By Polina Shafran
Wise men say that every translation is also an interpretation, because each translator adds something of himself or herself into the translated work. When I read Chekhov, I immediately imagine the people he writes about. In most cases these are just ordinary people, that one could have easily encountered if one lived in the 19th century. Chekhov’s way of telling a story is through the characters he creates. His heroes are simple: doctors, engineers, teachers, land owners and other common people. The playwright is very particular about giving each one of his ordinary heroes their own distinct features. Like a painter, Chekhov uses small strokes to create a whole picture.
When translating The Proposal one of my main desires was to preserve the characters Chekhov created. I wanted to capture the way each of the character speaks in the original Russian, then carefully transfer it to English without taking away the substance. At times this task was quite challenging and required more thought and research: I am grateful to those who contributed their time to help and shared their advice with me. I am very excited to have the opportunity to bring these funny, awkward and naïve people to the audience. These people are part of my history and culture and I hope the audience will like them, laugh with them, and sometimes, at them.
A Note From The Director…
It is always a pleasure to work with the great writers, and Chekhov is one of the true masters. I am generally attracted by the quality of writing in a play - how brilliant the dialogue, how meticulous the plotting, how seamless the transitions of tone and action. When you work with a play that has good writing, you have one problem less to worry about, and it allows actors, designers, and director to be able to concentrate on doing their jobs in producing something exciting and enlightening, and hopefully entertaining. To look at it in a certain sense, a good writer provides a scaffold of solid bone, onto which the better actors add flesh and sinew to make a living thing of those bones. The task of the designer then is to put clothes on it, while the director is required to give the new creature the manners and etiquette necessary to appear before the public. All are necessary for a production or performance to be at its best, but without that strong initial bone structure, the rest can only be a chimera at best and a monstrosity at worst.
We hope that this afternoon, you take as much pleasure in watching these plays, and that you learn as much about the period, the writer, and the culture, as we did in rehearsing them.
Join us for an evening with filmmaker Robin Hessman and a screening of her award-winning documentary, MY PERESTROIKA (2010). The film tells the stories of five Moscow schoolmates who were brought up behind the Iron Curtain, witnessed the joy and confusion of glasnost, and reached adulthood right as the world changed around them. A Q&A with the director will follow the film.
For more information please visit myperestroika.com
This Wednesday, Andrew and Brenna Byrd will explain in detail their incredible journey back in time with Ubisoft's game "Far Cry: Primal." They will describe the process of creating two entire languages based off of Indo-European, how they trained the actors and worked with the directors and writers off and on set, and what they hope this exposure means for the field of historical linguistics. Additionally, there will be a short lesson in Wenja (the main language of the game), a scene reenactment with two talented theater students to show the filming process, and two copies of the game to raffle off to attendees.
Please, join the UK Appalachian Center, Special Collections Library, and the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, Literatures, and Cultures for a very exciting Event as a part of the Arts & Sciences Year of Europe. This event is free for all UK Students, Faculty, and Staff and will be located in the M. I. King Special Collections Library on the 2nd floor on Thursday, March 3, 2016. Italian language students will read selected poems from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. This will be followed by an exhibit entilted The Immigrant Experience and Contribution in Appalachian Coalfields from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Light refreshements will be served.
The first decades of the 20th century saw a massive migration of rural peasants to cities, a newly mobilizing working class threatened social order through political organization and unrest, and women gained new access to education and paid employment outside the home. These demographic shifts, accompanying the definitive implosion of Spain’s political empire, gave urgency to forging a renewed sense of national-liberal identity. Professor Ingram’s talk explores how cookbooks and other culinary discourses — attempts to represent in text the cooking labor of middle- and working-class women — respond to and shape this period of rapid change.
This lecture is sponsored by the Department of Hispanic Studies, the Graduate School and the Dean’s Office of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Kentucky.