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.


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!


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)


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)


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)


31.07 // Wed


SSB Shangri-La Opening

01.08 // Thu

​Sofia / Bozhentsi

10:00 – 13:00
“Interactive Narrative Design”

Departure to Bozhentsi

Check-in Bozhentsi

02.08 // Fri


09:00 – 13:00
“Site-Specific Theatre in Public Space” #1

15:00 – 17:30
“Site-Specific Theatre in Public Space” #2

18:00 – 21:00
“Play in Public Space”

03.08 // Sat


09:00 – 13:00
“Site-Specific Theatre in Public Space” #3

15:00 – 20:00
“Site-Specific Theatre in Public Space” #4

04.08 // Sun


09:00 – 13:00
“Immersive Experiences” #1

15:00 – 20:00
“Immersive Experiences” #2

18:00 – 21:00
“(A Secret About) Making Play in Public”

05.08 // Mon


09:00 – 13:00
“Immersive Experiences” #3

15:00 – 20:00
“Immersive Experiences” #4

06.08 // Tue


Day off

07.08 // Wed


09:00 – 13:00
“Transformation Games” #1

15:00 – 20:00
“Transformation Games” #2

08.08 // Thu


09:00 – 13:00
“Transformation Games” #3

15:00 – 20:00
“Transformation Games” #4

09.08 // Fri


09:00 – 13:00
Workshop wrap-ups

15:00 – 17:00
Workshop wrap-ups

18:00 – 22:30
Shangri-La Fest 2019

10.08 // Sat


10:00 – 22:30
Shangri-La Fest 2019

11.08 // Sun

Departure to Sofia


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

Hartmut Koenitz


Hartmut Koenitz is Professor for Interactive Narrative Design at HKU, where he leads a research group on the topic. Hartmut is also the founding chair of the board of ARDIN (Association for Research in Digital Interactive Narratives). He has also founded a industry-focused meet up on narrative design in the Netherlands. He holds a PhD from the Georgia Institute of Technology on the theory and practice of Interactive Digital Narrative. Hartmut’s research interests are at the intersection of art, culture, history, and technology. Hartmut is also a visual artist, and his works have been shown in Atlanta, Paris, Istanbul, Seoul, Copenhagen and Porto. His latest artwork, The Multiple Lives of Walter B. is a physical installation that explores virtual biographies of Walter Benjamin.

Ursula Maria Berzborn


Ursula Maria Berzborn is a theatre director, performance artist, costume and set designer, who lives in Berlin since 1987 and made her Master of the Arts 1994 at HdK, Berlin, after exchange-studies in London and Amsterdam. She is a co-founder of Kunsthaus KuLe, in Berlin, that was created in 1990, shortly after the fall of the wall, as a venue for life and art. In 1996 she founded Theater Grotest Maru, with which she toured world wide and created numerous site specific productions in public space in cooperation with festivals, guest performers and other artists groups, always trying to reach an audience, that normally has no access to the arts.
She works as a curator, teaches at different universities and gives workshops for site specific performance in public space. Since 2006 she is a board member of the German Association for Theatre in Public Space.

Matteo Uguzzoni


Matteo Uguzzoni is an architect and a game designer, his practice focus on creating transformative experience blending real life game and theater. He co-founded Urban Games Factory an Italian collective active in different form since 2009. He is also the host of “The Playcast” a podcast about immersive theater, real life games and everything in between.


Tassos Stevens


Tassos Stevens is a maker frequently representing Coney company, and also its artistic director. He can wear hats in projects as a director, writer, game and interaction designer, wrangler, and ear. Other projects made for Coney include: A Small Town Anywhere, playing theatre based on the film Le Corbeau; A Game Of Legacy, made for by and with jedi master of play Bernie De Koven; Nightmare High, a BAFTA-winning commission for Channel 4 Education. Outside of Coney he makes storytelling performance including Jimmy Stewart, An Anthropologist From Mars, Analyses Love & Happiness In Humans (And Rabbits) performed in living rooms and other informal settings all over the world.


Simón Adinia Hanukai


Simón Adinia Hanukai is a theatre maker, director, educator, and co-artistic director of Kaimera Productions who splits his time between New York and Paris. Originally from Baku, Azerbaijan, he started his career in Oakland, California, where he was a founding member of headRush Crew and the co-artistic director of the Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company. The original full-length dance theater pieces that he created with both companies over the course of six years were toured nationally, and were seen by over 25,000 people per year. Since launching Kaimera Productions, Simón has created work and taught extensively throughout the U.S., Middle East, South Asia and Europe. Recent directing and devising credits include Les Alibis (Junevents Festival, Atelier De Paris, France), JUPITER (A Play About Power) (La MaMa E.T.C., NYC), Decline & Fall (Tricklock Performance Lab, New Mexico) and Flying Ace and The Storm of the Century (Odin Teatret, Denmark).

Áron Birtalan


Áron Birtalan  is a Hungarian artist based in Amsterdam. In his practice, he facilitates playful experiences in real life that allow players to re-imagine the world around them. Through his work, Áron encourages people to tap into a territory, where art, games, and magic mingle. His work draws upon the history of transformation through playing, and as a whole, playfulness’ role in society. He is also active as a musician and co-runs a three-week children’s fantasy camp in rural Hungary.





​SSB Shangri-La will take place in the village of Bozhentsi in central northern Bulgaria. According to the legend, the young noble Bozhana settled here in the XVI century and later the village was named after her. The noble’s sons engaged in trade and the village gradually grew to become an important trade junction during the National Revival towards the middle of the XVIII century.

Bozhentsi is noted for its well-preserved Bulgarian traditional architecture and history. It was proclaimed an architectural and historical reserve in 1964. Due to this, there is a ban on the construction of any buildings that do not fit with the village’s style. Today, the permanent population of Bozhentsi is only 41 people.

As the settlers during the Ottoman period were mostly wealthy people, many of the houses have two floors, the first being used as a cattle-shed and the second being inhabited by the owners. Characteristic features of the Bozhentsi architecture are the verandas, the stone-plate roofs, the corner fireplaces and the ceiling woodcarvings. The pavement of the streets in the village is only cobblestone.

The participants will be housed in traditional XVIII and XIX century houses full of authentic charm and coziness.

The SSB will transform Bozhentsi into “Shangri-La”, a magical world where participants’ dreams and childhood fantasies will merge with the settings and the history of the village.




The capital of Bulgaria and it’s 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 cool spirit and affordability and it 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 low-costs (Wizzair, Ryanair, Easyjet) which makes it perfect gathering point for international events like the SSB.

The opening and the first lecture of the SSB Shangri-La will take place in Sofia.



Check our gallery here.