Translation and Adaptation

Course Description

How do stories work? From nuanced word choice to major plot points, how can the same play sound so different depending on the translation? Why do some stories make good stage adaptations, and others are terrible failures? How does a group of people work together to make a performance based on a non-dramatic text? This course provides advanced work for students of playwriting, directing, and dramaturgy through a deep investigation into the arts of translation and adaptation for performance. In this studio/conference, we will examine the crafts of translation and adaptation, and engage in a variety of translation exercises, utilizing our language skills and knowledge of writing for performance. We will carefully examine different translations of plays, look at contemporary practices of adaptation, and study both of these processes as artists and scholars. The second half of the class will focus on adapting non-dramatic works for performance, and will culminate in a collaborative performance project. Throughout, we will focus on questions of how language and storytelling work in stage performance, and the role of the translator/adapter in the collaborative process.