NEW BULGARIAN UNIVERSITY, ART OFFICE, DRAMA LEAGUE OF NEW YORK, and PECULIAR WORKS PROJECT (New York) present
Овча Купел (Ovcha Kupel): A Promenade Performance Project in Sofia
March 5-15, 2018
DEADLINE: 10 February 2018
We want 5 or 6 artists to create short performances that will be part of a large event that will take audiences to different locations on the NBU campus. Each artist will be assigned a location at NBU, will work with a team to create their segment of the production, and cooperate with the other artists to create a unified production. You will have time and space at NBU for rehearsals and some technical resources (costumes, props, sets, lighting, and projection, as available). The project will be guided by Professor Vaskressia Vilharova with Art Office and Peculiar Works Project, who created the promenade performance “Imagining America” in 2014 (Varna International Theater Festival) and 2016 (NBU).
Each artist will create a 10-15 minutes performance (the entire event, including travel time between segments, will be no more than 120 minutes). A goal of this project is for artists to collaborate so we encourage directors to work with a writer on an original script rather than adapt material already written. Artists for each segment will be selected by 15 February; a script or detailed description for what you will do in the performance is due February 21. Rehearsals will start at NBU on March 5 and the performance is on March 15.
The performances will draw inspiration from the abandoned mineral baths in Ovcha Kupel (https://zdravkoyonchev.com/банята-в-овча-купел/). Themes for your work could be:
1) The importance of water for Bulgaria, for all people. You could focus on the importance of bath houses before modern plumbing, the community experience of going to a bath house, humans controlling nature to make bath houses, etc.
2) The abandoned bath house as a metaphor for decaying cities. A team could explore how the abandoned building impacts the urban environment, how its loss changes the city and the community and how the people of Ovcha Kupel get together now, how the recent fire at the building may change or hurt its future, etc.
3) The bath house as a political metaphor. A work could explore the political history of Bulgaria: under the Romans, under the Ottomans, under the Austro-Hungarians, under the Soviets, to the democratic society today. It could use the mix of architectural styles of the building to reflect on the mix of cultural heritages that make up Bulgaria. It could focus on the importance of the city and the state, the citizens and their relationship to the government, etc.
4) The bath house as a metaphor for history or tradition. How does any society preserve its traditions and still make progress? Can a society move into the future without losing its connection to the past?
5) The bath house as metaphor for the body. What we strip away/what we reveal. How we disguise our animal nature through soap and water. How we decay like it has.
ARTISTIC DISCIPLINE (writer, director, actor, etc)
PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE (less than 200 words please)
BRIEF PROPOSAL (less than 300 words please)
ARTISTIC COLLABORATORS? (Indicate other artistic disciplines you would like to use; less thab 100 words please)
ARTIST RESOURCES ONLINE
We encourage you to visit these websites with photos and news reports about the bath house as you prepare your proposal.
Informative Links in Bulgarian:
September 2017 Fire at Ovcha Kupel Mineral Bath: