About the event

Summer Scriptwriting Base is a unique combination of immersive learning experience, creative journey and rural retreat. It took place in July 22-31st, 2021 in the Duppini Art Center in the village of Gabrovtsi. The village is near the city of Veliko Tarnovo, the charming medieval capital of Bulgaria.

Summer Scriptwriting Base consists of 10 unforgettable days of intensive learning, creating, sharing, and experiencing. The participants get a deep understanding and know-how on such exciting and cutting-edge topics as interactive storytelling design, immersive experiences and immersive theatre, design of playful narratives, large scale real life games, and Life-Action Role Playing games.
The workshops and lectures are led by an international team of well-established professionals.

​Summer Scriptwriting Base is destined to creative content makers, theatre and cinema-makers, game and experience designers, creative writers, copywriters, choreographers, and hackers. In order to have the best possible experience, the number of participants is limited to 20.

Summer Scriptwriting Base is a mind-blowing creative boost. You can expect to meet like-minded people and future collaborators from all around Europe and beyond.

Escape from school


The working space and a playground of the Summer Scriptwriting Base 2021 will be an abandoned boarding school for young criminals in the village of Gabrovtsi. The school now is run by a group of land-artists and is a surreal mix of run down buildings and impressive pieces of land-art.

“Le Roi est mort, vive le Roi” – the participants will escape this ex-boarding school and the ideas of the conventional school and will immerse into a type of school – Immersive Creative Experience.


Summer Scriptwriting Base 2021 Escape From School is now over. We would like to thank everyone who took part in this exciting journey!

Participants:Diana Monova (BUL/BEL), Domitille Champenois (FRA), Elena Manova (BUL/FRA), Ina Petkova (BUL), Irena Dotcheva (BUL/USA), Genadiy Mihaylov (BUL), Liliya Nikolova (BUL), Lucas Dewulf (BEL), Peter Gašparík (SVK), Petko Kolarov (BUL), Petya Hristova (BUL/FRA), Rob Reese (USA), Sonya Notova (SVK), Sophia Bulgakova (UKR/NLD), Vasil Spasov (BUL), Vasil Vasilev (BUL), Viara Todorova-Androva (BUL/BEL), Viktoria Kostova (BUL)
Mentors and speakers:Alessandro Giovannucci (ITA), Andrea Brunello (ITA), Caspar Schjelbred (DEN/FRA), Christian Roth (GER/NLD), Dan Barnard (GBR), Maria Saridaki (GRE), Rachel Briscoe (GBR), Sebastian Quack (GER), Sem Janssen (NLD)
Organisers team:Dimitar Uzunov (BUL/FRA), Ralitsa Assenova (BUL/FRA), Elena Gamalova (BUL), Galin Djambazov (BUL), Yanitsa Fendulova (BUL), Marina Angelova-Gonzalez (BUL/ITA), Rumen Rachkov (BUL), Eva Hadjiyska (BUL), Borislav Blagoev (BUL), Dessislava Todorova (BUL), Roman Petrov (BUL)


official opening ​

French Institute – Sofia


Keynote talk with Christian Roth

French Institute – Sofia ​

What makes interactive narratives so powerful and why is it so hard to provide meaningful action? How do we make sense of our interaction? What is a transformative experience and can interactive narrative help us to better understand our world? Christian Roth speaks about the world of interactive storytelling and the psychology behind it. Deep dive into immersion, agency, and transformation and see how the interplay between these three aspects contributes to the creation of meaningful experiences.


Powered by Caspar Schjelbred (Impro Supreme)

Art-Residency Center Duppini – Gabrovtsi


Lecture with Andrea Brunello

Art-Residency Center Duppini – Gabrovtsi

Mentor, Shadow, Herald. What are the character types you can find in all stories? Andrea Brunello will reveal them.


Lecture/workshop/game with Alessandro Giovanucci

Art-Residency Center Duppini – Gabrovtsi

Words like immersion, interactivity and experience are more and more common. But how we can work with that? In this lecture we will introduce you to Live Action Role-Play, showing how this language can enhance co-creational experiences and redefine the ideas of agency and participation. How we can make it possible to live for three days in a real atomic bunker? How we can bring one hundred people in the middle of the Sahara desert to live the “real” fake experience of an archaeological expedition in the ‘30s? Expect an engaging talk, with a lot of room for questions and cases studies. The talk will be followed by a real LARP game.


Art-Residency Center Duppini – Gabrovtsi

Session where participants present their past, current, future or ideas for a project.


