Playwrights Foundation Launches A New Cultural Exchange: Des Voix! FOUND IN TRANSLATION
A Festival of New Works by Contemporary French and U.S. Playwrights in San Francisco May 25-27, 2012 & in Paris, Spring 2013
San Francisco, CA — Playwrights Foundation and Cultural Services of the Consulate General of France/SF is spear-heading a major new international exchange project, Des Voix…FOUND IN TRANSLATION, that supports the translation of vanguard French and American playwrights and promotes their work to audiences on both sides of the Atlantic. The San Francisco festival will feature translations of wildly provocative new plays by three of the most innovative emerging playwrights working in France today. Plays by Marion Aubert (pink picture), Nathalie Fillion (blue picture), and Samuel Gallet (yellow picture) will be performed in English during a Festival, scheduled from May 25-27, 2012, in a producing partnership with Z Space, a theater located in San Francisco’s vibrant, cutting-edge Mission District and Deborah Taylor/FireMused Productions, LLC.
Des Voix…Found in Translation is an exciting collaboration between Playwrights Foundation, a legendary new play development organization in San Francisco, and the Maison Antoine Vitez (MAV), the International Centre for Drama Translation in Paris, in an exchange that exposes the work of the newest and most innovative contemporary playwrights to audiences in both countries, sharing ideas and perspectives of today’s world, and increasing and deepening cultural exchanges between France and the U.S. Dennis Bisson, Cultural Attaché of the San Francisco French Consulate rermarks “Reciprocity is what makes this project unique and a model of cooperation: three French contemporary plays will get a unique opportunity to meet an audience – and, why not, potential producers – in the US, and the same goes for American playwrights in France.”
The selected works for the San Francisco festival are: Marion Aubert’s PRIDE, PURSUIT, AND DECAPITATION, a ferocious and unsparing comedy that depicts the everyday insanity of our world; Nathalie Fillion’s OUT THERE, an anti-depressant driven, highly-charged Chechovian drama for the 21st Century; and Samuel Gallet’s much darker work, COMMUNIQUE NO. 10, that explores the explosive, rebellious world of Paris’ underclass banlieues, set in a futuristic apocalyptic landscape.
DES VOIX…FOUND IN TRANSLATION is pleased to announce that the translations from the festival will be presented in cities across the U.S. The ACT Theatre in Seattle will be the first to present two of the festival’s works in the Fall of 2012 and that it is currently working with theaters in Boston, Chicago and New York to bring these translations to a national audience.
The San Francisco festival features for the first time in America a “Bal Littéraire” A New Play Night Club (Friday, May 25, 2012 at 7 pm), an event that is wildly popular throughout France. Performed for one evening only, a unique hybrid of flash plays, songs, club dancing and literature, created the week of performance by six writers – three French and three American. “Bal Littéraire” is presented in association with Litquake, the engaging evening “tells a story, a story with songs we can all dance to” as it unfolds in a celebratory club atmosphere with audience and artists dancing between scenes, a no-host bar and food.
The Festival also will also present “Translating Experience: Talking About Experimental Theater Between Languages and Cultures” (Sunday, May 27 @ 11AM and 1 PM). An “interactive convening,” conversations with the audience as a think-tank exploration of Theater, Language and Culture. This “convening” is lead by Judith Miller, the foremost American translator of French plays in partnership with Laurent Mulheisen (executive director of the Maison Antoine Vitez, translator) and Ivan Bertoux (Deputy Cultural Attaché, translator.) Participants will include French playwrights Samuel Gallet, Marion Aubert, Nathalie Fillion, American playwrights, and audience in several rounds of conversations, as well as Skype, Twitter, and other interactive media feeds.
Playwrights Foundation’s Artistic Director Amy Mueller is inspired by the selected works: “These three extraordinary plays rose to the top of the review process for the theatrically brilliant and divergent ways that each story tackles today’s cultural, political, social and economic tsunami of chaos and reinvention. U.S. audiences are in for a real treat, and we are thrilled to create a bridge to such exceptional theater artists across the proverbial pond.” Playwrights Foundation is well known for championing work at the vanguard of theater for more than three decades, developing new work by as yet unknown writers, who go on to literally reshape the American theatrical landscape – from Sam Shepard in 1976, onwards. “Collaborating with our artistic sisters at the Maison has surprised us in our shared taste of innovation, depth and wild creativity in dramatic work. We sent them more than thirty plays, and we were truly amazed at the choices they made,” says Mueller. Works by Rajiv Joseph, Liz Duffy Adams, and Marcus Gardley, all artists who PF has invested in from very early in their careers, will be featured in translation at a Festival in Paris, currently scheduled for the Spring of 2013 at the Théâtre de la Ville.
The French playwrights will be in residence at Playwrights Foundation for the duration of the Festival in May, and will participate in the rehearsal and performance process of their newly translated plays. Translators include Kimberly Jannarone and Erik Butler (PRIDE, PURSUIT, AND DECAPITATION) Emily-Jane Cohen and Michelle Haner (OUT THERE) and Rob Melrose (COMMUNIQUE NO. 10). Each of the three plays will be performed as staged readings during the festival by the Bay Area’s finest actors, directed by ACT’s Carey Perloff, Rob Melrose (who is also translating), and Playwrights Foundation’s Artistic Director Amy Mueller. Mueller continues, “It’s awe-inspiring to witness a new theatrical aesthetic coming into being, and one so clearly an explosive response to its historic predecessors of the French Avant Guarde – where absurdism, political satire, and futurism were born.”
