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The World on Stage: Readings from Micro-Plays in Translation

December 13, 2016 7:00 pm

Martin E. Segal Theatre, 365 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10016

Image: Dimitri Tavadze, 1954. Rustaveli Theater; Fletcher, Massinger – The Spanish Curate.

Join us for a staged reading of micro-plays from Chile, Spain, and Russia in their English-language debut. The event celebrates the December issue of Words Without Borders, dedicated to new theater in translation. 

Hosted by fiction writer and playwright Saïd Sayrafiezadeh

Presented by Words Without Borders and the Center for the Humanities’ Translation Seminar on Public Engagement and Collaborative Research at the Graduate Center, CUNY.

- - - from Chile - - -
Number Six, by José Ignacio Valenzuela
translated by Sofía García Deliz and Edil Ramos Pagán
edited by Aurora Lauzardo

- - - from Spain - - -
No Direction, by Miguel Alcantud & Santiago Molero
translated by Sarah Maitland

- - - from Russia - - -
Grandmother’s Little Hut, by Andrei Platonov
translated by Jesse Irwin

The reading will be followed by a talk-back with director Debra Caplan, Words Without Borders guest editor Sarah Maitland, playwright José Ignacio Valenzuela, Cheryl Smith of the Translation Seminar on Public Engagement and Collaborative Research, and participating actors. Please register here.

Date: Tuesday, December 13, 2016, 7:00pm

Location: Martin E. Segal Theatre, 365 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10016


Lindsay Roberts*, Yelena Shmulenson*, Stanley Bahorek*, and Richard Prioleau*


Saïd Sayrafiezadeh is the author of the story collection Brief Encounters With the Enemy and the critically acclaimed memoir When Skateboards Will Be Free. His short stories and personal essays have appeared in the New Yorker, the Paris Review, Granta, McSweeney’s, the New York Times, The Best American Nonrequired Reading, and New American Stories, among other publications. He is the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award for nonfiction and a fiction fellowship from the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers. He teaches memoir in the MFA program at Hunter College and creative writing at New York University, where he received a 2013 Outstanding Teaching Award.

Debra Caplan is assistant professor of theatre in the Department of Fine and Performing Arts at Baruch College, City University of New York. Her research focuses on Yiddish theater and drama, theatrical travel, artistic networks, and immigrant theater and performance. She was the founding executive director of Harvard’s Mellon School of Theater and Performance Research and is currently a member of the Mellon School’s Advisory Board. She is the co-founder of an interdisciplinary research collective, The Digital Yiddish Theatre Project, which is currently developing several projects that apply digital humanities tools to the study and preservation of Yiddish theater. Debra is also a stage director, dramaturg, and translator for the theater. From 2012–14, she was the dramaturg for Target Margin Theater, working with director David Herskovits to develop two seasons of Yiddish theater material.

Sarah Maitland is a senior lecturer in translation studies at Goldsmiths, University of London, where she leads the MA in Translation. She is the author of various articles on cultural translation, translation philosophy, and hermeneutics, and her current research focuses on the politics of recognition and its bearing on questions of ethics and justice in multicultural society. Her forthcoming book, entitled What is Cultural Translation?, examines these and other areas and will be published by Bloomsbury Academic. Sarah is also a professional theatre translator and has written for the Theatre Royal Bath, the Unicorn and New Diorama theatres in London, and the Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance.

José Ignacio Valenzuela is a prominent and prolific Chilean writer who has been featured in film, literature, television, and theater. His work includes almost twenty books published in Latin America, including the bestsellers Trilogía del malamor, Malaluna, Mi abuela la loca, La mujer infinita, and El filo de tu piel. He was selected by as one of the 10 best Latin American writers under 40. The script for his film La sangre iluminada, co-written with Mexican director Iván Ávila, won the support of the Sundance Institute in 2001. Miente, written by Valenzuela, was selected by Puerto Rico as its representative film for the 80th Academy Awards (2008). Amores, a TV series he created and wrote, was nominated for an EMMY Award (Suncoast chapter). His telenovelas La casa de al lado and Santa Diabla, both produced by Telemundo US, have been seen around the world.

Cheryl C. Smith is associate professor of English at Baruch College, where she directs the Great Works of World Literature program. She teaches courses in great works, the arts in NY, advanced nonfiction writing, lyrics and literature, and American literature. She co-edited the book Making Teaching and Learning Matter: Transformative Spaces in Higher Education and also co-edits the Journal of Basic Writing. She defines and promotes creativity as a force in developing literacy and offers techniques for college faculty to engage student creativity through exercises in literary translation, writing in digital environments, and collaborative writing.

Cosponsored by Words Without Borders and the Center for the Humanities’ Translation Seminar on Public Engagement and Collaborative Research at the Graduate Center, CUNY.

This event is presented as part of Translation, an interdisciplinary research group that investigates how translation might be understood as a process of transformation that deepens engagement with places, people, cultures, and languages. The group is supported by the Mellon Seminar on Public Engagement and Collaborative Research. For more information or to join, email [email protected].

*Members of the Actors' Equity Association.

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