Bulgarian director and professor. Nikolina Georgieva is an important figure of Bulgarian puppet theatre. A graduate from the Higher Institute of Dramatic Art (today the Natsionalna akademia za teatralni i filmovi izkustva (NATFA), (National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts), she pursued specialized studies in puppetry in 1962 in Prague at the Academy of Performing Arts (Faculty of Theatre – DAMU – Divadelní fakulta akademie múzických umění katedra loutkářstvi).

With Atanas Ilkov, Nikolina Georgieva founded in 1962 the Department of Puppetry at the National Academy of Theatre and Film Arts, where she taught acting and directing for puppet theatre. From 1976 to 1981, she was the vice-rector of the Academy. She was co-founder of UNIMA-Bulgaria, and was its president from 1963 to 1988, after which she became the honorary president.

Nikolina Georgieva’s artistic career has been rich and varied, notably in the field of lyrical theatre for puppets. She collaborated with Atanas Ilkov in the staging of Petya i Vulkat (Peter and the Wolf) with musical score by Prokofiev, which earned her the Golden Medal at the International Festival of Puppetry in Bucharest (Romania) in 1960. Her most important work is, without a doubt, Karnaval na Jivotnite (The Carnival of the Animals, 1962) by French composer Camille Saint-Saëns for which she invented shadow theatre using only the hands of the actors (see Hand Shadows), a production that earned her the Silver Rose Award in 1968 at the International Festival of Television Films held in Montreux, Switzerland.

Among her other productions are Wild Musician, after Petko R. Slaveikov, Buratino by Aleksey N. Tolstoy, Patenceto (The Duckling) by Nina Gernet, Mecho Puh (Winnie the Pooh) by A.A. Milne, Biala prikazka (White Tale, 1972) by Valeri Petrov, Yaitseto (The Egg, 1980) by Boris Aprilov, Malkiat princ (The Little Prince, 1984) by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Mahaloto (The Pendalion) by A. Nikolay, V lunnata staia (In the Moonlit Room, 1983) by Valeri Petrov.

Nikolina Georgieva also directed many productions abroad. Her productions have been staged in Belgium, Yugoslavia, Poland, India, Canada, the United States, Japan, and other countries. She has directed workshops and seminars on the art of puppetry around the world.

(See Bulgaria.)