New Translations of International Drama – Czech Republic, Israel, United Kingdom

Saturday, 27.5.2023, English Theatre Berlin

Triage, directed by: Ilan Ronen, premiere 14.01.2023 at the Beit Lessin Theater, Tel Aviv.
From left: Efrat Baumwald, Yona Elian, Kobi Farag. Photo: Maya Arad Yasur.

Czech Republic: Out of the System Shadow Economy Workers

Tomáš Ráliš: Sorex
Translated from the Czech by Maira Neubert (mentored by: Barbora Schnelle and Henning Bochert)

Followed by a panel discussion with the playwright and translator
Dramaturgy, chaired and interpreted by: Barbora Schnelle

The play is a poetic look at the precarious lives of people working in the what’s known as the “shadow economy” on the Czech-German border. Along with the human world, we are also immersed in the world of the shrews (Latin: “sorex”), whose only occupation is finding food. We learn only fragments about the lives of the roughly sketched human characters. Their desires and dreams are tied to media images that have nothing to do with their reality – which consists of the daily wait for the bus that takes them across the border to Germany to work, which is hard physical labour. Although foreigners themselves, they reproduce xenophobic images and use of racist stereotypes.

Free entrance, but please register here.

Israel: At the Boundaries of Humanity – Drama in Times of Catastrophe

Maya Arad Yasur: Triage
Translated from the Hebrew by Matthias Naumann

Followed by a panel discussion with the playwright and translator
This talk will be held in English

Dramaturgy: Matthias Naumann

The play centres around three doctors who must face the issue of triage during a disaster. For weeks, the region has been ravaged by severe fires, the medical system has reached its limits, and even this hospital, which the fires are approaching, no longer has enough ventilators. Faced with the impending emergency, the doctors must make quick decisions and find a way to do something. Skilfully and with great complexity, Maya Arad Yasur examines ethical and moral dilemmas, ageism and classism, gender issues, personal relationships, and the terrible responsibility of deciding which life is worth preserving.

Free entrance, but please register here.

United Kingdom: Drama and Climate

Dawn King: Das Tribunal
Translated from the English by Henning Bochert

Followed by a panel discussion with the playwright and translator
This talk will be held in English

Dramaturgy: Henning Bochert

The Tribunal is a radical play by London-based playwright Dawn King that dramatically shows us what might happen to our societies and our world if none of the climate targets are met. The action takes place around the middle of the twenty-first century. Twelve teenagers and children are jurors in mass trials, in which climate “sinners” of their parents’ generation are supposed to be held accountable for their crimes against the planet. An unsettling portrayal of an authoritarian society where there is no longer much freedom for individuals. The second German-language production of the play will premiere the day before, on the 26.05., at the Theater Bielefeld.

Free entrance, but please register here.

The staged readings on Saturday, 27.05.2023 are directed by: Eberhard Köhler

Performed by: Naomi Abukha, Hannah Ley, Noureddine Friedrich Chamari, Felix Römer

Each event lasts around 90 minutes and there will be breaks between them. Back to main page.

Tomáš Ráliš studied directing at the Prague Theatre Academy and writes plays, radio plays, prose and scripts for experimental films. In 2020, he won a theatre competition organised by the Václav Havel Library Foundation, New York, with his first play Safety Belt (original: Bezpečnostní pásy). For his play Sorex, he received the Ewald Schorm Prize for Young Playwrights in 2020, he won the same prize a year later for his play 20/21. Both plays were written during the theatre workshop at A Studio Rubín. 20/21 was first broadcast as a radio sketch by A Studio Rubín in the twentieth episode of the podcast Fade in Rubín in the 2020/2021 season, directed by Jan Frič. 

Photo: Hana Šimková
Photo: private

Maira Neubert is a Slavic studies student at the Humboldt University Berlin and a translator from Czech. Sorex is her first translation that will be presented publicly. Outside of university, she works as a journalist for the TV channel Deutsche Welle and the campus radio station CouchFM. 

Maya Arad Yasur is a playwright and dramaturge. Her plays have been translated and produced in more than twelve languages worldwide. From 2007–2013, Arad Yasur lived in Amsterdam, where she worked as a production dramaturge and specialised in the development of theatre processes in documentary theatre. She now lives in Tel Aviv. She has received the Stückemarkt Prize at the Berliner Theatertreffen for her play Amsterdam, the International Theatre Institute Prize for her play Suspended and the Habima Award for her play Gott wartet an der Haltestelle. The German translation of her play Amsterdam (translated by Matthias Naumann) was part of the 2019 Eurodram selection.

Photo: Adi Segal
Photo: private

Matthias Naumann is a writer, translator and publisher. Since 2011, he has been the director of Neofelis Verlag, Berlin, which publishes the series Drama Panorama – Neue internationale Theatertexte. His plays have been invited to the Autorentheatertagen and to the Heidelberger Stückemarkt, since 2014 he has mainly worked as part of the collaborative theatre group Futur II Konjunktiv. He also translates plays from Hebrew.

Dawn King is a prize-winning writer and dramaturge for theatre, film, TV, radio and other formats. She teaches playwriting for adults and young people at City Lit, the National Theatre, and the Central School of Speech and Drama. After its world premiere at the Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus, the sold-out English premiere of her play Das Tribunal (original: The Trials) took place in Donmar Warehouse in 2022 and was on the shortlist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize in 2021. Her radical, new interpretation of The Cherry Orchard for director Katie Mitchell celebrated its premiere in November 2022 at the Deutsches Schauspielhaus Hamburg. With Foxfinder, she won the Royal National Theatre Foundation Playwright Award in 2013, the Papatango New Writing Competition in 2011 and the Most Promising Playwright, Off West End Prize in 2012. 

Photo: private
Foto: Graham Hains

Henning Bochert is a writer as well as a specialist and literary translator. In 1994, he received his diploma in acting from the Berlin University of the Arts, after which he worked as an actor in Berlin, Frankfurt am Main and Zürich. He then founded his own translation agency and since 1996 has been delivering translations for film and theatre, as well as in other areas. While spending a few years on the West coast of the USA, he gained experience as a dubbing translator and director. He writes prose, poetry and texts for the stage. Since 2022, he has been teaching theatre translation at the Heinrich Heine University, at the Ruhr University Bochum and the Humboldt University Berlin. Together with Barbora Schnelle, he runs the festival Ein Stück: Tschechien. He is a member of the executive committe of the association Drama Panorama e. V. and of the artists network raum4-netzwerk für künstlerische alltagbewältigung e. V.

Artistic directors: Anna Galt, Charlotte Bomy and Barbora Schnelle
Production: Tine Elbel
PR: Augustin PR

This three-day festival of readings is the continuation of the series of events PANORAMA #1 and PANORAMA #2: ÜBERTHEATERÜBERSETZEN, which Drama Panorama: Forum für Übersetzung und Theater e. V. organised in 2021 and 2022,
generously funded by the Deutscher Übersetzerfonds.

Funded by the Deutscher Übersetzerfonds and the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media as part of the NEUSTART KULTUR programme. The translation of the Czech play “Sorex” by Tomáš Ráliš was funded by the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague

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