Bulgarian designer. A graduate in Scenography from the Department of Puppetry at the Academy of Performing Arts, DAMU – Divadelní fakulta akademie múzických umění, in Prague under the direction of Richard Lander and Vaclav Kabert, Maya Petrova emerged as one of the most important designers of her generation. Due to her training in Prague and her exposure to all forms of contemporary puppetry from around the world, she was innovative and broke away from the yoke of traditional stage design. She has made the designs for over one hundred puppet productions.

Maya Petrova designed the puppets for Princesata i ehoto (The Princess and the Echo, 1983), directed by Yana Tzankova, and for Zvezdichko (The Little Star, 1985), which won success in Bulgaria and abroad. Her stage design for Nikolai Gogol’s Shinel (The Overcoat), produced by the Credo Theatre in 1993, was very simple, reduced to a wooden chair that folded and unfolded, and transforms itself seemingly at will. This production toured the world for more than ten years, from Charleville-Mézières, France, to the United States. Petrova also designed and created the paper puppets for a production performed at the Vidin Puppet Theatre, with the French company Le Château de Fable in 1997. She created the sets of more than one hundred puppet productions as well as many dramatic, lyrical and musical works.

Maya Petrova participates in exhibitions, including the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space. She has conducted training workshops in France and in other countries and leads classes in stage design for puppet theatre that she created at the Natsionalna akademia za teatralni i filmovi izkustva (NATFA), (National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts) in Sofia. Maya Petrova has served as General Secretary of the Bulgarian Centre of UNIMA. She has received many national and international awards.

(See Bulgaria.)