The Paris festival is being produced by the Maison Antoine Vitez, and is scheduled to be presented in the Spring of 2013 at the Théâtre de la Ville, known worldwide as the place to see the most current and interesting new work. The Paris festival will feature translations of exceptionally gifted, early career American playwrights Rajiv Joseph (BENGAL TIGER AT THE BAGHDAD ZOO), Marcus Gardley (EVERY TONGUE CONFESS), and Liz Duffy Adams (THE RECKLESS RUTHLESS BRUTAL CHARGE OF IT, OR THE TRAIN PLAY),each performed in French. Commissioned to translate these three works are Dominique Hollier (Bengal Tiger), Adelaïde Pralon (Train Play) and Isabelle Famchon (every tongue). Dennis Bisson adds, “Translating drama is a very demanding exercise, and the quality of the translations on both sides is amazing, so the Cultural Services of the Consulate General of France in San Francisco is very proud to have contributed to this exciting endeavor.”
In addition to Cultural Services, Playwrights Foundation is working closely with partners Z Space and Deborah Taylor/FireMused Productions, LLC on the presentation of the American festival – both noted for their expertise in the development and production of new plays.
ABOUT LA MAISON ANTOINE VITEZ
La Maison Antoine Vitez is led by Laurent Muhleisen, a leading French translator, and is dedicated to translating dramatic literature from all languages into French. Established 20 years ago, it bears the name of one of France’s greatest 20th century theatre figures and accomplished translator. The Maison promotes the plays translated at its initiative or by its members through an animated website and readings throughout France, and through various partnerships with publishers, theatres, and other institutions. The English translation committee is currently coordinated by Dominique Hollier, Séverine Magois, and Kelly Rivière.
ABOUT PLAYWRIGHTS FOUNDATION
The Playwrights Foundation is widely recognized as one of the top play development labs in the U.S. Since its founding in 1976 by noted auteur director Robert Woodruff, PF has served more than 425 playwrights early in their careers, providing invaluable resources for the advancement of their work and connecting them to theater companies that produce new plays. Playwrights Foundation’s annual Bay Area Playwrights Festival will celebrate its 35th year this summer and is well known for introducing young playwrights who go on to shape the future of theater. Playwrights Foundation also supports emerging national playwrights throughout the year through residencies, producing partnerships, commissions, readings, exchanges, and mentorships. Program alumni include some of the most prominent names in contemporary U.S. theatre, such as Sam Shepard, David Henry Hwang, Paula Vogel, Maria Irene Fornes, Philip Kan Gotanda, Brighde Mullins, Claire Chafee, Marcus Gardley, Liz Duffy Adams, Katori Hall, Annie Baker and Nilo Cruz, to name just a few playwrights who name Playwrights Foundation as having incubated their artistic voices and launched their careers.
ABOUT Z SPACE
Founded in 1993, Z Space is a hub for artists and audiences to revel in the creation, development, and production of outstanding new work. Z Space commissions, develops, and produces a full season of new works from a variety of disciplines including theater, dance, music, performance art, and new media. Z Space fosters opportunities around the nation for these works and for their Bay Area artists. The organization engages diverse audiences through direct interactions with the process, the projects, and the artists. Since 2009 Z Space has managed and operated a 13,000 sq/ft, 229-seat performing arts venue and gallery: home to more than 40 weeks of public multidisciplinary arts programming annually. http://www.zspace.org.
ABOUT DEBORAH TAYLOR/FIREMUSED PRODUCTIONS, LLC
Deborah Taylor/Firemused Productions, LLC is a Broadway producer who specializes in promoting new work and new voices. Broadway credits include the Tony Award-winning LA CAGE AUX FOLLES and Green Day’s AMERICAN IDIOT. Other Broadway credits include ELLING, THE MOUNTAINTOP, and The National Theatre of London’s production of the sold out hit ONE MAN TSWO GUVNOR’S coming to Broadway this spring. She has produced extensively off-off Broadway, credits include: STREET LIGHTS, NYMF; ABE LINCOLN’S BIG GAY DANCE PARTY by Aaron Loeb; Tracy Letts’s KILLER JOE; Deborah Zoe Laufer’s THE LAST SCHWARTZ; and Allison Moore’s SLASHER. Her film credits include: HIGHWAY COURTESANS, STOMP: A PULSE ODYSSEY, and THE KING’S SPEECH. Ms. Taylor is one of the producers of the Aurora Theatre’s new work series, The Global Age Project. She is a board member of Moises Kaufman’s Tectonic Theatre Project, and a member of the auxiliary board for The San Francisco Ballet Company. In addition to the Des Voix Festival, her upcoming projects include Marcus Gardley’s DANCY OF THE HOLY GHOST, Broadway 2012.
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