‘Out of the Wings’ brings Spanish-language theatre to London

Jul 15, 2017 Comments Off on ‘Out of the Wings’ brings Spanish-language theatre to London by

By Catherine Boyle

Out of the Wings began in 2008 as a project whose aim it was to make the theatre of the Spanish-speaking world to English language audiences. Translations, readings, full professional productions, international collaborations with theatre practitioners and scholars and a website —www.outofthewings.org — have all played a role in the growing awareness of the huge range of fascinating undiscovered plays from across Spain and Latin America. 

Since January 2015, what we have come to call ‘The Out of the Wings Collective’ has met once a month at King’s College London to read new translations of plays from Spanish America, Brazil, Spain and. most recently, Portugal. We have a very simple formula: we meet, share our new translations of plays that we have discovered or been asked to translate; sometimes we read plays in the original language to test how we think they might travel toward us. Our discussions passionately engage with matters of translation, performability, meaning and context. We are joined by friends from, for example, Las Vegas and New York and often by the dramatists whose work we are reading. Every month, we welcome new people to the Out of the Wings Collective, people who have heard about our work, been at our readings, found us online. So we now count translators, actors, producers and academic researchers in our number.

The work of the Out of the Wings Collective is about making connections, sharing ideas across cultures, ideas, ideologies and ways of seeing the world. We use the space of our meetings to test, experiment, critique and develop work, and we are creating a large corpus of plays to add to the Out of the Wings website. Above all, members of the group are generating a large amount of work that is being read and produced nationally and internationally. 

We are presently in our second season of play readings – www.ootwfestival.com – sharing plays translated and directed by members of the group in readings by professional actors (again, some are members of the group). These readings allow us to develop a collective exploration of plays from Latin America, Portugal and Spain, and to receive invaluable feedback from audiences. What we do in Out of the Wings is an important celebration of the moments of connection across languages and cultures that both separate us and bring us together.

Catherine Boyle is Professor of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies at King’s College London.



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