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In Its First Performance Ever, An Amateur Boston Theater Group in Boston Presents Yavorov
October 3, 2009 By Alex Grashkina

On October 3rd at Boston University, a group of theater lovers presented the play “When Thunder Strikes” by Peyo Yavorov. In this work, one of his few plays, the Bulgarian poet Yavorov reveals how

a dangerous secret from the past destroys the peace of the family of a wealthy land-owner, Sava Popovich. Oksana Georgieva, a music student at Boston University, and Nikolay Nikolaev, a doctoral student in mathematics at Boston University, star as Bistra and Sava Popovich alongside Kamen Kozarev, a doctoral student in astrophysics, who plays the part of Vitanov, a military man returning to his old flame Bistra after 20 years of absence.  For the actors, this performance is their first.

The idea of presenting an amateur play for the Bulgarian-speaking population in Boston comes up almost by accident, in February 2009, when the amateur-director Alexandra Grashkina asks Oksana, Nikolay and Kamen if they want to perform the parts. Later, Christina Dimitrova and Alexandre Hristov join the group as Olga and Danail. The first rehearsals take place at the homes of the actors or in small classrooms at Boston University. The group spends months looking for an affordable stage space, set and costumes. In May 2009, the famous Bulgarian actress Svetlana Atanassova lends a helping hand and begins to attend rehearsals devoting hours  of her free time to coaching the amateur actors who have never been on stage before. “Svetlana is not just a consummate professional, but a someone with a contagious spirit and personality. Her talent and her love for theater inspired us during every minute we spent working with her. Who could ask for a better teacher?” shares Alexandra.

A week before the performance, the group still needs help with sound and lighting. After only a few days of training, Vladimir Yankov, a doctoral student in economics at Boston University, takes on the task of providing stage lighting.  A group of Bulgarian and MIT and Harvard students helps built the set.

The performance would not be possible without the support of the Bulgarian-American Center “Madara” and its director Violeta Zheliazkova, who introduces the amateur-actors to the professional Svetlana Atanassova and actively advertises the play among the Bulgarian community in Massachusetts attracting over 120 viewers.



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