Dutch-language theatre texts take the stage in France

12 December 2019
Throughout 2020 Dutch Performing Arts, Flanders Literature and Flanders Arts Institute present eight readings of theatre texts from Flanders and the Netherlands in France, in collaboration with Maison Antoine Vitez .
After a successful collaboration in Austria earlier this year, Dutch Performing Arts, Flanders Arts Institute and Flanders Literature join forces again to promote Dutch-language theatre texts abroad. Now targeting French-speaking regions, the Dutch and Flemish organisations partner up with Maison Antoine Vitez, a Paris-based organisation for the translation of theatre texts. In 2020 they present the French translations of eight theatre texts originally written in Dutch. The following works were selected from a longlist:

From the Netherlands:

Derf by Sophie Kassies

Kale bomen ruisen niet by Magne van den Berg

Bij het kanaal naar links by Alex van Warmerdam

Woestijnjasmijntjes by George Elias Tobal


From Flanders:

We take it from here by Rebekka de Wit & Tijdelijke Samenscholing

Woestzoeker by Jan Sobrie

Rudy! by Peter De Graef

Dagen zonder data by Jessa Wildemeersch


The selected texts will be translated in French and have staged readings for French-speaking theatre professionals at various festivals and other events. Through this project the organising partners aim to increase the visibility of contemporary Dutch-language theatre texts in French-speaking regions.

Familiarising translators with the theatre genre
There is an urgent shortage of translators that are specialised in the theatre genre. For this reason Flanders Literature, Dutch Performing Arts and Maison Antoine Vitez organised a translation workshop in November , in collaboration with La Chartreuse , the national centre for theatre texts in France. Eight Dutch-French and French-Dutch translators were introduced to the tricks of the trade: Astrid Panis, Lola Bertels, Martine Woudt, Sandra Verhulst, Sofiane Boussahel, Ingrid Sauvenée De Man, Malorie Moneaux, and Els Dumez Blocken. Guiding the workshop, translators Mike Sens and Esther Gouarné familiarised the participants with different aspects of the genre.
The participants look back on a successful workshop, working on translations individually, in pairs or with multiple translators, discussing translations and language-specific variations in Flemish, Dutch and French, warming-ups and stagings. “I have 15 years of translation experience — of all of the workshops I participated in, this by far has been the most fascinating and versatile one”, said one of the participants.

This project was supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Flanders.
The participants of the translation workshop in November. Photo: Alex Nollet
The participants of the translation workshop in November. Photo: Alex Nollet
Credit: © Vika Strawberrika via Unsplash
Credit: © Vika Strawberrika via Unsplash
Pete Harden | Photo: © Tessa Veldhorst
Pete Harden | Photo: © Tessa Veldhorst
FuturoPresente | Credit: © Xaviera Altena
FuturoPresente | Credit: © Xaviera Altena
Guy Coolen | Photo: © Marcel Lennartz
Guy Coolen | Photo: © Marcel Lennartz