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Translation, Adaptation, and Dramaturgy

The Translation, Adaptation, and Dramaturgy Working Group, formerly known as From Page to Stage, continues the work of its progenitor with an increased emphasis on the difficult process of staging drama across varying cultures and languages. We look at the complex interaction of notions of translation and adaptation, with an eye both toward the literary study of drama and theatre, and the practical process of stage production. Issues such as ethical translation (particularly to or from the developing world), textual fidelity, the notion of 'authorship' in the postmodern era, and challenges regarding the production of legibility across cultures are central to our discussions. We welcome the participation of dramaturgs and others focused on the production process and see the dramaturg's crucial role in facilitating the 'translation' of written work to the stage as an important part of our investigations. The group seeks to better understand how each of our three subjects – translation, adaptation and dramaturgy – impacts upon the process of bringing work to the stage, as well as how the three concepts connect with one another.

The Group first met at the 2009 IFTR World Congress in Lisbon, and subsequently at the annual conferences in Osaka, Santiago, Munich, and Barcelona. We welcome new members, so please contact one of the convenors by email if you are interested in joining the group or coming along to our meetings. 



A new working group publication is currently underway with a proposed publication date in 2014. A small editorial team of three members is steering this work, with support from a larger number of members.

Previous Publications:

"Mediations and Correlations." Journal of Adaptation in Film and Performance: Special Issue 4.3. 2011.


Bernadette Cochrane:

Stuart Young:

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Translation, Adaptation & Dramaturgy Working Group

International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR/FIRT)

Annual Meeting – Warwick, United Kingdom, 28 July – 1 August 2014


Themes and Topics

For the meeting in Warwick, the IFTR Translation, Adaptation, and Dramaturgy Working Group will adopt/follow the umbrella theme of the conference: Theatre & Stratification with an emphasis on dramaturgical practice.  You may like to (re-)read the Conference’s Call for Papers elaborating that theme. Within the context of our Group’s focus, the notion of stratification, layers, and layering may apply in a wide range of ways, for instance: 

  • dramaturgy as a layering process in theatrical practice;
  • hierarchies of dramaturgy;
  • the language/s of dramaturgy;
  • the contexts, circumstances, conditions, questions, and politics that give rise to new dramaturgies;
  • new dramaturgies being produced through new technologies;
  • the layering of meaning(s) – variously rich, complex, problematic – that translation and adaptation represent dramaturgically;
  • the accumulation of successive layers of translation and/or adaptation that some texts and stories acquire;
  • the structure of relationships – often hierarchical – in the processes and practices of dramaturgy, translation, and/or adaptation;
  • the role of the audience in the dramaturgy/adaptation/translation paradigm.


These suggestions are not to the exclusion of translation and adaptation.  Indeed, participants may wish to propose papers with a view to the next book project that is being developed by members of the Group; that project is provisionally entitled “Practice: Dramaturgy, Translation, and Adaptation”.  This means that, while submissions focusing on the theme are particularly welcome, the Group also invites contributions that touch upon all aspects of its remit. We also warmly welcome new members, including those who wish to take part in the group's discussion but do not wish to submit a paper.



As we reported after the meeting in Barcelona, we should like to trial in Warwick a “mixed economy” format, with a view to creating greater opportunity for wider and more concerted discussion during the Group’s sessions.  We envisage a combination of:

  • Formal papers, presented according to current practice, i.e. panels of 3-4 papers, with each speaker allocated 20 minutes with c.10 minutes of questions and discussion to follow.
  • WG members may also want to propose their own thematic panels.  These are for which papers will be circulated to all members of the Group in advance.  On the assumption that auditors will have read these papers in advance, presenters will speak briefly to their papers, summarising the principal points, and then the floor will be open for extended, in-depth discussion.
  • Round table discussions on particular topics:  3-6 people will each speak for 5-10 minutes on a topic, as provocations for a wider debate. 

In relation to this mixture of presentations, please note:

1) All contributions will require a formal proposal, with an abstract, and all successful proposals – whatever the nature of the contribution – will receive a formal letter of acceptance and an entry in the Book of Abstracts. 

2) To assist those members wishing to form a panel and who want to invite members to contribute to that panel, please email your suggested panel topic to the convenors of the group before the 21 of December.  We will then forward the suggested topic to the group asking them to respond to the panel leader directly.  Final panel topics with abstracts must be sent to both convenors as well as being submitted via CJO.

3) For round table discussion proposals as item 2 above. 

4) Abstracts (up to 300 words) will be accepted in English and French although the group’s primary working language is English.


Thank you.

Bernadette Cochrane and Stuart Young

Translation, Adaptation, and Dramaturgy WG co-convenors 


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Submission of Proposals

To submit your proposal, you must do so via the Cambridge Journals Online pages.  However, we request that you also emailing your abstract directly to the TAD Working Group convenors. Note that, for your contribution to be accepted for the conference, you need to join or renew your membership of IFTR (via the Cambridge Journals Online pages). This has to be done by 15th January 2014. For more information on this process, refer to:

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