Volume 8, Number 2, Fall 2020
Welcome to the Fall 2020 issue of The Mercurian! Amidst the ongoing pandemic, I hope that these three translations from three different time periods and locations will, at least in some small measure, provide a space and place for connection between theatre cultures.
We begin with J. Weintraub’s adaptation and translation of Carlo Goldoni’s The Summer Season. Weintraub has, following Giorgio Strehler’s 1954 version, taken Goldoni’s 1761 trilogy: Le Smanie per la Villeggiatura, Le Aventure della Villeggiatura, and Il Ritorno dalla Villeggiatura, and combined them into his single play The Summer Season. By adapting the setting to late-nineteenth-century Newport, Rhode Island and paring down the length of the trilogy, Weintraub is able to create a more contemporary version of Goldoni’s comedy to add to English translations and adaptations of Goldoni’s better-known The Servant of Two Masters.
The Summer Season is followed by Brian Vinero’s translation of Molière’s 1671 play Scapin the Scammer. Vinero, whose translation and adaptation of Euripides’ Iphigenia at Aulis appeared in The Mercurian, Vol. 8, No. 1, has chosen to render Molière’s playful three-act farce written in prose into pentameter rhyming verse. Readers can decide for themselves if they agree that this bold move maintains the distance between us and Molière’s time and place while simultaneously providing pleasure for both the eye and the ear in performance.
This issue concludes with Sophie Stevens’s translation of the contemporary Uruguayan playwright Raquel Diana’s play Her Open Eyes. Stevens, whose article about translating another Diana play, “Distance and Proximity in Analyzing and Translating Bailando sola cada noche,” appeared in The Mercurian, Vol. 6, No. 2, describes in her introduction her approach to translating this poetic play about the relationship between life and death and, in particular, the resiliency of women as they negotiate loss. In doing so she raises important questions about the nature of rhythm, sound, and repetition in theatrical translation.
Back issues of The Mercurian can be found at: https://the-mercurian.com/.
As the theatre is nothing without its audience, The Mercurian welcomes your comments, questions, complaints, and critiques. Deadline for submissions for consideration for Volume 8, No. 3 Spring 2021 will be March 1, 2021.