Bulgarian director. Gina Pavlova’s puppetry career began in earnest after she received her MFA degree in Puppet Directing from the Natsionalna akademia za teatralni i filmovi izkustva (NATFA), (National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts) in the class of Professor Nikolina Georgieva.

In 1983, Gina Pavlova received her first accolade at the International Puppet Festival, The Golden Dolphin in Varna (Bulgaria), where she was awarded for “Direction” of Malki Kukleni Istorii (Little Puppet Stories) by Rada Moskova. Since the 1980s, she has been author and director of more than fifty productions for puppet theatre in Bulgaria, Europe and the United States. Many of her performances have been presented at international festivals around the world, including: The International Theater Festival (Oxford, Ohio, USA); International Meeting of Professional Puppet Schools (Charleville-Mézières, France); Midfest International, Middletown (Ohio, USA); The Schomrahi International Festival (Skopie, Macedonia); Intermarionett Festival (Saarbruken, Germany); International Figuren Theater Festival (Offenbach, Germany); International Festival of Young Theatres (Liege, Belgium).

From 1982 to 1996, Pavlova was a professor and artistic director at NATFA. In 1992, she was invited to Miami University (Oxford, Ohio, USA) as a visiting professor. In 1993, she again visited Miami University, this time with her Bulgarian students from NATFA and two performances, Limo Show and Lights and Shadows.

In 2008, Gina Pavlova, who was at that time part-time lecturer at California State University, San Bernardino (San Bernardino, Californian), and her colleague from CSUSB, professor Johanna Smith, were recipients of a travel grant from Theatre Communications Group (TCG) to present a collaborative, multimedia puppet performance with the students from CSUSB at the International Puppet Festival in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Gina Pavlova publishes articles about puppetry in American and Bulgarian professional magazines. She made a presentation at the “Problems of East European Theater Academies Conference” (Miami University, Ohio); at the International Meeting of Professional Puppet Schools (Charleville-Mézières, France); a special presentation titled “The Bulgarian School of Puppetry” at The Theater Conference, Eugene O’Neil Theater Center (Storrs, Connecticut).

Most recently, Gina Pavlova has been promoting her theory entitled, “The Minimalist Puppetry Approach”. That is, minimalist puppetry without puppets: “Any random object can be infused with different meanings, transformed into characters, and used to improvise or tell a story. Minimalist Puppetry assumes we are all born with a specific ‘puppetry imagination’. Children display it. Adults can revive it.” Gina Pavlova has given lectures and held workshops at the International Puppetry Conference at the University of Connecticut in 2011, and has been implementing the minimalist theory in her own productions at puppetry festivals in Whittier (Los Angeles) and Seattle (Washington, USA).

(See Bulgaria.)