Yako Izidor Yakov as director of the Ruse Puppet Theater

This is me as director of the Puppet Theater in Ruse. The photo was taken in 1976 or 1977 in Ruse. So in 1959 I agreed to become deputy director of the Drama Theater. Of course, I am no theater specialist, but thanks to my experience as head of the 'Cultural Institutions' department in Ruse, I started working in the management of the theater. The director of the theater was Alexander Bechev. The puppet theater in Ruse had to become a state one, that is, it had to be turned from an amateur one at the Home of Transport Workers to an official branch of the Drama Theater. As deputy director I insisted a lot for us to have such a branch, because I grew to love theater, in contrast to Alexander Bechev. He was also not a theater specialist, but he was appointed by a party decision. And he told me, ?If you insist so much on us having a puppet theater, then you will be chairman of the art council of the branch.? So, on 15th February 1960 I signed the appointment orders of eleven people, who founded the Puppet Theater in Ruse. After some time I was appointed secretary of the Regional Community House Council, but only for a year, because I wanted to go back to the Puppet Theater. In 1961-62 a national review of puppet theaters was organized in Sofia. During the review there was only one theater about whose professional qualities doubts were voiced, and that was the one in Ruse. I got worried. At that time I was party secretary of the theater, deputy director and chairman of the art council. So we decided to take serious measures. I managed to convince Petar Alexandrov, one of the distinguished actors in Ruse, to come work with us. He came from the theater in Stara Zagora where he played after he graduated from VITIZ [Higher Institute of Theatrical Art, the former name of the National Academy for Theater and Film Arts]. He agreed to prepare to become stage manager in the puppet theater. We sent him to Czechoslovakia for half a year, then to Leningrad for two to three months to learn the craft. When he came back, the director of the Puppet Theater Nikola Krastev was dismissed and I was appointed in his place. I do not remember the year exactly, but by 1980 I was twice director of the Puppet Theater.