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Journal of the Union of Scientists - Varna. The Cultural Heritage of Varna and the Black Sea Region

Save and protect

Siya Papazova


To the cultural heritage of Varna and the Black Sea region, we can add the cultural work of Katya Papazova – philologist, journalist, director, and theater teacher; founder of the children and Zlatnoto Klyuche youth theatre, a theatre school that will soon be 50 years old. People close to the theatre call the time in which she carried out her calling—the Era of Katya Papazova.

Her innovations are in the fields of stage acting and its relation to children's "nonsense", in the deployment of the Shakespeare for Children and Adolescents programme, and in the realisation of productions in the field of spatial theatre - the newest and most experimental trend in European theatre practice.

Her theatre is distinguished by a very high repertoire. Plays by Molière, Goldoni, Gozzi, adapted texts for theatre by Duma, Mark Twain, and Bel Kaufmann were staged.

Katya educated several generations of children and adolescents in the theatrical spirit. She saturated the contemporary cultural space with magnificent artists who honour Bulgarian theatre and cinema: the directors – prof. Plamen Markov, Galin Stoev, Vasilena Radeva; the actors – Marius Donkin, Krustyo Lafazanov, Stefan Denolyubov, Ivo Arukov, Stoyan Doychev, Hristo Cheshmedjiev, Markela Topalova; the innumerable theatre scholars, film critics, scriptwriters, playwrights, cinematographers, producers.

When they were young, she called them "the saved children of Varna".  Saved from the streets, drugs, prostitution, crime... The ugly side of the Post-Communist Transition.

Now a street in Varna bears her name.

I took over the school after her passing. Only then did I understand the deep meaning hidden in the famous Orthodox-Christian aphorism "Спаси и Сохрани" (Save and Protect).

It has two parts: the first part consists of a single act. Спаси (Save)! And that is it...

The second part commands something else. Сохрани (Protect, Preserve)! It is a much longer process. It is terribly difficult to preserve what has already been saved.


children and youth theatre, stage acting, nonsense, Shakespeare for Children and Adolescents programme, spatial theatre, saved children of Varna

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