THE STRINDBERG PROJECT
In a past collaboration with playwright Laurence Carr, some of Strindberg's plays were translated into English for the first time and adapted to a contemporary audience, as well as new translations of his better known plays. Apparently, most of Strindberg's works have already been translated into English, but the editions are usually quite dated, and amazingly enough both works of prose and fiction can be found that have yet remained quite hidden form the world outside of Sweden.
I and Larry Carr at Suny New Parltz Honor Center.
On April 27th 2008 we made a speech about the process and difficulties of translating in the Honor Center at Suny New Paltz.
To read briefly about August Strindberg and the plays translated or in the works look on page: Strindberg & The plays.
In our translations we strived to keep the tone of language truthful to Strindberg, while simultaneously accessible to a modern audience. Strindberg could be very sharp and blunt, but also extremely lyrical in his language. One of the difficulties is that Swedish words often express both a visual image and a literary meaning at the same time, thereby implying dual significance. Moreover, the language is very specific and words with the same meaning are used differently depending on degree of intensity and type of relationship. Usually, when translating into English, only one meaning of the word can be chosen to keep the language sharp, and sometimes another corresponding expression must be found that an English speaking audience can relate to. To have a native speaker of each language was truly an advantage. Plays translated are Playing with Fire, a one act play, and Mr. Bengt's Wife, a full length play translated into English for the first time. Currently in the works are The secret of the Guild, another full length play never before translated into English, and one of his short stories.
Poster for the reading on Aug 27 2011.
While working on a play it's always useful to hear actors read the play out loud and have them bring their creative input to the characters. It can provide invaluable input to how the play reads and is working.
In the process of working with the plays we had an informal reading with actors for both Playing With Fire and
Mr. Bengt's Wife. At an informal reading there is no audience but just the actors and the writers. The next stage is to do a simple staged reading in front of an audience to see how they respond. This is the process of developing the play and find the places where certain rewrites may be necessary.
On August 27 2011, Mr. Bengt's Wife had a staged reading for the public in
Newburgh. It was produced by the Railroad Theater Company and directed
by Seth Soloway.
For more information about the plays and to inquire about possible production of these plays, please contact: Laurence Carr at: http://www.carrwriter.com/