The Programme was founded in 2004. Its purpose is to establish qualified painters-scenographers, who could work in the field of drama theatre, puppet theatre and cinema. The students from the Programme study alongside their colleagues – directors and actors , and this allows them to work in teams on course projects and diploma works.

The educational process emphasizes on key aspects of the profession – knowledge in the field of design and stage space, costumes, lighting, makeup. Special attention is paid to different genres, dramaturgies and practices in the field of dramatic, puppet and cinema art. The programme has an interdisciplinary character. Its aim is to establish future authors with rich culture, creativity, skills and a modern view on different stage, screen and visual arts, as well as the co-relations between them.

Learning all necessary skills for further professional development starts with courses on drawing, painting, sculpture, fundamentals of composition for drama and puppet theatre, techniques and technologies, creation of layouts, history of costume, perspective – all these subjects are planned in the first year. The study of these disciplines continues during the next three years of education, giving the students an opportunity to enrich their knowledge and practical skills in using variety of techniques and materials and an understanding of a wide variety of visual languages, which enable the students to have freedom when creating their own artistic projects.

Additionally, during the second year, there are courses on scenography for drama and puppet theatre, screen design, directing for drama and puppet theatre, construction and modeling of the costume, history of plastic arts. Stage and screen lighting, makeup, digital technologies and design are courses which supplement the education in the third year and prepare the students for the final, fourth, year of their education when they have to prepare two diploma projects – one for drama theatre and one for puppet theatre, by a free choice of the drama works and genre.

The diploma projects include the creation of an original scenography, costumes, puppets, developing technical specifications and lighting. The projects are presented through the creation of scenography models, 3D projects, puppets, projects for costumes, drawings. As an integral part of the necessary education for the students’ development, elective subjects are included. They provide additional knowledge and experience on the theory and history of the Bulgarian and European theatre and literature, dramaturgy, aesthetics, philosophy, music. The courses on myth and religion, semiotics of art, modern and postmodern theatre, theory of performance, broaden students` horizons and involve them in the contemporary practices on the development of the stage language.

During the third and the fourth year of their studies, the most prominent students work with their colleagues, who study directing, to develop and perform their diploma projects on the stages of Theatre NATFA and Puppet theatre NATFA. They participate also as authors scenographers in diploma theatre performances on the Grand stage of Theatre NATFA in a team with professional directors, and as assistant scenographers in other theatres in Sofia and the country. The programme’s teaching staff consists of prominent, respected, actively working scenographers and artists, who provide the students with good theoretical preparations and actual practical knowledge and experience about the realities of the profession.



The studies are full-time only with a duration of 4 years. Each semester finishes with a public exam, where the students present their projects in front of a jury, consisting of teaching staff and students and defend them by presenting their ideas in front of the audience and responding to questions.

The students graduate with a public defense and a theoretical work on two stage productions – for drama and for puppet theatre, as well as presentation of the theatre productions.



Graduates acquire educational qualification “Bachelor”, with professional qualification “Scenographer”. The acquired knowledge and abilities make them competitive in the respective professional field and give them opportunities for development, advancing furthertheir education and qualification in Master programmes, offered by different academies and universities in Bulgaria and abroad. The graduates could work as scenographers and costume designers in drama theatres, puppet theatres and cinema.




Stage 1

Practical exam in two stages (duration: 4 hours)

1st stage:

Graphical sketch of a figure, natural standing pose, 35/50 cm.

Graphical material by choice: pencil, ink, charcoal

Duration: 2 hours

The candidates must draw a graphical sketch of a figure (natural standing pose), to show their skills to construct a human figure, to capture the model’s character and status, to demonstrate a good command over the chosen graphical material.

2nd stage:

Color sketch of a figure in a natural standing pose, 35/50 cm.

Material by choice: tempera, aquarelle, pastel

Duration: 2 hours

The candidates must draw a color sketch of a figure in a standing pose – showing their skills to compose the figure in the space, to capture and convey mood, atmosphere and color harmony, to demonstrate good command over the chosen color material.


Stage 2 – Interview

Each candidate presents their portfolio in 25 minutes in front of the selection committee’s member. In this timing he/she has to comment on individual projects and the process of creation and the final result; to answer questions related to the choice of themes, materials, means of expression; to demonstrate their interests and knowledge in the field of visual arts and stage design, to defend their ideas, motives and interest toward the chosen programme.



The consultations are related to the development of a portfolio. Students receive instructions on how to prepare their portfolio – thematically, in priority order and design, so that they can present themselves as authors with creative potential who are free to express their ideas and handle a wide range of means of expression and materials.

The consultation is arranged with a lecturer from the specialty.



In help of the candidates:

Aim of the portfolio. 

The portfolio’s purpose is to show your potential as an artist and author in the best way, with diverse interests, abilities to work with different materials and ways of expression, to show your interests and abilities to follow set goals and develop your ideas. Your portfolio must present you as an interesting personality, with a creative individuality and passion, which will help in the process of professional development.


How to prepare the portfolio?

Gather various original creations which you have already made – sketches, drawings, paintings, graphics, sculptures, photographs, fashion, design, etc. Every little drawing and sketch, which could show stages of your idea’s development, could be part of the portfolio. Separate them by the type of material used, by themes and ideas, in chronological order, or by any way you think is best.

Choose the materials for each section. Arrange them on white, black or color paper in A3 format, the same as your folder.

Choose different paper for each section or each theme. The paper plays the role of a passpartu for your creations and impacts how they’re perceived. You could add inscriptions, titles, themes.

If you present photographs of your creations, they must be backed up by original sketches and drawings, stages of their creation, by which you could prove their originality.

You can add to your portfolio sketch books, mock-ups, or other creative works, which you wish to present at the selection committee during the exam.

Remember to prepare your portfolio is such a way, that it would distinguish you from the other prospect-students and make an impression on the selection committee.


Sample questions for round 2 – Interview


  • What are the places for acting in William Shakespeare’s play ”As You Like It”?
  • Who do Macbeth and Banco meet on the way home in the first act of “Macbeth”, W. Shakespeare?
  • Who are the characters in “Nirvana”, by Iliev, and who are the historical figures behind them?
  • What is the theme in the theatre play “At the foot of Vitosha”, P. Yavorov?
  • Where does the action take place in the play “The House of Bernarda Alba” by F. G. Lorca?
  • What is the main theme in “Marriage”, by N.V. Gogol
  • Which work of the Renaissance excites you the most? Why?
  • When did the Bulgarian Revival begin?
  • What is Impressionism?
  • Which Bulgarian film do you like? What do you find most impressive about it?
  • Which show from the current theater season has impressed you? Why?