Theatre of Wonder

The first-ever Bulgarian edition of this international multi-genre festival will take place from 10 to 12 September in Sofia

Photo: BGNES

The format, co-organised by the Arte Urbana Collectif and RATIO, is making its Bulgarian debut as part of a European chain of festivals that started in Trento, Italy back in 2017 and is dedicated to the collaboration between artists and scientists.

The first Bulgarian edition of Theatre of Wonder will treat fans of science and performance arts to the premieres of three interdisciplinary lectures/performances on the stage of the popular Sofia club Terminal 1 as well as three scientifically themed shows at the Stage Derida space for contemporary art, which will immerse viewers into the vast universes of science and art and their intersections.

The topics of the projects range from the domestication of ancient beasts to the breaking of cosmic boundaries and the search for the key to our immortality. Each of the subjects has the potential to become both a wonderful artistic plot and an avant-garde scientific development. Theatre of Wonder is born from the experiment of exploring this duality.

For example, The Rhythm in the Galaxy Heart (10 September) will take viewers on a journey to the centre of the Milky Way, where a supermassive black hole can be found. It is a veritable cosmic monster the size of millions of Suns. Why is it there, what are active galactic nuclei? The answers to those questions can be discovered in an exciting cosmic adventure led by a group of experienced guides – astrophysicist Vladimir Bozhilov, sound designer Anna Botcheva and director Jivko Jouranov.

On 12 September, the audience will have the chance to meet The Beast by director Stefan Prohorov. Along with paleozoologist Nadezhda Karastoyanova and actress Denitsa Zafirova, he will transport viewers 13,000 years back in time – when man first began to domesticate animals. What does modern science know about the first domesticated animals and how humankind developing that ability changed the course of human civilisation forever? What does this all spell for our future? Viewers can find out all of this on 12 September at Terminal 1.

Synthetic human organs replacing natural ones, women giving birth thanks to synthetic organs, immortal people… Even though it may sound like scientific fiction, this new reality is at our doorstep. Can science conquer one of the last bastions of nature – immortality? Viewers will not only hear the answer to this question but get introduced to medical approaches that translate scientific fiction into scientific reality. The Synthetic Man: Dream, Nightmare, Reality? (11 September) will be presented by biologist and entrepreneur Spas Kerimov, video-artist Nikola Nalbantov and director Dimitar Uzunov.

Meanwhile, three additional scientific shows with similarly intriguing topics will be presented exclusively to the audience of Theatre of Wonders at Stage Derida. The exciting one-man show of Andrea Brunello, The Principle of Uncertainty (11 September), will plunge the audience into some of the most mysterious concepts of quantum physics such as the Schrödinger’s cat thought experiment. How to Become Einstein in One Hour? (10 September), written and directed by Dimitar Uzunov, will take the audience on a fun and thrilling adventure in search of the secrets to the creativity of the greatest scientific mind of all time. The theatre lecture The Computational Beauty of Nature (12 September) invites viewers to a journey through the computational side of nature and the unique interaction between the many different and fascinating forms of life.

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