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An Interview with the Youngest Playwright in Bulgaria – Stefan Prohorov

November 26, 2011 by · 1 comment


Stefan Prokhorov was born in 1993 in Sofia, Bulgaria. He is a student at the Lyceé français № 9, “Alphonse de Lamartine”, Sofia. He started writing eleven years ago, when he was distinguished at the literary contest “Iskri”.

He has won various awards for poetry, and his works have been published in “Savremennik”, “Literaturen Vestnik,” “Rodna Rech” and in various electronic publications. In October 2010 his play – “The Rules of the Game” – won the “Young Drama” contest and was presented in the Bulgarian Youth Theater “Nikolai Binev” in Sofia during the “Fair of the Young” festival.

What is it like to be the youngest playwright in Bulgaria – besides a great honor, is it also a responsiblity?

I don’t particularly feel under pressure. Besides, I don’t perceive myself as a playwright, that would be too much. Let’s say, I am a person who has written a play. Is there nobody younger than me who has written one too? Surely there is, and I am lucky, that’s how life goes. But there is an element of responsibility, of course.

Do you remember what exactly provoked you to write your first piece of writing? How did it happen and when?

Boredom provoked me. I started writing poems as a child and I wrote my first ten poems one night when I was really bored. I still keep them – they are really startling.


As for “The Rules of the Game”, it was a long way. By and large, I’ve been wanting to become a theatre director since I was in 10th grade. However, I couldn’t see a way to make this happen, as much as I wanted to. I noticed the literary contest of the “Fair of the Young 2010” festival of the Bulgarian Youth Theatre and wrote a short script. They liked it and it turned out that it was going to be staged. All of a sudden I had to write another two scripts which were also going to be staged. A crazy week followed and in the end they suggested that we should continue with the project: I was to finish the script and stage it with the theatre director Dimitar Stefanov. Thus, by the end of January it turned out that I had a theatre play with a schedule and a director. What else could I want?

Is a poet born a poet or do they become one?

They are born first, and then they become one.

You are graduating from high school this year; where to after that?

I want to study directing.

You have a wonderful voice and a talant for storytelling; have you ever thought of creating an audiobook or performing a poetry reading?

I don’t like audiobooks, I prefer reading – it’s more real. I don’t like poetry readings for the exact same reason – reading is something personal and special. On the other hand, poetry readings are very useful – being aware of your audience and realizing what carries them away and what not, are vital lessons. Nevertheless, I don’t like poetry readings.

Besides the playwright Stefan Prohorov, should we expect to meet the actor Stefan Prohorov in the future?

They are one and the same person, why should you meet them separately?

Would you tell us about your experiences at this as well as last year’s “Young Drama” festival? What does it feel like to work with professionals who are full of energy and youth like you?

My experiences are mostly emotional and not terribly interesting – wow, an empty scene and a hall, wow, scenary piled up from last evening’s performance, and so on. I remember my first impression when I walked into the restaurant of the theatre – I thought I was a schizophrenic, because I could hear strangely familiar voices from perfect strangers – many actors in the Youth Theater dub a lot of things.


Based on your observations, are you optimistic about the future of Bulgarian culture?

I cannot not be.

How would you convince someone who doesn’t want to know anything about theatre, to buy a ticket for a performance?

I don’t know, this has never happened to me.

Does your heart start beating faster before each performance of your play “The Rules of the Game”?

I get excited, of course it does, how can I not be excited?

What do you like reading?

Anything. I have many favorite authors – Lorca, Pushkin, Dürrenmatt, Max Frisch, Beckett, Ionesco, Mallarmé, Strindberg, Roald Dahl, Vonnegut, Lermontov, these are the ones I can think of off the top of my head. I like cookbooks too.

Would you share something about yourself with us that no one or just a few people know?

It probably won’t be very interesting.

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