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The Hall of the Chinese Cultural Center in Sofia barely fitted all the interested ones for the new book by “Bulgarian Bestseller” publishing house - "Storm", "Tea House".

An Introduction to Contemporary Chinese Playwriting". Written by theater expert Prof. Kalina Stefanova and translated by well-known Chinese translators - Evelina Hain and Evgeniy Karaulanov, it is the beginning of the new series "See China", planned by the publisher Yuliana Tomova. Bulgarian intellectuals and connoisseurs of the Chinese culture and art were among the audience on the presentation day of the book in the evening of the 22nd of January.

Their interest is understandable. "Storm" and "Tea House" are the first Chinese plays they will be able to get acquainted with. The director of the Chinese Cultural Center, Mr. Tu Xuezon, said at the presentation: "These two plays and their authors, Cao Yu and Lao She, are well known in China. As a student, I studied excerpts from them. Their translation into Bulgarian is certainly worth the work of both translators and publishers". He said he hoped the book would be of interest to the Bulgarian readers and that they would enjoy the content of the plays included in it. The director of the Chinese Cultural Center thanked the translators, the compiler and the publishing house for the good idea and used the occasion to congratulate the guests on the coming Chinese New Year.

Publisher Yuliana Tomova shared: "The Book "Storm", "Tea House". An Introduction to Contemporary Chinese Playwriting" is unusual because it has not only cognitive value but also because the two plays are fascinating reads. Their authors are classics, masters of speech and drama. It is no coincidence that these plays, were written last century but are  still transferred on stage today in many countries around the world and will probably find a place on the Bulgarian stage too…

Evelina Hain translated the play "Storm" with an extremely rich Bulgarian vocabulary and an exceptional sense of the Chinese language. She managed to convey the finesse, emotions and feelings as a person who not only translates from Chinese but also knows deeply the spirituality of the Chinese people. Evgeniy Karaulanov, on the other hand, opens the door, for the readers, to the world and the atmosphere of the play "Tea House"... The book also includes articles by famous Chinese theater scholars who tell us about both the Chinese theater and China itself.

It was interesting and surprising to me that I seemed to recognize Bulgarian characters within the plays. I felt very close feelings to our Bulgarian experiences, which opens another bridge to understanding the commonality between the spirituality of the Bulgarians, the Chinese culture and folk psychology".

The engine of the book's publishing project is Professor Stefanova, who frequently travels to China, the US and other countries to give lectures on Theater Arts to students and various audiences. She thanked those who came to the Chinese Cultural Center to celebrate the beginning of the Chinese New Year with the launch of the first book of the series "See China" - "Storm". "Tea House". An Introduction to Contemporary Chinese Playwriting". And she shared: "In the meantime, while we were working on this first book with Chinese plays in Bulgarian, a collection of Eastern European plays came out in China that I had the opportunity to prepare for the Shanghai Theater Academy. Among the 12 works there are two Bulgarian works - by Stanislav Stratiev and by Hristo Boychev. In fact, these are not our first Chinese-language plays. Last year, the magazine of the Shanghai Theater Academy, China's most prestigious theater magazine, published one by Hristo Boychev. And what was my surprise when, at a conference, a colleague did an analysis of Vazov's "Servants"! It turns out that it had been translated into Chinese a long time ago, along with many other works from our classics. I hope that on one of the Chinese scenes the curtain will be lifted for a Bulgarian play as well. I also hope to have these two Chinese plays from the book presented here".

The cultural event continued with an original art program. Finally, as it is done for the holiday, for the Chinese New Year and the launch of the "The Book "Storm", "Tea House". An Introduction to Contemporary Chinese Playwriting", guests were offered treats. Among the drinks was the famous strong Baijiu liquor.

Photos: "Bulgarian Bestseller" Publishing House

Above: Prof. Kalina Stefanova and Yuliana Tomova with the guest of honor of the evening - Prof. Ognian Gerdzhikov

Front row: On the presentation of the book, a speech was given by: Director of the Chinese Cultural Center - Mr. Tu Xuezon, Yuliana Tomova, Prof. Kalina Stefanova; the guests of the event

Second Row: Tsai Zhuoyen, a student at St. Kliment Ohridski University of Sofia, playing a Chinese tune on one of the most popular Chinese folk instruments - a pipa, also called the "King" of Instruments. The folk singer Svetla Karadzhova sang a Chinese song masterfully. Iva Koteva, an 11th grade student from the 144th High School "Narodni Buditeli", performed a wonderful Bulgarian song. Among the honored guests of the event was the Academic Anton Donchev.