Lecture/workshop with Maria Saridaki & Sebastian Quack // Trust in Play, European School of Urban Game Design.

Art-Residency Center Duppini – Gabrovtsi

What do we need to know when we design playful experiences for specific locations? How can we remain playful while the outside world bleeds into our design? Do we need to always design for immersion or can we keep the experience more open? What kind of fictional frameworks help to reinterpret places in play? Together, we will play, discuss, design and facilitate games for specific sites. And then we will play some more.


Workshop with Dan Barnard & Rachel Briscoe // fanSHEN

Art-Residency Center Duppini – Gabrovtsi

FanSHEN describe their work as “audience-centric performance” because the audience member is at the heart of the action: speaking, thinking, making decisions – and often learning some surprising things about themselves in the process! In this practical workshop artistic directors Dan and Rachel will share their methodology for creating this type of performance – an iterative process that involves dice, divergent thinking, paper prototypes, lots of user testing and a healthy dose of being mean to the material.


Workshop with Christian Roth

Art-Residency Center Duppini – Gabrovtsi

In this workshop participants will create short videos connecting different perspectives. All you need is your smartphone, your headphones, and your curiosity.


Workshop with Sem Janssen

Art-Residency Center Duppini – Gabrovtsi

Designing a large scale real life game will always be a leviathanic undertaking. It requires repetitive content to achieve plentiful nodes of interaction, minutely orchestrated participant flows, and tight timelines that should be invisible to the participant. It requires insane resettibility, an almost surgical understanding of the energy levels of actors, and the constant maintenance of safety during the game. Creating a real life game also requires trust, intuition, community and a willingness and capability of everybody involved to throw everything overboard for the sake of the moment. A cast should be free to change a narrative if interactions with the participants push the experience towards the unexpected. Real life games should always revolve around the participants, and they will be different every single time. This workshop will explore the levels of rigidity and flexibility of real life games. What can be designed, and what can be created by simply letting the universe run its course.

Day 1 will focus on meticulous design as a gift of the multilinear gods. We will explore what has worked for me and you as makers to formalize the structure of a real life game.

Day 2 will focus on how to allow a real life game to grow from being. What borders can we remove in order to create the best experience possible?La Fe


Art-Residency Center Duppini – Gabrovtsi ​

Our traditional festival of dreams with which we close the Summer Scriptwriting Base! Two days of performances, concerts, games, workshops, nice food, beer, parties…

Speakers & Mentors

Christian Roth


Christian Roth is a media psychologist focusing on digital interactive experiences. He is a researcher and educator in the field of interactive narrative and meaningful game design at the University of the Arts Utrecht. A big believer in embracing different disciplines and expressions of creativity, in 2011 he co-founded the GameCamp Berlin, an annual event bringing together researchers and practitioners from all walks of life. Christian conducts workshops and consultations on transformative user experience design and the evaluation of interactive narratives, games, and virtual realities.

Alessandro Giovannucci


Alessandro Giovannucci is a musicologist, lecturer and game designer. Active on the LARP games scene since 1992, he is a co-founder of Chaos League team. His practice focuses on creating transformative experiences with a deep emotional content. He wrote some of the most popular LARP games in the last years (Sahara ExpeditionBunker 101Black Friday) and co-wrote the Southern Way – New Italian LARP manifesto. Alessandro wrote several essays on LARP and he’s regularly invited to hold talks, workshops and lectures.

Sem Janssen


Sem Janssen is a writer, game designer and actor who has worked on multiple real life games. Prison Escape, a three hour long prison based universe, is the biggest production he has co-created. Tinkering on a universe that is in permanent flux, his work takes place on the intersection of universe building, character development and game design. He has also acted in multiple real life games (Prison Escape, Tracing Thomas, Mobster Mayhem, De Stad) and loves to get down and dirty to build up locations.

Andrea Brunello


Andrea Brunello is an independent researcher, playwright, director and actor, working at the boundary between theatre and science. Brunello is the founder and director of the Portland Theatre of Trento and of the Arditodesìo Company. In 2012 he founded, with University of Trento physics professor Stefano Oss, the Jet Propulsion Theatre, a project that brings theatre and science together, carried out in coordination with the Laboratory for the Communication of the Physical Sciences of the University of Trento. From 2020, the Arditodesìo Company is lead partner of the Creative Europe project CURIOUS (Culture as a Unique Resource to Inspire, Outreach & Understand Science).

