This panel will highlight, discuss, and explore the current opportunities and challenges of dramatic/literary translation and the international adaptation of dramatic works, with a focus on Sweden and the United States. It will also spread knowledge of Swedish funding opportunities available to literary translators as well as those commissioning and/or publishing translations from Swedish.
Joining the discussion is Swedish playwright Gertrud Larsson, Kate Loewald, founding producer of PlayCompany, American playwright Caridad Svich, and translator Rachel Willson-Broyles; moderated by Dr. Frank Hentschker, The Graduate Center, City University of New York.
About the participants
Gertrud Larsson (b. 1972, Kristianstad) is a Stockholm-based freelance playwright and comedian in the duo Åsa & Gertrud. She studied play-writing at the Dramatic Institute 2001-2004 and documentary radio training 2007-2008.
Larsson served as Artistic Director of Theatre Scenario from 2008-2009 and made her debut as a documentary filmmaker with Black Carina/Svarta Carina, which was broadcast on Swedish Radio in January 2009.
In 2009 she received the Kristiansblad Culture Prize and her play A Turk, a Gay, a Chilean/En turk, en bög, en chilenare was named by Nummer.se magazine the “”Year’s Best Performance in northern Sweden”” and Editor’s Choice 2009.
Her other works include Pedal to the Metal/Gasen i botten (2007), Asylum Shopping/Asylshopping (2009), Blue Wings/Blåvingar (2011), Dept. 305/Avd 305 (2011), The Happiest Chickens in the World/Världens lyckligaste kycklingar (2013), and Zoo/CannibalSyndrome/Zoo/Kannibalsyndromet (2013).
Kate Loewald created PlayCompany (PlayCo) in 1998 with her late partners Mike Ockrent and Jack Temchin. To date PlayCo has produced 19 world, American, and New York premieres of plays from Sweden, Poland, Japan, Romania, India, Germany, Russia, France, Britain, and the United States. In 2007 the company received an OBIE Award for its “unique contribution to the Off-Broadway theater community.” Now in its 13th season, PlayCo develops and produces adventurous new plays from the U.S. and around the world, advancing a dynamic global view of contemporary theater and expanding the American theater repertoire. As the only New York theater regularly producing outstanding contemporary plays from abroad alongside new American work, PlayCo’s distinctive international programming links American theater with world theater, American artists with the global creative community, and American audiences with a whole world of plays.
From 1990-99 Loewald oversaw programming and creative development as the Head of the Literary Department at the Manhattan Theatre Club (MTC). She collaborated with many playwrights and directors on new plays, including Terrence McNally, Jon Robin Baitz, Richard Greenberg, Donald Margulies, Elizabeth Swados, Cheryl West, Kia Corthron, Joe Mantello, Mark Brokaw, and Nicholas Martin, among others. Loewald also created the MTC Playwriting Fellowships for emerging writers and was Director of the institution’s acclaimed Writers in Performance series (1998-99), producing an innovative program of literary events featuring such writers and performers as Walter Mosley, Norman Mailer, James Baldwin, Gish Jen, Alec Baldwin, Bill Murray, Buck Henry, Anita Desai, Robert Pinsky, Sydney Schanberg, and Arnold Wesker. Prior to MTC, Loewald was producing associate to Margo Lion on George C. Wolfe’s Jelly’s Last Jam (1992-93), Martha Clarke’s The Garden of Earthly Delights (1987), and other plays on and off Broadway.
Caridad Svich is an award-winning playwright, translator of plays, poetry and fiction, and Drama Editor for Asymptote Literary translation journal.
In 2012 Svich an OBIE Award for Lifetime Achievement in the theater, a 2012 Edgerton Foundation New Play Award for Guapa, and the 2011 American Theatre Critics Association Primus Prize for her play The House of the Spirits, based on the Isabel Allende novel. She has won the National Latino Playwriting Award (sponsored by Arizona Theatre Company) twice including in the year 2013 for her play Spark. Svich has been short-listed for the PEN Award in Drama four times, including in 2012 for her play Magnificent Waste. In January 2014 In the Time of the Butterflies (based on the Julia Alvarez novel) made its English language premiere at San Diego Repertory Theatre under the direction of Herbert Siguenza and Todd Salovey. Additional awards/recognitions are the Harvard University Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study Fellowship; TCG/Pew Charitable Trusts National Theater Artist Residency at INTAR; and NEA/TCG Playwriting Residency at the Mark Taper Theatre Forum Latino Theatre Initiative.
Her key works include 12 Ophelias, Any Place But Here, Alchemy of Desire/Dead-Man’s Blues, Iphigenia Crash Land Falls on the Neon Shell That Was Once Her Heart (a rave fable) and The Way of Water. Seven of her plays are published in Instructions for Breathing and Other Plays (Seagull Books and University of Chicago Press, 2014). Five of her plays radically re-imagining ancient Greek tragedies are published in Blasted Heavens (Eyecorner Press, University of Denmark, 2012). Her works are also published by TCG, Broadway Play Publishing, Manchester University Press, Playscripts, Arte Publico Press, Smith & Kraus, Alexander Street Press, StageReads, among others. Among her awards/recognitions are: Harvard University Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study Fellowship TCG/Pew Charitable Trusts National Theater Artist Residency at INTAR, NEA/TCG Playwriting Residency at the Mark Taper Theatre Forum Latino Theatre Initiative.
She has edited several book on theatre including Out of Silence: Censorship in Theatre & Performance and Trans-Global Readings: Crossing Theatrical Boundaries. She sustains a parallel career as a theatrical translator, chiefly of the dramatic work of Federico Garcia Lorca as well as works by Calderon de la Barca, Lope de Vega, Julio Cortazar and contemporary works from Mexico, Cuba and Spain.
She is alumna playwright of New Dramatists, Drama Editor of Asymptote literary journal, associate editor of Contemporary Theatre Review (Routledge,UK), contributing editor of Theatre Forum, and founder of No Passort theatre alliance and press, which recently published Todd London’s The Importance of Staying Earnest.
Rachel Willson-Broyles is a freelance translator specializing in translating contemporary literature from Swedish to English. She received her B.A. in Scandinavian Studies from Gustavus Adolphus College in 2002 and her Ph.D. in Scandinavian Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2013.
Her translations include, among many others, Jonas Hassen Khemiri’s novel Montecore and play INVASION! and I call My Brothers, both successfully staged by PlayCompany in NYC.
Dr. Frank Hentschker holds a Ph.D. in Theater from the Theater Institute in Giessen, Germany. In 2009 he joined the Faculty of the Ph.D. Program in Theater at The Graduate Center, City University of New York. Dr. Hentschker currently serves as Executive Director and Director of Programs at the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center (MESTC), an institute for theater based at the CUNY Graduate Center. Since he joined MESTC in this capacity in 2001 Dr. Hentschker has transformed the organization into a premier forum for public programming in international and U.S. theater and theater studies. He also founded the acclaimed annual Prelude – at the Forefront of Contemporary NYC Theater Festival, which features 20 New York-based theater companies and playwrights at the Center each fall. Dr. Hentschker also started the PEN World Voices Playwrights Series, in partnership with the PEN America Center’s PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature, and has led 19 CUNY performing arts centers in the formation of the CUNY C-PAC Performing Arts Consortium, producing its first joint festival in 2009. Each year, Dr. Hentschker curates and produces approximately 40 events for MESTC, featuring lecture-demonstrations, symposia, works-in-progress, and conversations with theater scholars, theatrical luminaries, and emerging voices in the international and local theater scenes.