Looking Ahead: Our Plans for the Rest of 2020

As the UK summer continues, we look ahead to September and beyond.  Like most others, we did not imagine that 2020 would bring such challenges, but as a collective we have found opportunities to rethink our work and continue sharing with our community, as we await the time when our annual festival can return.

Our Monthly Meet-and-Reads

After a summer tea-party with a twist for our August meeting on August 28, we will return to our monthly table-reads from September 25.  We will continue to hold these via Zoom until further notice, and as always they are free and open to all.  For September, we will explore a play from Nicaragua for the first time:  Pablo Antonio Cuadra’s 20th-Century classic, The Peasants Walk the Pathways (Por los caminos van los campesinos), translated by William Gregory.  Be sure to be signed up to our mailing list by writing to us at info@outofthewings.org for details of all our monthly gatherings.

Ceremonias Pandémicas (Pandemic Ceremonies)

Our 2019 festival saw the English-language premiere of Freddie by the Cuban playwright Abilio Estévez and translated by Kate Eaton.  Performed by Santiago del Fosco and directed by Camila Ymay González, this monologue of obsession and the dream of ‘the life we should have lived’ is part of a trilogy, Ceremonias para actores desesperados (Ceremonies for Desperate Actors).

Santiago del Fosco in “Freddie” at the 2019 OOTW Festival. Photograph by Terry Cripps.

COVID-19 has certainly brought its share of despair to many but the collective spirit of Out of the Wings has been a source of creative inspiration to us throughout the pandemic.  So on this theme of a desire to continue creating and communicating despite times of challenge and isolation, we are proud to present Ceremonias pandémicas, a video collection of all three of Estévez’s one-handers:  Freddie, Santa Cecilia and Tiny Man in a Bottle.

Directed by Mary Ann Vargas and Camila Ymay González, work is already under way on these films which we will be sharing with our audiences in September.  The cast includes Andro Cowperthwaite (pictured), Santiago del Fosco and Ángel López Silva.

Andro Cowperthwaite rehearsing with Mary Ann Vargas for Ceremonias Pandémicas

Reflecting on the films, Mary Ann remarks, ‘Sometimes read, sometimes spoken directly to the camera, the pieces are imaginative explorations of the experience of isolation and the creative resilience to communicate against all odds.’

You can hear Abilio reflecting on the plays here.

Poor Connections 

We’re delighted to continue our collaboration with the Poor Connections project. After an evening of readings of extracts of the translations of 10 especially commissioned plays from Argentina on the subject of communication during the pandemic, we are now joining in an international festival of readings. On ten Sundays, between September and November, starting on 13 September, there will be readings of the plays, directed by Jack Tarlton, and we are also working with the translators to produce a bilingual edition of the work. At the same time, there will be readings of the original works in Buenos Aires, through the Centro Cultural Paco Urondo, and the Teatro UNAM of the Universidad Autónoma de México. 

It’s a real joy for Out of the Wings to be part of the creation of new writing and new translations by new theatre translators during this time. We will be sending out information about this wonderful international collaboration very soon. 

Inti Press Launches the Out of the Wings Collection

Since 2016 our annual festival has showcased new translations of 21 plays from nine different countries.  Our work is all about platforming and sharing newly translated plays from throughout the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking world and as part of this we are absolutely delighted to partner with Inti Press to publish six of these 21 titles.  Representing six different countries and ranging from the early 20th Century to the present day, this eclectic collection is an important next step for us in sharing the depth and range of playwriting that the Hispanic and Lusophone worlds have to offer. We will hold an event to launch this new series and will share details via the mailing list and online very soon.

Out of the Wings at ALTA43

We are proud to be participating once again at the annual conference of the American Literary Translators Association which this year will be taking place fully online with the theme of ‘In Between’.  In 2018 we were honoured to share our practice with delegates at the ALTA conference in Bloomington; this year we look forward to discussing ‘Translating for Performance:  In Between Voices’ with our members Sophie Stevens, William Gregory and Almiro Andrade, chaired by our director Catherine Boyle.  The virtue of an online conference is that delegates can attend anywhere in the world, so please join us wherever you are (click here for more information).

Black Theatre-Makers and the Translation of Afro-Hispanic and Afro-Lusophone Playwrights

Towards the end of 2020 we will hold an event to focus on the work of Black playwrights from the regions of the world we centre on, the translators who translate them and the researchers who explore their work. We hope to open new conversations and forge new relationships that will help us better to celebrate and amplify the wealth of theatre from the Spanish- and Portuguese- speaking worlds in all its diversity.  Stay tuned for more announcements on the details of this event in the coming weeks.

So, much to look forward to, and we look forward to seeing friends old and new throughout the rest of 2020.