Dan Barnard & Rachel Briscoe


Dan Barnard & Rachel Briscoe are members of FastFamiliar – London. They create transformative experiences which combine powerful narratives with the dynamic potential of data. Their recent piece The Justice Syndicate, in which the audience are a trial considering a difficult case, received numerous five star reviews, was selected for the Aesthetica Art Prize Anthology and longlisted for the Lumen Prize .
Dan Barnard is a theatre director and Senior Lecturer at London South Bank University, where he leads the Digital Performance Research group.
Rachel Briscoe is a producer and writer, with work performed at the Royal Court and Soho theatres. She also works as a creative consultant, helping organisations like the National Trust and Tyne and Wear Museums create more playful environments.

Caspar Schjelbred


Caspar Schjelbred works as a freelance teacher, director and performer – specialised in physical improvisation, clown and mime. Codirector of Impro Academy Paris, member of improvisational theatre company The Improfessionals (artistic director 2008-2014) and solo artist across the world since 2013 with his largely improvised show Plan C.
Founder of his own teaching brand Impro Supreme in 2010, which over the years has grown to become his main project. Caspar is also the main associate of director and master clown Ira Seidenstein (International School for Acting And Creativity) and has written the foreword to his two books Clown Secret (2018) and Quantum Theatre: Slapstick to Shakespeare (2020).

Maria Saridaki


Maria Saridaki works with  playfulness and storytelling in their different applications. She has a PhD in inclusive playful interactions and applied gaming and a post-doc in Digital Storytelling as a tool of transformative experience. She is the artistic director of “Trust in Play: European School of Urban Game Design”, the co-founder of “Athens Plaython Urban Games Festival” and she has worked with amazing people around the globe, designing and curating projects, workshops, exhibitions, communities, games and playful experiences. She is currently researching the concept of Temporary Playful Zones as organic spaces of change, and she is still in love with cities.

Sebastian Quack


Sebastian Quack works at the intersection of play, participation and the politics of urban society, as artist, game designer and curator. He is a founding member of the Invisible Playground network, co-director of Trust in Play, the European School of Urban Game design, and co-organizer of Drift Club, a platform that facilitates random musical walks through cities around the world. Since 2021, Sebastian is director of Now Play This, a Festival of Experimental Game Design in London.
He regularly teaches art and design, gives talks and consults organizations on how to engage playfully with the world around them.
Sebastian has worked on a number of ground-breaking playful projects including Area/Code’s plundr, the world’s first location-based PC game. Further notable work has included projects with HAU Theater, Oerol Festival, Victoria & Albert Museum, Metropolis Festival, Aichi Triennale, Urbane Künste Ruhr, Nuit Blanche Paris and Ensemble Modern.




For our 5th anniversary we go back to where we started in 2016 – the village of Gabrovtsi. Summer Scriptwriting 2021 will take place in a former boarding school for young criminals in the village. The school was transformed by the art group Duppini into an art residency  center for artists from the world over. The space is also a main base for the international Gabrovtsi ART-NATURE Symposium.

The semi-isolated environment of Gabrovtsi will bring participants closer together and will provide them with more intense working atmosphere. The practical work that will be conducted in the workshops will be inspired by the space, the history and the stories of the school, as well as by numerous land-art artworks spread in the area.

The participants will be accommodated in the beautiful Monastery of Kilifarevo, renowned for its atmosphere. The monastery is a functioning one and the nuns will prepare the meals for the participants. There is a possibility for accommodation in the school itself, as well as camping in the school yard for those who are adventurous enough. The Enyovitsa river flows five minutes away from the residence, having magnificent pools, where the participants can easily cool off from the summer sun.

The village of Gabrovtsi is situated in the picturesque Balkan area, 15 km away from the city of Veliko Tarnovo. The city was the medieval capital of Bulgaria and is a great option for a visit.



The capital of Bulgaria and its biggest city with about 1.7 million citizens. Today, Sofia is a dynamic Eastern European city, distinguished by its unique combination of European. Ottoman and Communist-style architecture as well as many beautiful orthodox churches. Furthermore, it claims to be one of the few European capitals with beautiful scenery and a developed ski-resort so close to it – the Vitosha mountain. Sofia is often called “New Berlin” because of its artistic spirit and affordability. Sofia saw its popularity among tourists and expats growing tremendously last few years.

Sofia airport is situated very close to the city and is deserved by many air companies including several low-costs (Wizzair, Ryanair, Easyjet) which makes it perfect gathering point for international events like the Summer Scriptwriting Base.

​The official opening and the first lecture of the SSB2021 Escape from School program will take place in Sofia.


Check our gallery here.