Posted by: nancykenny | December 20, 2011

Un retour à la source

Little over a year ago, my acting teacher had me try out a little exercise in class. Before I said any lines in English, I had to say them in French first. Why? Because whenever I said the words in my native tongue, they would come out much more free and grounded in the body; a feeling that would then transfer to the English words.  And the thing is, translating the text into my own Acadian vocabulary, especially if the characters were already speaking in some sort of slang, was surprisingly easy to do on the spot.  This is an exercise that I continue to do to this day.

When the class was over, my teacher gave me a note that I should really translate the entire play I was working on for myself.  I contacted the playwright through his website and got his permission.  Then, of course, I got busy with Roller Derby Saved My Soul, but since that was done, I felt it was time to get back to it.  After reading one of my elusive blog posts this season that included a mention of the translation, a friend contacted me asking if I could use a dramaturge for the text.  I was thrilled because frankly I have no idea what I’m doing here and she has experience with translations and a Master’s in French Literature. So you know, some top notch help right there!

We chatted a bit about the play and why I wanted to do it.  We talked about how it is very different from most plays you would see in French; how I wanted to bring my English Canadian Theatre experience back to my French roots because they are both very much a part of me; and we talked about where we should go from here.  We set a deadline and lo and behold… It is December 20th and I have finished a first draft right on schedule!

As for the play itself, well, until I have official papers signed with the playwright, I won’t say too much more about it, but trust me, this won’t be the last you’ve heard of this!

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Responses

  1. […] – a show that was named by one illustrious blogger as his favorite of the year; the year of translating my first play into French; of being cast in 6 student films in two and a half months; of working at the Great Canadian […]


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