panorama #1 übertheaterübersetzen


As experts in theatre in other languages, theatre translators are co-authors of unfamiliar texts, into whose cultural contexts and new theatrical aesthetics they must first introduce the reader or audience. For the surtitling of foreign-language productions, their linguistic skills, their specialised technical knowledge and their artistic understanding of the production are all required. Sometimes, as well as their translation work, they are also organisers, mentors, editors, they provide scholarly commentary and critical reflection on contemporary theatre culture, and they work the social and aesthetic contexts of the plays into their translations. In spite of all this, the art of translation often remains invisible in the theatre and gets relegated to the “small print”.

With the funding from the Deutsche Übersetzerfonds and its programme Neustart Kultur, a series of events panorama #1 übertheaterübersetzen will be held over the coming months. In a total of seven events around specific topics from April to November (including some additional dates), we will explore the diversity of translators’ activity in the theatre, the specifics of this work and its far-reaching impact. For more information, click on the each event.

The series panorama #1 commenced with Schudoma, a prelude to the Multilingualism in Theatre module on 12 March 2021.

The events pertinent to the Übersetzen als Praxis der Dekolonisation module at the TAK Berlin followed suit. A staged reading of Penda Diouf’s Pisten, a translation workshop, and the book premiere of the Afropäerinnen volume were presented on 23 Aril 2021.

Queer in Translation consisted of a workshop, a panel discussion, and a reading and took place on 19 June 2021 as part of Pugs in Love – Queer Week at the Maxim Gorki Theatre.

The event Translation as a Practice of Decolonisation took place on 23 April 2021 at the TAK Berlin.

The workshop and panel discussion on Literary Translation vs. Surtitles took place on 21 and 22 June 2021 as part of Theater der Welt festival in Düsseldorf.

The staged reading of Guillermo Calderón’s Dragón, followed by a panel discussion on New Spanish-language Theatre took place on 2 October 2021 in the context of the F.I.N.D. festival at the Schaubühne in Berlin.

The panel discussion on Multilingualism in Theatrewith Yael Ronen, William Gregory, and Sophie Diesselhorstand the pertinent workshop were presented on 4 and 5 October 2021 at English Theatre Berlin.

On 1 November 2021, Uwe Carstensen, Daniel Brunet, Steffen Klewar, and Nina Thielicke discussed Translation Funding in Theatre with Antje Oegel and Barbora Schnelle at the English Theatre Berlin. The workshop about this subject took place that same day.

On occasion of a staged reading of the play Pink Boys and Old Ladies (from the book Surf durch undefiniertes Gelände), playwright Marie Henry and the translator Lisa Wegener discussed the translation of an explosive theatre text in the context of the Queer in Translation module on 6 November 2021 at the Centre Français Berlin.

On 8 and 9 November 2021, two workshops, one show with audio description, and a panel discussion entitled “Sinnliche Brücken schlagen” dealt with Accessibility in Theatre at the Münchner Kammerspiele.