The initiative for this ''International
Platform'' came from the German section of the International
Theatre Institute and its director, Martin Roeder-Zerndt.
Thomas Engel was in charge of co-ordination. It includes
five main countries: Germany, Finland, Great Britain,
France and Luxembourg.
It places translators at the centre of a process of
play exchanges. Translators in four of the countries
- Germany, Finland, Great Britain and France - proposed
two contemporary plays from their ''national'' repertory
to their colleagues and partners abroad. Each play
was then translated into three other languages (for
instance, the two German plays were translated into
French, English and Finnish; the two Finnish plays
were translated into German, French and English, etc).
In each of the four countries, the translating work
on the ''national'' plays was undertaken in workshops
with translators of the same language, although the
complete translation of the plays was entrusted to
one translator. This was the first phase of
the Platform project.
The first workshop was organised around two German
plays, Helges Leben by Sybille Berg and Täglich
Brot by Gesine Dankwart, during the Mülheim
Festival in May-June 2001. It brought together translators
from the German language from more than ten countries,
including the three translators who were partners
in the project (Pascal Paul-Harang for France, Ella
Wildridge for Great Britain and Jukka-Pekka Pajunen
The workshop around the two British plays, A Listening
Heaven by Torben Betts and Dream Train
by Tom Mc Grath, was held in Norwich from 26 July
to 2 August 2001 (French translator: Philippe Loubat-Delranc).
The work around the two French plays, Les Pas Perdus
by Denise Bonal and Pleine Lune by Rémi
de Vos, took place at the Mousson d'été
run by Michel Didym during the last week of August
(German translator: Almut Lindner; British translator:
Ella Wildridge; Finnish translator: Reita Loutnavuori).
The two Finnish plays, Tella ei ollut nimia
by Reko Lundan and Kuningatar K. by Laura Ruohonen,
were worked on in Helsinki during the last week of
September (French translator: Anne Colin du Terrail).
The four workshops were led respectively by Heinz
Schwarzinger, Penny Black, Laurent Muhleisen and Jukka
Pekka Pajunen, and supported by the following organisations:
IIT Deutschland, the British Center for Literary Translation,
the Maison Antoine Vitez and the Finnish Theatre Information
The second phase of the project will involve
readings of all eight plays in each country and in
Luxembourg (six translations and two plays in the
original language per country). The readings are scheduled
to take place during the year 2002. In France the
readings will be held during the Festival d'Avignon
at La Chartreuse from 21?28 July. They are intended
to be financed by European funds (Directorate General
of Education and Culture, Brussels)
The third phase involves producing one translated
play from each partner country with European funds.
To date the partner theatres of the ''International
Platform'' are the Schauspiel in Bonn, the Théâtre
national du Luxembourg, and the KOM teatteri in Helsinki.
In addition, there are other theatre institutions
such as the Festival d'Avignon, the Mülheim Festival,
the Tampere Festival (Finland) and the Bonner Biennal.
The fourth phase involves presenting the productions
in the plays' native countries in 2003.
In the last phase, anthologies of the translated
plays will be published in each of the four countries
- Germany, France, Great Britain and Finland - along
with a notebook of the translators' work (and possibly
The last two phases are also to be co-financed by
the European Community.
The ''International Platform'' project, begun in May
2001, is scheduled to be completed by December 2003.
Laurent Muhleisen, director of the
Maison Antoine Vitez