Milena Milanova was born in Varna, Bulgaria and obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Puppet Theatre Acting in 2008 from the National Academy of Theatre and Film Arts Krastjo Sarafov (NATFA) in Sofia, Bulgaria. There she studied the tradition of puppet theatre with renowned Bulgarian artists: Jeny Pashova, Slavcho Malenov and Petar Pashov. At NATFA, Milena played in The Invisible Child by Tuve Janson, directed by Jeny Pashova.
Between 2004 – 2008, Milena was cast in four puppet shows, which were later performed at festivals in Bulgaria and Poland:
The other Me (physical theatre/masques), Beyond Borders (theatre of shadows/visual theatre), The Stork Caliph (marionettes on strings), The Proposal (balinese puppets)
During 2008-09, Milena continued her training at the National Academy of Drama Theatre CNSAD in Paris, France, where she studied under and worked with actor Philippe Toretton. There she performed in productions of Ewnice Katleen Wemen and Prientures Fraiches. At CNSAD she created the show Nicotine, which combines both of her specialties – acting and puppetry.
In 2010-11, Milena assistant directed and performed in the play Le Jujement Dernier by Odon Von Horvath at CNSAD. She continued her training at the University of Paris 3 Sorbonne Nouvelle where she is currently completing a Masters. That same year she joined the French troupe Furiosa and performed Nicotine at the Pixel Theatre and the Theatre aux Mains Nues in Paris, as well as at the Uburick Festival in Monlusson, France and Again Festival in Paris, France.
In 2011, Milena joined the company at Atelier Theatre 313 in Sofia, Bulgaria, where she performes Nicotine and plays in the show Devolution, directed by Petar Pashov Junior. Devolution was nominated for the prise Ikar for best performance 2012 of the Bulgarian Union of Actors. In april 2011 Milena won the first prise, the prise of the Union of the Polish actors and the prise of UNIMA Poland on the7th International Festival for solo puppeteers in Lodz, Poland with the show Nicotine.
In april 2012 Milena won the first prise in the 7th international Festival of drama theatre Gala Star in Bacau, Romania with the show Nikotine. In 2013 she will complete thе theatre project in France – The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov, directed by Angele Gillard.
You can see the show Nicotine in the festival Frnge in Edimbough this august 2012 in the venue Paradise in the Vault.