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Drama Across Borders: The Politics & Poetics of Contemporary Theatre in Translation

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A Site-Specific Conference at Cornell University and The Cherry Artspace, May 11–12, 2018

Drama Across Borders is a rare and wonderful site-specific conference of playwrights, translators, theatre scholars, directors, publishers, and producers of drama in translation from around the world.  Panels and performances explore the role of international drama in expanding the limits of our theatrical imagination and pushing the boundaries of our political conversation. The conference kicks off Friday evening at 6:30pm at the Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts at Cornell University with a keynote speech from distinguished theatre producer Elyse Dodgson, Director of the International Department at the Royal Court Theatre in London. Saturday the conference moves to The Cherry ArtSpace in downtown Ithaca and features  presentations and discussions on new works in translation from Chile, China, Palestine, Lebanon, Korea, Austria, Turkey, Romania, Finland, and France. As part of the presentations, Samuel Buggeln (Cherry Arts) and Rebekah Maggor direct a number of short performances with members of The Cherry Arts Acting Company and students from Cornell University. 

All events are free and open to the public.

Drama Across Borders is made possible with support from the Department of Performing and Media Arts, The Translation Network at the Society for the Humanities, the University Lectures Committee, the Einaudi Center for International Studies, the Department of German StudiesNear Eastern Studies, the Clarke Initiative for Law and Development in the Middle East and North Africa, and an Affinito-Stewart Grant of the President's Council of Cornell Women.

DAY ONE: Friday, May 11

Cornell University
Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts
430 College Avenue, Ithaca NY 14850

6:30 P.M.

Keynote Address
Elyse Dodgson, International Director
Royal Court Theatre, London
"'I Come From There': International Playwrights at the Royal Court Theatre"

Q&A moderated by Patrizia Acerra (International Voices Project) and Rebekah Maggor (Cornell University)

DAY TWO: Saturday, May 12

Cherry Artspace
102 Cherry Street, Ithaca, NY 14850

Readings feature performances by actors Janilya Baizack, Susannah Berryman*, Theo Black*, Ritwick Ghosh, Kathleen Mulligan*, Allen Porterie, Dean Robinson*, Godfrey Simmons*, Jacob White* (* member of AEA). 

9:00 A.M. BREAKFAST

9:30 A.M.  SESSION ONE: POLITICS ACROSS BORDERS

Chair: Brett de Bary (Cornell) 

Adam N. Versényi (University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill/PlayMakers Repertory Company)
“Reaching for Register in Ramón Griffero’s Prometheus, the Beginning,” with a reading from the play as translated by Adam N. Versényi

Claire Conceison (MIT)
“Word Games: The Creation, Translation, and Performance of the Chinese Anti-Play I Love XXX” by Meng Jinghui”

Rebekah Maggor (Cornell University)
“Translation as an Act of Solidarity: Bashar Murkus’s Parallel Time and Palestinian Prison Parlance,” with a reading from the play as translated by Rebekah Maggor

11:00 A.M. BREAK

11:30 A.M. SESSION TWO: POETICS ACROSS BORDERS

Chair: Paul Fleming (Cornell University) 

Robert Myers (Beirut American University) and Nada Saab (Lebanese American University)
“The Task of Translating Modern Arabic Theater: Poetics, Diglossia, and Arabic Grammar in The Dictator by ‘Isam Mahfouz,” with a reading from the play as translated by Robert Myers and Nada Saab

Walter Byongsok Chon (Ithaca College)
“Building Bridges Between Korea and the U.S. Through Cross-Cultural Translations,” with a reading from Inching towards Yeolha by Sam-Shik Pai as translated by Walter Byongsok Chon

Neil Blackadder (Knox College)
“The challenge of translating Austrian dialect in the plays of Thomas Arzt,” with a reading from In the Dead Mountains as translated by Neil Blackadder

1:30 P.M. LUNCH

2:30 P.M. SESSION THREE: PLAYWRIGHTS ACROSS BORDERS

Chair: Sarah Grochala (Royal Central School of Speech and Drama)

Burcu Seyben (Bennington College)
“The Personal, Political and Linguistic: The Dynamics of Self-translation,” with a reading from Beauty Spot, written and performed by Burcu Seyben 

Saviana Stanescu (Ithaca College)
“New York with an Accent,” with a reading from Waxing West by Saviana Stanescu 

Dalia Taha (Poet and Playwright)
“Writing and Return,” with a reading from There is No One Between You and Me by Dalia Taha

4:00 P.M. BREAK

4:30 P.M. SESSION FOUR: CONTEMPORARY THEATRE IN TRANSLATION: THE GLOBAL SCENE

Chair: Jayme Kilburn (Cornell University) 

Hana Worthen (Barnard College, Columbia University)
“Performing across the Hyphen: Translation as Difference in Vyšnių sodas - Der Kirschgarten

Magda Romanska (Emerson College)
“TheTheatreTimes.com: working across borders in an editorial capacity”

6:00 P.M. BREAK

6:30 P.M. SESSION FIVE: FRÉDÉRIC SONNTAG'S GEORGE KAPLAN, A WORKSHOP

Samuel Buggeln (The Cherry Arts)
“Wordiness: re-translating Frédéric Sonntag's George Kaplan,” with a reading from an in-progress translation of the play by Samuel Buggeln

 

Photo by Rachel Philipson:
Polonius (Vanessa Okoyeh) in Hamlet Wakes Up Late by Mamduh Adwan, translated by Margaret Litvin, adapted and directed by Rebekah Maggor, Cornell University, 2017. 

Drama Across Borders Photo Gallery