we're still accepting applications to our theatre translator mentorship – read our COVID-19 update
: mentorship programme

from page to stage

Our theatre translator mentorship offers a part-time workshop programme for translators wanting to translate for the stage.

The programme is based on our own approaches to working with translated play texts and our experiences of bringing world drama from ‘page to stage’ over nearly a decade.

The programme offers a forum where emerging theatre translators can:

  • discover and develop tools, skills and approaches to translating for the stage
  • workshop translations with professional actors, theatre-makers and translators
  • showcase their work in front of a public audience

Of all translators, theatre 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 theatres, working alongside theatre practitioners and actors.

Paul Russell Garrett

the programme

In response to the changing COVID-19 situation, the first stage of the mentorship programme (scheduled for June 2020) can be readjusted and take place remotely, using online meeting platforms, if need be.

The remainder of the mentorship programme (face-to-face sessions & workshops) will – for the time being – go ahead as planned as they’re scheduled from September onwards.

Please see 2020/21 programme schedule (PDF) for further details.

We will, of course, keep following the official guidelines from the UK Government and Public Health England and make adjustments to the programme accordingly.

So, please do apply!

The mentorship programme is part-time and runs from June 2020 – January 2021.

Practical sessions, which include play readings, workshops and rehearsals, are combined with one-to-one support from programme mentors (online or in person).

All practical sessions take place at the Rose Lipman Building in east London unless otherwise specified.

The programme culminates in a showcase in January 2021 for the general public and invited industry, including theatre producers, directors and publishers.

Download the 2020/21 schedule (PDF) for further details.

The theatre translator mentorship is a free opportunity but participants are responsible for arranging their own travel.

: facilitators & mentors
The mentorship programme is run by Foreign Affairs theatre company.

Sessions will be facilitated by a range of highly experienced practitioners in the fields of theatre-making and translation.

In addition to our in-house practitioners, past translation facilitators and mentors have included Paul Russell Garrett, Roland Glasser and William Gregory.

The mentorship programme is open to students of translation (graduate and postgraduate level) and professional translators (emerging and established) translating into English.

Past participants have included postgraduate and PhD students, professional translators (commercial and literary) with no or little experience in translating for the stage, as well as theatre-practitioners with some translation experience.

Applicants should demonstrate a genuine interest in actively engaging in translating for the stage or in pursuing theatre translation as part of their career.

Applicants must meet at least one of the following requirements:

  • Have a multilingual background combined with an interest in pursuing a career in theatre translation
  • Have completed or be close to completing a postgraduate course in translation
  • Have professional experience as a translator
  • Have had at least one translation published, whether hardcopy or online

To apply for the mentorship, please send an email to translation@foreignaffairs.org.uk with the following information:

  • Completed application form
  • An up-to-date one page CV
  • A motivation letter (500 words)
  • A 500-word sample of your translation work

Download the application form (Word).

: important
Obtaining permission from the rights-holder* to work on the chosen text is the full responsibility of the applicants. Confirmation of this will be required to participate in the mentorship programme.

Failure to submit the required information may lead to your application not being considered.

Applications close on Thursday 7 May at 17:00 and all applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by Tuesday 26 May.

* We might be able to offer guidance regarding this matter. Please contact translation@foreignaffairs.org.uk with any questions you may have.


Do I have to attend all the practical sessions?

Participants have to attend all of the practical sessions, at least two rehearsals and both showcases.

Please see 2020/21 programme schedule (PDF) above for further details.

What happens during the sessions?

You’ll be exploring creative and collaborative approaches to translating for the stage and you’ll have opportunities to workshop your own translation with professional actors, theatre-makers and translators.

How much work do I have to do outside the practical sessions?

You’ll be expected to complete a first/rough draft of the play during the beginning of the programme. Please see 2020/21 programme schedule (PDF) above for further details.

You’ll need to go back and incorporate work explored and lessons learnt in response to the practical sessions and one-to-ones.

For the purpose of the showcase, you’ll only have to focus on a selected extract (approximately 12-18 pages in total).

Does it cost anything to take part in the mentorship programme?

The theatre translator mentorship is a free opportunity but participants are responsible for arranging their own travel.

We’re committed to bringing world theatre to English-speaking audiences and nurturing a new generation of theatre translators. The programme is currently funded by a combination of in-house fundraising efforts, country/language-specific grants, and in-kind support.

Will you produce the play at a later stage?

The mentorship programme is designed to offer a learning experience for translators wanting to translate for the stage. In the past, we’ve produced one play from the programme, and other plays have found homes elsewhere.