2006-2007 - "The court with open doors"

A series of forum theatrical performances, informing young people about changes in Bulgarian legislation and their practical application.
Part of the "Initiative to strengthen the judiciary" on United States Agency for International Development.

This is how we titled the series of forum theatrical performances, with which we go around towns and villages. Because we believe,that it is very important for young people to know what the laws are, which operate in our society and how they are applied in practice. Raising their awareness of the work of the courts will create security for the protection of their interests.. And this is the most serious reason for building a positive motivation for their inclusion in the social and economic life of the country..

The performances are part of the United States Agency for International Development's Judicial Strengthening Initiative.

"Family puzzle" is the first show in the series, with which we present to the public the law on protection against domestic violence adopted only a year ago. We presented the premiere to magistrates from all over the country at the National Institute of Justice in Sofia. We presented it in courtrooms, community centers and schools in the capital, city. Gotse Delchev, from. German, Varna, General Toshevo, Haskovo and Stara Zagora in front of no less than 1200 audience.

We hope the story, which we present, to provoke reflection on the rights and responsibilities in family life to these, who are about to take them. The performance acquaints the young audience with the laws in force in our country, which protect the rights of each of the partners, sanctioning
possible violators. Young people will not only see, but they will participate in a court hearing themselves, in which disturbed family relations are settled after domestic violence. The spectators involved in the performance will share from the stage to what extent, they think, Sda's intervention gives a new chance to people with severe family problems.

Director: Tsvete Yaneva
Performers: Poliksena Hardalova , Nikolai Dogramadzhiev, Violina Vasileva, Yordanka Andonova, Ekaterina Stoyanova
Joker: Yavor Kostov
Duration: around 80 min.

In September, 2006 The second performance "The Dose" started its tour, acquainting the public with the enacted by 01.01.2005 law, introducing probation as an alternative to imprisonment.

Probation is a set of restrictive measures, which are applied without depriving the convicted person of liberty. Yes, although he was wrong and convicted, man does not sever ties with the world. In this way, it can be useful to society, for his family, for my self.

We present the story of one 17 one year old, who is subject to his emotions, misunderstanding. Frightened for the life of his abstinent drug addict, he commits theft. Can love justify the crime committed?? How will the young man's life continue from here? What awaits him in the courtroom? Is this the help, which the girl needs? These are the problems, which our forum-theatrical performance will raise among the young spectators.

The court from another angle

Convention on Human Rights
is the new bible of our society

Conversation with Tsvete Yaneva, director and director
of theater and social studio "Flower Theater"

Why did you decide to do interactive theater??
My friend worked with an orphanage, at the same time I ran a student theater studio. We decided to mix the two groups, for the purpose of integration. Later she left for the United States and the project remained entirely in my hands. Then I felt an endless love from these children. And that shouldn't sound pretentious, for there was indeed a flicker of air, when we stood facing each other on stage.
Doesn't social orientation devalue theatrical art??
This, what we do is different from pure theater. Our performances go on like this, as much as the audience wants. The whole time, in which the show goes there 15 or 20 minutes of pure theater. The rest of the time, things are more of a documentary, we also use different techniques, consistent with psychology, philosophy and other scientific techniques. We make a compilation between theater and science. Of course, we are not the creators of these techniques, but we are still proud, that already 12 we have been practicing them for years. The technique "Theater forum" is a wonderful way to revive young people's interest in society's problems.
Your new project "The court with open" doors is aimed at high school and college students. Is it easier to work for people, who live in a normal environment?
It turns out, that all young people in our country have many problems. Unfortunately, there are no structures now, to educate young people in civic consciousness. At one time, for example, there was a Komsomol, and before that - classes in religion. Group forms are now missing, through which young people can learn civic motivation. Today, no one deals with their preparation for entering society. They don't even understand what is good and what is bad, they do not know what the consequences of their actions may be. No one talks to children about moral priorities.
How do you think, this gap in upbringing can be filled?
My vision is, that it is time to find a foothold again. I hope, the new bible of our society to become the Convention on Human Rights. Young people need to know what rights and responsibilities they have. They must be able to protect themselves, when someone tried to take away their right, but also to respect the rights of others. They need to know which institutions can help them.

Flower Theater trying to build a foundation for a new civic education, through non-traditional forms, through art. All our efforts are aimed at creating interest, especially among the "kalpazans". That's why we focused on topics, related to this, which happens in court. We want the younger generation to know the laws, which operate in our country and how they are applied in practice.

The show "Family puzzle" considers the consequences of domestic violence. The main target group of the theater studio for this project are high school and university students.

The audience follows the story of a family. There are no good and bad heroes, black and white characters. The beginning comes with a lot of love. The two young men are getting married. He works and supports the family, she takes care of the household. Their child is born. Everything is wonderful so far, in which the husband is dismissed. He is a graduate microbiologist, but he had to start as a general worker on a construction site. The environment is completely uncharacteristic of him. However, the money is still not enough and she also goes to work. The wife earns more than her husband, but is often late at night. He is jealous, he starts drinking a lot and scandals are inevitable. Then comes the first slap. Soon after, the beating.

The theatrical miniature is over and it's time for the interactive game. The actors talk to the audience and challenge them to choose the most appropriate outcome. They are prepared to play several finals. Often a person from the audience comes on stage, to play any of the roles, usually to the victim. The technique "Theater forum" allows viewers to act in an alleged problematic situation, but in a safe environment. Whatever they decide will not have fatal consequences in reality. This is a workout for life's problems. The aim is to reach the most positive solution to the problem situation, by applying different patterns of behavior.

The first question, which put the actors is where to seek help the beaten wife - in the police, with a lawyer, at the doctor, to go to his mother or go to court. The audience chooses what to play next. However, the purpose of the show is to draw the audience's attention to the possibility for the woman to apply to the court for protection of her rights.. Then the wife's meeting with a lawyer takes place, which lists the possible solutions to the problem - divorce or claim under the law on domestic violence. The wife has to decide with the help of the audience which one to choose. And because the fact lies in the prehistory, that the two spouses still love each other, divorce is dropped as the less acceptable option. However, the troupe is prepared to complete the show in both ways. The final is in the courtroom, where the judge rules on the case, whatever he is.
The benefit of all this is, that the viewers receive information about the current legislation in Bulgaria and about what is happening in the courtroom. The purpose of the performance is to divert its audience from the idea of ​​self-destruction and to direct it to the protection of rights., according to the laws and through the judicial institution - court.
"Family puzzle" is the first performance in the series "The Court with Open Doors". After the topic of domestic violence Flower Theater will develop performances for football hooliganism, human trafficking, discrimination on a minority basis, addiction.

At the premiere of the show, the audience decided to end the family story with a domestic violence law process.
The husband was sentenced not to live in his home 6 months and attend a course of treatment for alcohol dependence.

The creators of Flower Theater work for the inclusion of young people in our country in
active civic promotion network
on Convention on Human Rights.

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