The first society of theatrical figures was set up in November 1921 under the name Union of Bulgarian Artists, and the present Union of Bulgarian Actors (UBA) appears as its moral and legitimate successor.The first chairman of the Union was TACHO TANEV, who was elected at UBA’s establishment in 1921. On September 19, 1924, the Higher Council, authorized by the Union with extraordinary congress rights, decided to merge the Union of Bulgarian Artists and the General Union of Bulgarian Drama and Opera Artists. The new organization was called Union of Drama and Opera Artists. It integrated ‘all artists from the National Theatre and Opera, as well as artists from the municipal theatres in the country, Popular Theatre, Tears and Laughter Theatre, United Theatre and etc.’ KRASTYO SARAFOV was chairman of the new organization. VASSIL KIRKOV was elected chairman at the third congress, held in 1925, and subsequently re-elected at the forth (1926), fifth (1927) and sixth (1928) congresses. At the seventh congress in 1929, the union got back its former name – Union of Bulgarian Artists and elected GEORGI STAMATOV for chairman. STAMATOV was re-elected at the next three congresses (1930, 1931, 1932). At the eighth congress, the union crated sections of the stage hand, circus and cabaret artists, choir singers and ballet dancers. 1933 was the year of the eleventh congress. It was the first congress, which provided data for the union membership. The members totaled 288, of whom 234 were regular and 54 auxiliary. Men were 201 and women 87. One of the important decisions was the creation of a fund for the construction of a Home for Theatre Veterans. VLADIMIR TENEV was elected chairman and re-elected at the following twelfth congress in 1934. At the thirteenth congress in 1935 he was elected honorary chairman of the union. STEFAN KIROV was chairman from the 13th congress in 1935 to the 15th in 1937. VLADIMIR TENEV was once again elected at the 16th congress and remained in this position after the congresses of 1940 and 1942. The 19th congress was held in 1945. The union, then carrying the name Union of Theatre Attendants, elected PETAR DIMITROV for chairman. He had used to be vice-chairman for many years before. DIMITROV remained at the chairman position until 1964. The 20th congress was held in 1947. The union was once again renamed to Union of Artists and Theatre Attendants. A new name was created at the next congress in 1951, Professional Union of Artists and Theatre Attendants. Under the above name, the union, along with the union of the musicians and part of the artistic and publishing workers, entered the organization of the Trade Union of Art Workers in 1953. In 1965 the union organized a founding congress, in order to transform itself into an artists’ trade union. MIROSLAV MINDOV was elected chairman. He presided at the union until 1968, when the plenary session of the Union of Bulgarian Actors (UBA) elected RUJA DELCHEVA for chairperson. In 1970, UBA held its second congress, electing LYUBOMIR KABAKCHIEV for chairman. He was re-elected at the third (1973), fourth (1977) and fifth (1982) congresses and remained at this post until his death in 1986. TSVETANA MANEVA replaced the late chairman, in her capacity as deputy chairperson. The sixth congress, held in 1989, appointed VANCHA DOYCHEVA a chairperson, but, in fact, she was acting chairperson since 1987. After the democratic changes, which happened in Bulgaria in 1990, UBA held an extraordinary congress, electing STEFAN ILIEV chairman of the union. Congresses were renamed ‘national conferences’, and were to be held biennially. The participants approved the union’s structure, which stipulated for uniting into professional guilds and union associations. They also approved UBA’s Articles of Association, which was amended and modified during the national conferences in 1992 and 1994. STEFAN ILIEV was re-elected then and continued to preside the union for 15 years. The general meeting of UBA, elected on June 20, 2005 HRISTO MUTAFCHIEV chairman of the union. Today, UBA is a prestigious organization, which persists in following the goals and concepts of the Union of Bulgarian Artists, founded in 1921.
This fact inspires us, but also emphasizes our great responsibility for the history of Bulgarian theatre.
TANEV, Tacho Ivanov (13.X.1882, Malko Tarnovo, Chirpan region – 23.VI.1962, Bourgas) – actor, producer. He is the first chairman of the Union.
SARAFOV, Krastiu Petrov (06.IV.1876, Ilinden, Gotse Delchev region – 27.VIII.1952, Sofia) – actor, producer. Chairman of the Union: 1924-25.
KIRKOV, Vasil (15.V.1870, Karlovo – 28.IX.1931, Sofia) – actor. Chairman of the Union: 1925-29.
STAMATOV, Georgi Alexandrov (01.I.1893, St.Zagora – 10.VIII.1965, Sofia) – actor, producer, theatre educationist. Chairman of the Union: 1929-30.
TENEV, Vladimir Stefanov (10.VI.1882, Sofia – 07.V.1968, Sofia) – actor, producer, theatre figure. Chairman of the Union: 1932-35, 1938-42.
KIROV, Stefan Stefanov (3.І.1883, Sliven -30.ІХ.1941, Sofia) – actor, producer, theatre figure. Chairman of the Union: 1935-37.
DIMITROV, Petar (15. VIII. 1892, Chirpan – 15.1V.1967, Sofia) – actor, theatre figure. Chairman of the Union: 1945-65.
MINDOV, Miroslav Atanasov (7. VIII. 1924, Yambol) – actor, producer. Chairman of the Union: 1965-68.
DELCHEVA, Ruja Nikolova (2. VIII. 1915, St.Zagora – 25.XI.2002, Sofia) – actress. Chairman of the Union: 1968-70.
KABAKCHIEV, Lubomir Petkov (1.ХII.1925, Kazanlak – 11 .VIII. 1986, Sofia) – actor, theatre figure. Chairman of the Union: 1970-86.
MANEVA, Tsvetana Georgieva (30.1.1944, Plovdiv) – actress. Vice chairman and alternate chairman of the Union: 1986-87.
DOYCHEVA, Vancha Lubomirova (23.IV.1942, Sofia) – actress. Chairman of the Union: 1987-90.
ILIEV, Stefan Metodiev (25.VІ.1935, Istanbul, Turkey) – actor. Chairman of the Union: 1990-2005.
MUTAFCHIEV, Hristo Stefanov (04.ІV.1969, Karlovo) – actor. Chairman of the Union: 2005 – down to the present day.