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Course overview

Take a practical look at how world drama is rendered into English – from the translator’s approach to original text, through to the work of directors, performers and other theatre artists who bring translations to life for new audiences.

You will work with and give voice to contrasting translations of work by Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, the 17th-century Mexican protofeminist writer and activist, as well as the contemporary Chilean playwright Juan Radrigán.

Guiding you, with practical examples, will be RADA tutor and director Vivian Munn alongside professional theatre translators William Gregory and Professor Catherine Boyle of King’s College London.

No knowledge of any language other than English is required for this workshop (although it is more than welcome).

Entry requirements

  • No audition/some selection possible.
  • Applicants have to be 16+. However, there is no upper age limit on this course, therefore we encourage applications from everyone over 16.

Who is this course suitable for?

  • No need for prior experience.
  • Those who wish to learn more about World Drama and the process of translation.
  • Relevant for those wishing to improve audition/interview skills or who work in 'speaking professions'.

Further information

Course layout

Part one: Comparing multiple translations of the same classic text, students will explore the creative decisions that lead to different translators making different choices. Approaching these translations as performers, directors or other theatre artists, they will consider how different translations lead to different interpretations on stage.

Part two: Using a modern text by a leading Spanish-speaking writer, they will work on making some of these translation decisions themselves to write and then workshops their own versions of a translated scene.

Texts

The Desolate Prince (El príncipe desolado) 
by Juan Radrigán
translated by William Gregory - Version: May 2018

The House of Desires 
by Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz
translated by Catherine Boyle - Version: RSC 2004

Learning objectives

  • Students will gain insight into the process of translation and the creative decision-making involved in moving a playtext from one language to another.
  • They will learn how vibrant translations are made and the different approaches to keeping the piece alive and relevant to a modern audience.
  • Through hands-on exercises and analysis of existing translations, they will have the space to question what is meant by terms like ‘faithful’, ‘literal’, ‘speakable’ in theatre translation, and where the blurred line lies between translation and adaptation.
  • It will give the learner a greater understanding of the many factors to consider when staging a play originally written in another language.

How to book

Book your place online

Your booking confirmation will be sent by email. There is no box office collection available.

If you have questions relating to your booking, please email boxoffice@rada.ac.uk

You may also be interested in

Why not enjoy another short course that focuses on the mind and body, which can be booked alongside this one?

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Terms and conditions

Please note: All courses are non-refundable and non-transferable.

All classes begin promptly and latecomers may not be admitted.

Even though we're working through screens, participants should wear loose and comfortable clothing and be prepared to remove their shoes.

In line with academy policy, please note that no recordings of online courses will – or may – be made.