Bulgarian playwright, poet and director. A graduate of Acting for Drama at the Higher Institute of Dramatic Art (today, Natsionalna akademia za teatralni i filmovi izkustva (NATFA), (National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts) in Sofia, Ivan Teofilov first began work as a dramaturge. He took an active part in establishing the experimental theatre in Bourgas together with a group of intellectuals, among them Y. Ognianova, L. Daniel, and M. Andonov. Later, Teofilov became dramaturge at the Rousse Theatre. In the 1960s, he joined the company of the Stolichen kuklen teatur (Sofia Central Puppet Theatre).

Teofilov’s name is associated with the establishment of a new style in stage directing in the development of Bulgarian puppet theatre. His major breakthrough was with Tchasovnikariat (The Watchmaker), a play he had written; he also assisted L. Docheva in directing the play. The production was included in the off-programme of the 3rd International Puppet Theatre Festival in Bucharest and received the special premium of UNIMA. It was described as one of the great events of the festival.

Ivan Teofilov is also author of one of the most popular plays in Bulgaria and other countries abroad, Krali Marko (King Marko). He co-directed the play with Ivan Tzonev. The production was a major success at the Edinburgh Festival in 1969. Critics defined the production as “the beginning of the epic puppet theatre” in Bulgaria.

Ivan Teofilov actively participates in the life of Bulgarian puppetry with major productions such as Malkiat princ (The Little Prince), Dama Pika (The Queen of Spades), Mizantrop (The Misanthrope), Tsvetnia Chovek (The Colourful Man), and others. He has toured many European countries where his work has received high acclaim and awards. Ivan Teofilov is also author of several books of prose and poetry.

(See Bulgaria.)