An International Network for the Translation and Promotion of Francophone Plays
With the aim of giving more visibility to francophone playwrights, ARTCENA (Centre National des arts du cirque, de la rue et du théâtre) has joined with the French Ministry of Culture, the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and the SACD (French Society of Dramatic Writers and Composers) to launch the Contxto network.
To consolidate a network of organizations committed to the translation and the promotion of Francophone plays abroad;
To contribute to the funding, pooling, and distribution of translated plays;
For this, the Contxto network relies on the different representations of Institut français and Villa Albertine abroad and their expertise in the country where they are located.
Since 2018, Villa Albertine has been part of the Contxto network and has supported the translation of plays by Francophone playwrights from French into English and their promotion.
The Contxto network also exists to translate plays from French into Spanish
Below is a selection of plays translated into English since 2018 with the support of Contxto:
- And the Whole World Quakes: The Great Collapse (De toute la terre le grand effarement), written by Guy Régis Jr. and translated by Judith Miller, and Adoration (L’Adoration), written by Jean-René Lemoine and translated by Amanda Gann. The two plays were translated into English and presented as staged readings over the 2-day event Actions Caribéennes Théâtrales (ACT) in Dec. 2019 at the Martin E Segal Theater Center in New York. The two translations will be published by City University of New York’s Graduate Center in fall 2021, as part of a special Anthology of Six Plays from the Francophone Caribbean. And the Whole World Quakes: The Great Collapse will be developed by New York-based director Kaneza Schaal in fall 2021 as Quake, a collaboration with Abrons Arts Center. The play is scheduled to premiere at the Festival Quatre Chemins in Port au Prince, Haiti, in late Nov. 2021 or early Dec. 2021.
- The English version of With my Own Hands (De mes propres mains) written by Pascal Rambert and translated by Nicholas Elliott will premiere in Jan. 2022 in New York. Rambert will direct, and the play, a monologue interpreted by actor Ismail Ibn Conner, will be presented with L’art du Théâtre (The Art of Theater) interpreted by Jim Fletcher.
- She No Princess, He No Hero (Elle pas princesse, Lui pas héros) by Magali Mougel, was translated into English by Chris Campbell. The play was staged in New York by Johanny Bert with two American actors in Mar. 2019. French Institute Alliance Française produced the play as part of the Tilt Kids Festival in 2019. The production is available for touring around New York City schools.
- Snow (Neige) is Blandine Savetier and Waddah Saab’s theatrical adaptation of Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk’s renowned novel. It was translated into English by Taylor Gaines. Two staged readings took place in New York, one in Oct. 2018 at the Martin E Segal Theater Center, with a talk with Orhan Pamuk; the second in June 2019, at the International Play Reading Festival of Columbia University’s School of the Arts.
- David Lescot’s Master was translated into English by Abla Kandalaft with the support of the Cross Channel Theatre program in the United Kingdom. In the United States, the production of Lescot’s Dough in English has been postponed from Spring 2020 to May 2022 at the New Ohio Theater.
- Doreen by David Geselson was translated into English by Jennifer Gay. In September 2018, the play was presented in French with English subtitles at Seuls en scène, a festival of French theater at Princeton University.
- Autophagies conceived by author and director Eva Doumbia was translated into English by Amalia Parenteau. The American production will be presented at Ashe Cultural Center, New Orleans and Invisible Dog Art Center, New York in March 2022
- Fists (Poings) by Pauline Peyrade was translated into English with the support of l’Institut français in the United Kingdom and the Cross-Chanel Theatre program. It was promoted in May 2019 during Beyond Words in London.
Contact: Nicole Birmann Bloom, Program Officer, Performing Arts, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Institut français is responsible for France’s international cultural program. Supervised by both the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and by the Ministry of Culture, it promotes French culture abroad through cultural exchange initiatives. Operating in a space where the arts, intellectual exchange, cultural and social innovation, and linguistic partnerships interact and intersect, it is also responsible for promoting the French language and the sharing of works, artists, and ideas all over the world. The Institut français is one of Villa Albertine’s main French partners.
Ministry of Culture
The French Ministry of Culture aims to make the major works of humanity— and especially those of France— accessible to the largest number of people possible. As such, it maintains a policy of conservation, of protection, and of development of all components of French cultural heritage. It promotes the creation of works of art and of the mind, and the development of art practices and education. It further contributes to cultural initiatives outside of France, and to initiatives relating to the establishment of French cultural programs throughout the world.
Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers (SACD)
The SACD is the oldest authors’ society in the world. Founded by Beaumarchais in 1777, the society is owned by its author members. It represents more than 60,000 authors in the cinema, audiovisual, digital creation, podcast and performing arts sectors. The SACD manages and defends their rights collectively, provides them with numerous services, offers them workspaces, advises them in their access to their social rights or matters related to their author status… SACD also supports contemporary creation and the distribution of works, thanks to the “private copy remuneration” system.
ARTCENA helps professionals carry out their projects and build the future of the circus, street and theater arts by following three axes: The sharing of knowledge and resources on contemporary creation, the support and guidance of professionals with the management of national creation aid programs and advising activities, the international influence of the three sectors through the coordination of networks (Circostrada, Contxto), major events such as the attendance of France at the Quadrennial in Prague and by developing training programs (Digital Leap).