Nevena Kokanova Drama Theatre
Nevena Kokanova Drama Theatre

Nevena Kokanova Drama Theatre


Nevena Kokanova Drama Theatre has been a state institute for more than 60 years but its history began long before that – in the distant 1870 with the ‘Long-suffering Genevieve’ performance, received with acclaim by the local audience. A bit later Yambol became the place where the first woman-actor – Matilda Popovic – began her creative journey. And it was here where the publishing of periodical theatre press in Bulgaria began. In the beginning of the 20th century the audience received the companies of Matey Ikonomov and Roza Popova in the same way and in 1920 an Equity Theatre was established with regularly staged performances. In 1922 Yambol became centre of the South Bulgarian theatre which resulted in fervent fundraising for the construction of a standalone theatre building and in 1927 the town already had its own permanent company.


The history of the theatre is vast and interesting but the more important thing is that it manages to sustain its ever excited audience; to maintain a permanent company; to create performances targeted at audiences of various ages; to make sure it has a repertoire that doesn’t only help it survive financially but also shape the spiritual life of the town.


Many famous actors and directors have shown their worth on the stage of Yambol. Many young people started here to later fully establish their names. The town and the theatre think highly of them and respect all of them. But the symbol that the name of the unforgettable Nevena Kokanova has turned itself into speaks a lot about the spirit and the strength of the Yambol theatre. Nevena made her first steps here when only at 17 she played roles such as Fenisa and Juliet – something that requires not just talent but also faith in its possibilities.


Every year Yambol holds theatre holidays which also bear the name of Nevena Kokanova. Their development through the years proves that it’s worth pointing out the significance of all these good performances that come to us. And Nevena’s name deserves it, too. 


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