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We're proud to present six new translations in a digital showcase on Wednesday 20 and Thursday 21 January, 20:00 GMT.

The online showcase is the culmination of our Theatre Translator Mentorship – a workshop programme for emerging theatre translators, based on our experiences of bringing world drama from ‘page to stage’ for over a decade.

Over the course of two nights, we’ll showcase plays by acclaimed playwrights from Belgium, Brazil, Germany, Latvia, Spain and Syria. Each night will include three play readings (20-minute extracts) performed by an international ensemble.

Discover more about the six translators and their playwrights below.

Wednesday 20 January

Black Swans by Christina Kettering, translated by Pauline Wick

Christina Kettering

Christina Kettering is an award-winning German playwright who studied Prose, Drama and New Media at the German Literary Institute Leipzig. She has worked extensively in the German theatre scene, coordinating various independent theatres, and developing immersive performances for public spaces across the country.

Kettering has won numerous awards, including the international Kaas&Kappes prize, the Prenzlauer Berg Literary prize, and the Science & Theatre prize, and has received prestigious scholarships from the Künstlerdorf Schöppingen Foundation and the Hessischer Literaturrat. Kettering’s plays Antarktis and Schwarze Schwäne both won the German EURODRAM selection and are currently being translated into five different languages.

Pauline Wick

Pauline is a translator, transcreator and conference interpreter for English, Spanish and German currently living in Cologne. On obtaining a first-class degree in Multilingual Communication at the University of Applied Sciences Cologne, she continued her studies with an MA in Conference Interpreting at the same institute. Recently, Pauline has joined the jury of the German EURODRAM committee. She has lived and worked in Colombia, Spain, and England – most recently working with the Finborough Theatre (London) and Cut the Cord Theatre (London) to deepen her knowledge of the UK theatre landscape before embarking on her FATT journey as a theatre translator.

Ladies by Justīne Kļava, translated by Ieva Lākute

Justīne Kļava

Justīne Kļava is one of Latvia’s most celebrated and original contemporary playwrights. Since 2014, Kļava has written numerous plays and adaptations that have been staged across Latvia, in both state and experimental theatres. Often rooted in her personal experience and loved by audiences and critics alike, Kļava’s plays have received numerous awards and nominations, including The Best Play of the Year two years running. Two staged productions, written by her, received the Latvian National Theatre Award for The Best Performance of the Year. In 2020, she was appointed as Head Dramaturg of Daile theatre, Latvia’s largest professional repertoire theatre.

Ieva Lākute

Born in Latvia, Ieva Lākute has spent half of her life in the UK, graduating from Bath Spa University with a First Class BA (Hons) and an MA in Creative Writing in 2014. Since graduation, she has worked freelance as a writer and Latvian-English translator. Now a member of the UK’s Society of Authors and Translators Association, Lākute has translated 10 plays by award-winning Latvian playwrights. Currently based in London, she is interested in deepening connections between the Latvian and British theatre scene through her role as a translator, which led her to discover Foreign Affairs.

Speak Quietly, Or I’ll Scream by Leilah Assumpção, translated by Isobel Foxford

Leilah Assumpção

Leilah Assumpção was born in Botucatu, São Paulo, in 1943. She lived in London in the 1960s and participated in the cultural movements of the time. Though known as a playwright, she began her career as an actress and model. From there, she transitioned into writing stories for magazines and soap operas, eventually leading to her work as a playwright. Writing against Brazil’s military dictatorship, Assumpção’s plays revolutionised Brazilian theatre and have enjoyed continued commercial success. In her theatre, Assumpção explores the lack of questioning by women about their position in society, and criticises the make-up of modern capitalist society.

Isobel Foxford

Isobel Foxford was born in Manchester in 1995, and currently lives in London. She is a literary and academic translator working from Spanish and Portuguese into English. With a first-class degree in Modern Languages from the University of Oxford, she went on to achieve a distinction in her MA Literary Translation at the University of East Anglia. Since graduating, she has worked as an assessor for the PEN Translates Award and has had her translations published online and in print. She has lived and worked in Paraguay and Brazil, and her main interests are Brazilian and Portuguese-African fiction.

Thursday 21 January

The Wetsuitman by Freek Mariën, translated by David McKay

Freek Mariën

‘Mariën is the embodiment of what a contemporary playwright in Flanders can be. … His plays display an extraordinary sensitivity to language and form, while expressing a profound connection to human beings and our world and an ever-growing sense of engagement.’ – Peter Anthonissen, Theatre Texts from the Lowlands.

Freek Mariën is the artistic director of the theatre company Het Kwartier. His productions focus on strong writing, compelling narratives, and unexpected forms and themes. Freek has won awards including the international Kaas&Kappes prize, the East Flanders Literary Prize and the Toneelschrijfprijs for the best Dutch-language play.

David McKay

David McKay translates plays, novels, literary and popular non-fiction, art books, and poetry. His work has been described as ‘dazzlingly lyrical’ (Neel Mukherjee, The Guardian). He is the ALTA Dutch-English mentor for 2021.

He received the Vondel Prize for his translation of War and Turpentine by Stefan Hertmans, also nominated for the Man Booker Prize International and shortlisted for the Best Translated Book Award. His co-translation of the Dutch anti-colonialist classic Max Havelaar was shortlisted for the Oxford Weidenfeld Prize 2020.

In 2020, he translated the new Flemish plays The Wetsuitman, HIDE, and Antigone in Molenbeek.

Thirst by Alejandro Butrón Ibáñez, translated by Katherine Walker

Alejandro Butrón Ibáñez

Alejandro Butrón Ibáñez is an actor and playwright who graduated from the School of Dramatic Arts in Seville (ESAD de Sevilla), specialising in Textual Interpretation. He trained with theatre professionals such as Sergi Belbel, Vicente Fuentes, Antonio Gonzalo and Israel Elejalde at the Complutense University of Madrid where he completed both a Masters degree and a doctorate in Theatre and Performing Arts. Thirst was the winner of the 2016 Federico García Lorca Prize issued by the University of Granada. The premiere was directed by César Barló and toured Spain between 2016-17. Butrón’s other plays include Neighbours (Vecinos) and Toxic (Tóxicos).

Katherine Walker

Katherine Walker is a writer, editor and Spanish to English translator, currently studying for an MA in Translation at the University of Bristol. Katherine has lived and worked in Spain and her commercial translation experience is in the field of market research but her passion is for literary translation. This is Katherine’s first experience of translating a play and it has inspired her to continue to work in the field. She is about to embark on her second theatre translation project as part of her Master’s dissertation, which will be submitted in September 2021.

Hide & Seek by Shadi Kiwan, translated by Deema Al-Mohammad

Shadi Kiwan

Educated at the Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts in Syria, Shadi Kiwan is a prolific screen and stage writer. He has written six plays, three of which he also directed. His plays, including Hide & Seek (2019) have been performed at the National Theatre in Damascus. Kiwan’s first play, Al Shaie Al Aakhar (2009) won an award for ‘Best Play’ from the Ministry of Culture’s Theatrical Festival. Since then, he has also been awarded ‘Best Director’ for his most recent play, Doon Keyshote, and won ‘Best Short Film’ for his screenplay Rubbish (2014).

Deema Al-Mohammad

Deema is a British-Syrian commercial translator and interpreter, translating from Arabic into English. She has a keen interest in translating plays, short stories, and recipes. After completing her MSc in Specialised Translation from UCL, she went on to work as an assessor for the PEN Translates Award. As a member of the Taras Press team she also helps lead Arabic poetry translation workshops.