"Flower" - as a color, as a theater or as a fairy tale

Tsvete Yaneva

It's called Flower. Not Tsvetelina or Tsvetanka, and just a Flower. Her parents named her that, and after, how it occurred to them (probably fascinated by the slogan “Bulgarian nation - technical nation!“), asked to be made an engineer. And they did, where. Flower became an engineer, but her eyes were still in the multicolor of the world, on stage, of the circus. And she wasn't just looking there, and acted. As a student at the serious College of Electronics (after all, from such a school one usually goes to engineering) decided, that she wants to be a tiger tamer. And she tried to contact people from the Sofia Circus, who apparently took her very seriously, as soon as they promised to write her tigers from abroad, but after you did the program with them, he had to sign a contract for five years. (Back then, predators were still a major attraction in circuses, but even then, and now, are expensive work. And don't think, that the future beast tamer intended to respect the animals with a fight? No - you had a program "meek and mild", with which to achieve worldwide success.) Janko brought her back from this job. This Yanko is her current husband Yanko Yanev, with whom they have been together since the first year of the technical school, for fifty years. She could not give him up and go around the world. Although you also thought about journalism, continued together to engineering, as she also refused the opportunity to study electronics in Poland. In the meantime, they had three children.

Also in the meantime, Flower was constantly busy with cultural and mass work, as we called her then. For a student festival in Moscow MEI students (Technical University, if anyone can't remember) decided to present themselves with a puppet show and for this reason Tsvete became closer to people from the then VITIZ (NATFA), who helped them. And our engineer has finally found her place in the colorful world of theater.

Today Tsvete Yaneva is the Chairman of the Management Board of a non-profit association, whose main task is to make a theater - "Flower Theater".

"The name came spontaneously," she says. - When I started studying directing for puppet theater at VITIZ, I was much older than my colleagues and somehow it occurred to me to organize them. We performed here and there, we were making money, then I distributed the profit to them… A fellow actress had to apply for a job project in the United States and the documents required her to fill in where she had worked until then.. And she - somewhere - in the "Flower" theater. And so it remained.

If you think, that it was easier for Flower later, after all that was left was to take care of the children and make a theater, you are wrong. She went through a lot, very difficult days along with his illness. On 27 years she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

- I had some symptoms since I was 19 years old, but I had not been diagnosed. It took a long time, to establish, that it is precisely this disease. In order to enter VITIZ I had to hide about my illness, which was then still in a lighter form. He wrote in the candidate student directories, that with this disease I have no right to apply to this school. But I was accepted and the children grew up along the stage, I raised them with my colleagues, and of course, with the crucial help of my husband.

Unfortunately, Flower is already in a wheelchair, but this does not prevent her from being the main initiator of the next theatrical adventure and the engine for its realization.. Time has passed, when her husband was to sponsor the theater's endeavors. "Flower" is firmly on its feet, as the only one, who works "FOR and WITH children and young people and their environment to create conditions for their future positive inclusion in social life, regardless of their background and capabilities. ", as it says on their website. And more: "Applying innovative for our country theater- and drama techniques, actors conduct non-formal civic education among adolescents. The audience is not just a spectator, a and a participant in an interactive presentation. In work sessions, students learn through experience, and not by learning, how to deal with life's problems. "

Sounds pretty declarative, but in fact "Flower" is the alternative to bureaucratic stereotypes. For example, on "drug addiction prevention", as the departments put it. What does the banal story look like?, in which the hero can be any of our children? A naive girl / boy falls into the nets of drug dealers, due to which he loses his dreams, and you are alive. The actors play this, then ask the audience: Where the heroine / hero had to stop / oppose? And the children in the hall become hyperactive - the scene returns to the key, according to the child, moment and is replayed with his participation, it is already the hero. It is played again and again, so many times, as many as the different solutions, according to the children. All this allows them to test in a safe environment different patterns of behavior in times of crisis.

The troupe and its performances are funded by European and Bulgarian funds, supporting the citizens' initiative. Flower has taken on the unpleasant administrative work, she also works on projects. She learned to write trial and error projects.

- Nobody wants to do it, but that's the main thing, on which our existence is based. It's boring, but if I stop doing it, the organization will probably cease to exist, there is nothing to gather us. But now, along with the viral epidemic, my colleagues sat in one place, they also started writing and won projects, which makes me very happy. Apparently there are people, who will replace me, one day - says Flower.

The team is currently working on the project "Exercise your rights with knowledge and creativity", financed by the Active Citizens Fund Bulgaria. Twelve of the fourteen actors are involved in it, directors, screenwriters and other theatricals, who work for "Flower". They work to help teachers, but also with student theater troupes from Plovdiv, Sliven, Zlataritsa, Zlatograd, Chepelare, which in turn will make a forum theatrical productions, to train their classmates. Many of the current actors and trainers are former children, trained in "Flower", since from 1995 r. Dozens have passed through the association so far, some of which have continued at NATFA.

The most useful (and the different) in the work of "Flower" perhaps, that they create productions on a specific case and this scene, presented with the participation of the audience, can give specific options for getting out of the situation, among which the options involved in it to choose the most acceptable for them. They make performances for traffic prevention, drugs, domestic violence, for parent-child relationships, about the dangers of the internet, for witchcraft among the young. They work a lot with children with special educational needs and people with disabilities. That is why I ask Tsvete Yaneva if they have feedback on the response of their productions.

- Yes, especially when the participants in the case are in the hall, they have a wonderful opportunity to look at each other from the side, even more so - to play themselves, acting in a different way and with a different result. Feedback is difficult, because we usually visit with our productions and we have no direct connection with the children. But we often get information from teachers, that after our visit there is a change in their class, in the relationship between students - that the children have grown up, wiser. We also have feedback from parents. For example from the project, which we are currently performing, we train student theater troupes in the techniques of forum theater, which they use as a form and make their own performances for their peers. The mother of one of the participants told us, that this, what we are pursuing has already been achieved with her daughter and participating in the project, she has become a completely different person. And it happened, in Targovishte, for example, was one case, where we had a show, related to human trafficking, girl, which did not take part in the performance, it was just a spectator, came after the show, to thank me. He said, that she had almost gone abroad with people, who promised her a dubious job. He was there again, when children, trained by us in forum theater, after the performance, which they did to prevent drug addiction, handed out sacks and gloves and the whole audience went to clean the city park of syringes and other rubbish, apparently dumped by addicts. In Gorna Oryahovitsa, through a satirical show, the young actors were able to persuade the municipal leadership to open a disco club for them.

The dream of the Flower Theater is to have its own base and not just to visit, like now, but also to benefit its actors, and all metropolitan schools and social homes. At least three ministries benefit from this happening - the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, Ministry of Culture.

And if we return from Flower to Flower - she just makes her dreams come true.

Article about Flower from baraban.bg

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