IATC was pleased and proud to hold an international young critics’ seminar in conjunction with the ‘Varna Summer’ International Theatre Festival in Bulgaria, between June 5 and 9, 2013. Thirteen young critics travelled to Bulgaria’s beautiful Black Sea coast from countries as diverse as China, South Korea, France, the Czech Republic, Georgia, Moldova and Bulgaria itself.

Two groups – working in French and English, and moderated by director of seminars Jean-Pierre Han (France) and adjunct-director Mark Brown (Scotland, UK), respectively – discussed theatre and theatre criticism in their various countries, as well as holding intense critical discussions about the festival’s programme of Bulgarian and international work; which ranged from the powerful Medea, My Mother by Theatre Laboratory Sfumato of Sofia, to the acclaimed production of Ostrovsky’s The Storm by the Ljubljana City Theatre of Slovenia. The young critics were also given the opportunity to publish their writings about the shows staged in Varna in the festival bulletin and to take part in an international symposium organised as part of the festival programme.

In addition to the festival itself, our friends at Varna Summer arranged for the young critics and their moderators to be given guided tours of both the Varna Puppet Theatre’s beautiful museum and the fascinating Aladja monastery (which is carved into a rock face). IATC thanks the festival for its tremendous hospitality and organisation of a highly successful and memorable seminar.

Mark Brown and the English-speaking group in Varna.