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Out of the Wings Brings Hispanic and Lusophone Theatre to London Audiences
Following its second annual week of play readings from the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking world, Out of the Wings founder, Catherine Boyle describes the work of this theatre-making collective and looks forward to a more collaborative future for the worlds of theatre, translation, and research.
Out of the Wings and the Passion for Bringing the Written Word to Life
Out of the Wings began in 2008 as a project whose aim it was to make the theatre of the Spanish-speaking world known 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 for 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.
The countries represented in Out of the Wings 2017: Portugal, Cuba, Spain, Uruguay, and Colombia
In July 2017, at the Cervantes Theatre, London, we presented our second annual week 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. Follow us at @outofthewings. Join us!
Catherine Boyle is Professor of Latin American Cultural Studies at King’s College London. She is the co-founder of Out of the Wings and the lead researcher on Language Acts and World-Making, a multi-disciplinary research project exploring aspects of language learning and teaching, migration, identity and culture.
This article has been reprinted by kind permission of Ventana Latina. The original article can be found here.