Top 5 Recent Reads

It is my great pleasure and good fortune to have translators, playwrights, and screenwriters from around the world share their work with me. It’s fascinating to read the eclectic scripts, and consider their contexts and relation to the world at large. Here’s a list of the top 5 scripts I’ve read recently.

  1. Scherzo by Rafael Guizado – Written in Spanish in 1948, it is unique in its staging and remarkably timeless as a cautionary tale about power.  Scherzo is at once entertaining and sobering to consider during an election season, as it illuminates and reflects on the perspective and final legacy of the leader of a nation . While the one-act play doesn’t pass the Bechdel test, The Earth is an especially strong female lead character and a role I wouldn’t mind playing myself! More soon on where to catch my English translation.
  2. Namibia, Não! by Aldri Anunciação – an award winning piece of contemporary drama translated from the original Portuguese by Almiro Andrade.  Namibia, Não! is a Black comedy exploring the plight of two black Brazilians facing a sudden government decree that all African descendants will be repatriated to the land of their ancestors. Research and development of the English script just concluded with a scratch performance at the Soho Theatre in London. More about the R & D journey here. Like Scherzo, Namibia, Não! also resonates with relevance to the current political climate in the UK and USA.
  3. Past Due by Jonathan Sturak – This short film script won the Silver Ace Award at the 2012 Las Vegas Film Festival. The dramedy about a woman looking for work in Las Vegas is told without dialogue through visuals and physical comedy, and is laugh out loud funny. For more on this American novelist and screenwriter visit his website.
  4. Luisa se Estrella Contra su Casa / Luisa Crashes into her House by the Argentine writer Ariel Farace, with English translation by Kate O’Connor.  Reading the original Spanish text reminded me at times of Constellations by Nick Payne and Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett in its respective otherwordliness and getting nowhere…A refreshingly unexpected read.
  5. La Viuda de Apablaza by Germán Luco Cruchaga – Written in Spanish in 1928, and translated to English by William Gregory, The Widow of Apablaza is a Chilean classic. When exported to English-speaking audiences, it reads as a period tragedy with echoes of Oedipus and Medea. Traditional gender and class roles are challenged throughout the play. The widow herself is another strong female lead I would enjoy playing, having already relished the role of Doña Meche in a reading with Out of The Wings.