet.

As an integral component of the students’ development, there are compulsory and elective courses, providing theoretical and historical knowledge in the fields of theatre and literature, music, fine and plastic arts, psychology, philosophy, aesthetics, mythology and religion, children’s literature, history and theory of world puppet theater, as well as additional professional skills in stage fights and stunts, dubbing, etc.



Training is carried out in classes of minimum 8 students. Each class is tutored by professors, elected by the Department Council of the “Puppet Theater Chair” and approved by the Faculty of Stage Arts Council as well as the NATFA Academic Council. Education in the programme can only be at a full-time basis and lasts for 4 years. All practical exams are public.

Program Director:

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Konstantin Karakostov






Academic team:

Prof. Roumen Rachev (Puppet Theatre Acting – Dolls’ Systems), Prof. Slavcho Malenov (Drama Theatre Acting – Dolls” Systems), Prof. Zheni Pashova (Drama Theatre Acting – Dolls” Systems)), Prof. Bonyo Lungov (Drama Theatre Acting – Dolls” Systems), Assoc. Prof. Dr. Konstantin Karakostov  (Drama Theatre Acting – Dolls” Systems), Prof. Аnastasia Savinova (Stage Movement), Prof. Taisia Yanbastieva (Stage Movement, Style and Etiquette), Prof. Dr. Kamelia Nikolova (Introduction to the History of European Theatre, History of European Theatre), Prof. Dr. Doichina Sinigerska (History of Puppet Theatre), Prof. Dr. Anastasiya Turkoleva (Music Training Vocal Training), Prof. Dr. Vassil Rakomanov (Theatre Technique and Technology)Prof. Dilyana Micheva (Music training, Vocal training), Prof. Dr. Svetlana Stoycheva (History of Literature for Children), Prof. Dr. Lubomir Gurbev (Stage Speech), Prof. Dr. Katerina Ilkova (Orthography, Stage speech, Verbal Action in the Puppet Show), Assoc. Prof Boryana Georgieva (Puppet Theatre Acting – Dolls’ Systems), Assoc. Prof. Dr. Dariya Koleva (Rhythmics, Ritual dances, Ethnofolklore), Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kamen Ivanov (Stage Fighting Techniques), Assoc. Prof. Valeriya Kardashevska (Orthography, Stage Speech), Dr. Mihaela Tuleva (Puppet Theatre Acting – Dolls’ Systems),  Assoc. Prof. Dr. Todor Dimitrov-Mechkarski (Orthography), Dr. Nadezhda Panayotova (Stage Speech), Dr. Michail Baikov (History of Puppet Theatre), Vesela Hadjinikolova (Stage movement, Stage acrobatics, Dance Acrobatics, Aerial Acrobatics), Evgeniya Lacheva (Тechnology of Puppet Theatre), Тemenuga Pervazova (Vocal Training).





Graduates acquire the educational qualification degree “Bachelor of Arts” with professional qualification “Actor for Puppet Theatre” and find jobs at profesisional theatres (state, municipal, private, independent), film and television productions, television and radio programs, dubbing studios, etc. They could also continue further their education in Master programs.



Obligatory application materials: one dramatic monologue, one comic monologue, two fables, two poems (one of them – for children), one prose excerpt, two songs (one of them – folk one), one modern and one folk dance.


Stage I:

Presentation of some of the obligatory textual materials at the candidate’s choice and/or at the choice of the Selection Committee.

Candidates who receive a score lower than average (3.00) cannot participate in Stage II (III)


Stage II:

Presentation of the obligatory vocal and dance materials as well as assignment of individual acting tasks at the choice of the Selection Committee. Those who play a musical instrument have the opportunity to show their skills to the Selection Committee.


Stage III:

Creating of a puppet from provided materials and assignments of individual and group acting tasks with and without puppets at the choice of the Selection Committee (including work on unknown texts and vocal/dance pieces) followed by an interview on the candidate’s cultural background and creative ideas.

Candidates who receive a score lower than average (3.00) cannot participate in the final ranking.