[Foreign Affairs] – making theatre that knows no borders, placing humanity centre stage!

“I cannot stress enough the importance of even closer collaboration with theater practitioners in Europe and beyond, of breaking out of our comfort zones and embracing practices, languages, and cultures that may seem very distant from our own. Translating, for the stage in particular, is not merely moving words from one language to the other, it is also vital to translate culture, to carry it across, where possible, and if not, to find ways of making it relevant in its new language, on its new stage, to supply it with context and an understanding of the culture that it originated in.”

– Paul Russell Garrett, Programme Director
Words Without Borders December 2016

Applications are now closed.

Closing date for applications: 10am, Tuesday 23 May 2017.

Programme announcement

“Of all translators, theater translators should not be locked away in a room translating for days on end without seeing another living soul (although this is inevitably part of a translator’s daily routine), but I believe they should be invited to participate, to investigate, to collaborate with theaters, working alongside theater practitioners and actors.”

– Paul Russell Garrett, Programme Director
Words Without Borders December 2016

Following our hugely successful inaugural programme in 2016, for which we selected three talented translators working from Swedish, Hungarian and Croatian to support, we are thrilled to announce that applications for [Foreign Affairs] Translates! 2017 open on 14 March.

Aimed to break the often solitary process of translation, this six month practice-focussed programme has been designed to give theatre translators the opportunity to see and respond to their work performed whilst still in development. Bringing them closer to live performance by immersing them in theatre practice the programme gives them the tools to facilitate a more symbiotic relationship between performance and text.

“There are no ‘safe spaces’ for theatre translators to hone their craft. In the UK, theatre scarcely features in translation training, and likewise there are no vocational theatre courses where translation is an option as a specialism. Translators who are interested in theatre but who do not happen to be theatre practitioners are left with no option but just to try it out and hope for the best…This kind of breathing space is extremely rare, especially when initiated not by an academic or literary organisation, but by a theatre company.”

William Gregory, Translation Mentor
Theatre Times

The Programme

“We have invited our translators to consider topics such as speakability, tone and register, and the importance of maintaining integrity to the original, all vital to any translation.”
– Paul Russell Garrett, Programme Director

Our belief that cross disciplinary work between the theatre and translation worlds can have a major impact on the professional development of emerging theatre translators led us to offer this space where translators can safely navigate the practicalities of their craft in a collaborative environment. The programme has been designed for students of theatre translation as well as emerging and established theatre translators and consists of the following elements:

  • Readings – we will journey with you from first to final draft giving you the opportunity to hear your text out loud at every stage.
  • Practical workshops – sessions with our creative team exploring alternative approaches to the text; advice and support on the practicalities of translating for theatre from our artistic team and your peers.
  • One-to-one mentoring sessions – session with a high-profile translator or expert in the field of translation allowing for extended, detailed conversations about your work.
  • Showcase – we will host a public presentation of selected extracts from translations by programme participants.