[Event] Exploring Theatre Translation – virtual event

Exploring Theatre Translation – virtual event

Date: 13 July 2020, 10.00am – 17 July 2020, 9.30pm
Venue: Virtual event




How would you translate ‘Top Shop’ into Spanish? What’s the equivalent of an English character using the word ‘Nada’? 

These were two of the first questions raised when playwright John Donnelly, actor Jack Tarlton and translator and lecturer Catherine Boyle (Kings College London) visited Buenos Aires in November 2019 to lead a five-day workshop exploring theatre translation based on John Donnelly’s work. The course culminated in a staged reading of the first part of his new play The Porter translated into Spanish.

The week of Monday 13 to Friday 17 July 2020 was meant to have seen the second part of the project take place, with Lucila Cordone and María Laura Ramos of AATI and a leading Argentine playwright and theatre-maker coming to work with UK-based students. In its place we are now offering this virtual event that will return to some of the questions examined during the week in Buenos Aires. It will also look forward to the in-person London workshops now planned for 2021.

Beginning on Monday 13 July, participants will receive daily blog posts written by John Donnelly, Jack Tarlton, Catherine Boyle and the project team, each responding to the daily activities of the Buenos Aires workshops. They will then be given access to the original English script and Spanish translation of the The Porter which will be followed by a Zoom Q&A to discuss the translation process in more detail with Donnelly and the team on Friday 17 July (8pm BST)

Participants will also be invited to take part in Poor Connection, translating newly-commissioned short plays from Argentina based on the experiences of video-calling during the pandemic. The plays will be provided along with the blog post on Wednesday 15 July. They will then have the opportunity to work remotely in teams to translate these into English, with the finished translations performed over Zoom by actors on Friday 24 July (6-9pm BST).

Exploring Theatre Translation will be of interest to those studying or working in translation, theatre-making and comparative literature, and to anyone keen to explore ways of translating stories and ideas from one language into another.

All are welcome to join this free event, put places are limited to 40, so registration in advance is essential. There will be material in both English and Spanish, so participants will need a high level of both languages.

This event is a collaboration between the Open World Research Initiative’s Cross-Language Dynamics: Reshaping Community and Language Acts and Worldmaking projects, the Argentine Association of Translators and Interpreters and Diplomatura en Dramaturgia del Centro Cultural Paco Urondo de Facultad de Filosofía y Letras de la Universidad de Buenos Aires.


Elizabeth Dearnley
020 7862 8725