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Dutch-language theatre texts take the stage in France

Throughout 2020 Flanders Literature, Flanders Arts Institute and Dutch Performing Arts present eight readings of theatre texts from Flanders and the Netherlands in France, in collaboration with Maison Antoine Vitez. The promotion of theatre texts goes hand in hand with encouraging translators to specialize in this genre. 

After a successful collaboration in Austria earlier this year, Dutch Performing Arts, Flanders Arts Institute and Flanders Literature again join forces to promote Dutch-language theatre texts abroad. Now targeting French-speaking regions, the Dutch and Flemish organisations partner up with Maison Antoine Vitez, a Paris-based organisation for the translation of theatre texts. In 2020 they present the French translation of eight theatre texts originally written in Dutch. The following works were selected from a longlist. 

From the Netherlands

  • ‘Derf’ by Sophie Kassies
  • ‘Kale bomen ruisen niet’ by Magne van den Berg
  • ‘Bij het kanaal naar links’ by Alex van Warmerdam
  • ‘Woestijnjasmijntjes’ by George Elias Tobal

From Flanders

  • ‘We take it from here’ by Rebekka de Wit & Tijdelijke Samenscholing
  • Woestzoeker (‘Wildekid’) by Jan Sobrie
  • Rudy! by Peter De Graef
  • Dagen zonder data (‘Days Without Dates’) by Jessa Wildemeersch

The selected texts will be translated into French and have staged readings for French-speaking theatre professionals at various festivals and other events. Through this project the organising partners aim to increase the visibility of contemporary Dutch-language theatre texts in French-speaking regions.

The participants of the translation workshop in France © Alex Nollet
The participants of the translation workshop in France © Alex Nollet

Familiarising translators with the theatre genre

There is an urgent shortage of translators that are specialised in the theatre genre. For that reason Flanders Literature, Dutch Performing Arts and Maison Antoine Vitez organised a translation workshop in November, in collaboration with La Chartreuse, the national centre for theatre texts in France. Eight Dutch-French and French-Dutch translators, Astrid Panis, Lola Bertels, Martine Woudt, Sandra Verhulst, Sofiane Boussahel, Ingrid Sauvenée De Man, Malorie Moneaux and Els Dumez Blocken, were introduced to the tricks of the trade. Guiding the workshop, translators Mike Sens and Esther Gouarné  familiarised the participants with different aspects of the genre.

I have 15 years of translating experience — of all of the workshops I participated in, this by far has been the most fascinating and versatile one.
Sandra Verhulst

The participants look back on a successful workshop and that was mainly thanks to the versatile workshops. Ingrid Sauvenée De Man, translator French-Dutch: 'We not only worked on translations individually, in pairs or with multiple translators, we also discussed translations and language-specific variations in Flemish, Dutch and French, and practiced warming-ups and stagings. Sandra Verhulst has been translating for about fifteen years from Italian and French into Dutch. Verhulst: 'Of all of the workshops I participated in, this by far has been the most fascinating and versatile one.'

This project was supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Flanders.

Logos partners translation workshop France
Dec 11th, 2019