Jelinek in the Arena. Sport, Cultural Understanding and Translation to Page and Stage Lancaster University Home Page
11-13 July 2012, Lancaster University UK
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Keynote speakers


Penny Black

Penny Black trained at drama school in Vienna and worked initially as an actor in Austria, returning to the UK in 1984. After a break to bring up her son, she started translating. In 1992 she was awarded a bursary by the British Centre for Literary Translation, UEA, to finish translating Death and the Devil (Peter Turrini). This was followed by Yes, my Fuehrer*, Inconvenience* and The Galitzian Jewess* (Brigitte Schwaiger), Ciggie and Swiggie and As Night follows Day (Christian Martin), the latter for the Gate Theatre, Notting Hill. The Arts Council commissioned her to translate Slaughtering the Pig (Peter Turrini), which was produced at the White Bear in 1995 (Time Out Critic’s Choice). The 1995 Arts Council Theatre Translation Bursary enabled her to translate Erwin Reiss's Hawking's Dream* and she was commissioned by the Goethe Institute to translate the 1995 Mulheim Festival runner-up You shall give me Grandsons (Thomas Jonigk), which premièred in Los Angeles in 1996. Three further translations of children’s plays were published as Made in Germany - Nine Contemporary Plays. In 1997 Penny translated The Reckless are Dying Out (Peter Handke) for 606 at the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith (Time Out Critic’s Choice) and Malaria (Simone Schneider) for the Royal Court, published by Nick Hern Books. In 1999 again for the Royal Court, she translated King Kong's Daughters by Theresia Walser. Her translations of Ödön von Horváth's Sladek* and Rund um den Kongress* received readings at the RNT in 2001. She was commissioned by the National Theatre Connections to translate Christian Martin's Starstone for Summer 2002 and by the Arcola Theatre to translate Helminger's Venezuela which they produced in 2003. Her first original play Making Babies was premièred at Heilbronn's Komoedie Teater (Germany) in 2004 and her second play Sudden Silence received a rehearsed reading at the Arcola Theatre.

She received an award from the Austrian Ministry of Culture for her contribution to the translation of Austrian literature.

*published by Oberon Books


Gitta Honegger

Gitta Honegger is Professor of Theatre, Arizona State University. She was formerly resident dramaturg, stage director and professor of dramaturgy and dramatic criticism at the Yale School of Drama/Yale Repertory Theatre. She is a Guggenheim fellow and Fulbright/IFK fellow. Her translations of Elfriede Jelinek’s Rechnitz and The Merchant’s Contracts will be published in Spring 2013 by Seagull Books, distr. University of Chicago Press.

She is currently working with the aya theatre, London, on the English language premiere of Rechnitz, with a first showing planned for October 2013.

She is also finishing the translation of Elfriede Jelinek’s The Children of the Dead for Yale University Press. Her other translations of performance texts by Elfriede Jelinek are: Jackie, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty in Yale/Theater Magazine 36:2, and Death/Valley/Mountain (Totenauberg); in Continuum, New York 2002. She has also translated several of Jelinek's most recent essays on visual art and has written extensively about her work.

She has translated plays by Thomas Bernhard, Peter Handke, Peter Turrini, Wolfgang Bauer, Marieluise Fleisser and Elias Canetti and written a cultural biography of Thomas Bernhard: Thomas Bernhard: The Making of an Austrian; Yale University Press, as well as a German version: Thomas Bernhard: Was ist das für ein Narr; Propyläen Verlag, Berlin. 


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