From Fireflies to Verba

From Fireflies to Verba

July 01, 2015

Dear friends of the enchanting art of Shadow Theatre,

It is with both melancholy and excitement that we have decided to share the extraordinary journey of our beloved group of performers, the Shadow Theatre Fireflies. As we embark on this new chapter, allow me to tell the story of our remarkable transformation and triumphant resurrection as Shadow Theatre Verba.

The Rise of Fireflies

Once upon a time, in the cozy embrace of a small town, a group of passionate individuals gathered to explore the timeless art of Shadow Theatre. Our quest led us to form the Shadow Theatre Fireflies – a name that perfectly captured the essence of our craft. Like the flickering glow of fireflies on a summer night, our performances illuminated hearts and souls, leaving audiences mesmerized and enchanted.

As Fireflies, we honed our skills and delved deep into the art of manipulating shadows to tell compelling stories. Our humble beginnings were marked by dedication, unity, and an unquenchable thirst for creative expression. Show after show, we reveled in the joy of creating magic with our hands and silhouettes, weaving tales of love, adventure and wonder.

The unforeseen splinter

As is often the case in life, the road ahead wasn’t always smooth. Despite our shared passion, conflicts and disagreements began to emerge within the group. The Fireflies, once an inseparable unit, found ourselves drifting apart like stars scattered across the night sky.

It was a heartbreaking moment when we realized that for the sake of our art and our personal growth, we had to embrace change. Reluctantly, but with a determination fuelled by our love for Shadow Theatre, we decided to part ways and allow each individual to embark on their own unique journey.

The embers of resilience

Although the separation was difficult, it was not the end. As the saying goes, when one door closes, another opens. Our spirits remained undeterred, and from the ashes of the Fireflies, a new fire began to burn – one that would eventually illuminate the world under a different name and with a new purpose.

The fifth of us Ruslan Bokach, Mila Kyselytsia, Vladyslav Polishchuk, Yana Bryginets and Elisabeth Sokolova become a foundation for a new artistic group.

Shadow Theatre Verba was born – a name was chosen to honor the power of words to transcend spoken language and connect us on a deeper level. “Verba, the Latin word for ‘words’, encapsulated our commitment to storytelling through shadow, where words are unnecessary and emotion is conveyed through the poetry of movement.

The metamorphosis

With renewed determination, the members of Verba embarked on a journey of transformation and evolution. The experiences gained during our time as Fireflies served as a crucible from which we emerged stronger and more resilient. Each member of Verba brought their unique perspective, skills and artistic abilities to the table, elevating our performances to new heights.

Learning from past mistakes and embracing the diversity of talent within our group, we found a renewed sense of purpose. As Verba, we sought not only to entertain but to inspire and provoke emotions that linger long after the curtain closes. Our stories, portrayed through intricate shadows, became windows into the human experience, touching on the universal aspects of love, loss, joy and hope.


As we embark on this new chapter as Shadow Theatre Verba, it is with great pride and joy that we reflect on the extraordinary achievements of our previous incarnation, the Shadow Theatre Fireflies. Our journey has been one filled with awe-inspiring moments, recognition on international stages, and performances that have left indelible marks in the hearts of audiences worldwide.

In 2010, our team of passionate individuals laid the foundation for the genre of shadow theater in Ukraine. As the first representatives of this unique art form in the country, we set out to explore the magic of shadows and tell stories through ethereal silhouettes.

The Fireflies’ talent and artistic brilliance have been showcased on some of the most prestigious talent shows in the world. We were honored to be finalists on the following TV shows:

  • “Ukraine’s Got Talent,” Ukraine (2011)
  • “Minute of Fame, Russia (2011)
  • “Mam Talent”, Poland (2013)
  • “Das Supertalent,” Germany (2014)

Our enchanting performances have crossed borders and captivated audiences in different countries. Some of the notable events and festivals where Shadow Theatre Fireflies showcased their artistry include:

  • Closing ceremony of the Odessa International Film Festival III
  • The award ceremony of the competition “Choise of the Year” 2012
  • International festival of contemporary art “GogolFest” 2012
  • Festival “Qatar Spring Festival” 2013
  • All-Ukrainian ceremony “Heroes of Sports Year” – 2014
  • Award ceremony “RWANGA AWARDS” 2014
  • Festival “Dreamland”
  • Gala Show European Championship Muay Thai 2014
  • Eid Al Adha Festival 2015

Shadow Theatre Fireflies not only delighted audiences, but also made significant contributions to social causes through their performances. The team won the prestigious social advertising competition LINOLEUM 2014, organized by the Elena Pinchuk Fund “ANTIAIDS”, using their art to raise awareness and advocate for important issues.

In 2014, the Shadow Theatre Fireflies team unveiled their stunning creation, “Shadow Space.” This innovative show broke new ground, captivating audiences in China, Bulgaria, Ukraine and Qatar and earning rave reviews for its unparalleled artistry.

As we evolve into Shadow Theatre Verba, we carry with us the rich tapestry of accomplishments and experiences that the Fireflies era has given us. Our passion for Shadow Theatre burns brighter than ever, and we are eager to weave new stories that will leave a lasting impression on those who witness our performances.

And so, dear readers, our journey continues. The story of Shadow Theatre Verba is one of resilience, growth and rebirth. From the humble glow of Fireflies to the radiant brilliance of Verba, our art remains a testament to the indomitable spirit of human creativity.

As we step into the future, our hearts are filled with gratitude for the cherished memories of the Fireflies era. We honor the past by embracing change, and we face the future with an unwavering passion for shadow theatre. Verba will forever be a celebration of the beauty that rises from the ashes, proving that from every ending there is a new beginning.

May our shadows dance on the canvas of the world, inspiring wonder and leaving imprints on the souls of those who witness our performances. We invite you all to join us on this wondrous journey, for the magic of Shadow Theatre is a story that is never truly over; it is only ever transformed and reborn.