Call For Papers


MonTI 17 (2025) – Q1 (SJR: Language and Linguistics)

Theatre translation. Performability and reception from intercultural perspectives

Editors: Susan Bassnett (University of Glasgow) and Catalina Iliescu-Gheorghiu (Universidad de Alicante)

Deadline for manuscript submission: 31 May 2024

Theatre has been underexplored in Translation Studies for many years (Bassnett 1998; Krebs 2007; Hale and Upton 2000), but today drama translation (both as translation process and product) is becoming increasingly visible. For example, translations are often included in the award categories in theatrical galas and festivals and mentioned in the promotion of theatrical productions, raising the interest of professionals and academia. On the other hand, areas of theatre such as opera translation or translating children’s theatre have received little scholarly attention.

This volume intends to counter such absences. Throughout the evolution of MonTI (Monographs in Translation and Interpreting), a number of important contributions have been made such as Lafarga (2013) on modernizing Spanish theatre through foreign texts (translations), and Serrano (2013) on the lack of printed translations of Austrian playwrights, to mention just two examples. However, there has not been a MonTI volume devoted to theatre translation and, since the implications of global phenomena such as migration and intercultural communication in our present lives and creative processes (both authorial and translational) can no longer be ignored, this volume 17 (2025) will seek to redress that imbalance.

Through translation, texts migrate and in doing so, they undergo acculturation, seen as the domestication of the cultural Other (Venuti 1993), inevitable in drama, a genre whose purpose is primordially to be staged and played for an audience in a given historic, socio-political context. Theatre translation often implies joint work and a symbiotic adjustment of different kinds of rewritings to construct an image of a writer or work (Bassnett/Lefevere 1998). In Aaltonen’s (2000: 52) opinion, misinterpretations (coming from acculturation and appropriation of the representations of the Foreign) are often justified by alleged better communication or mediation leading to an increase of understanding between cultures. Aaltonen’s (ibid) “mirror/window” metaphor explains how, instead of showing us the rest of the world, theatre translation often shows an image of ourselves, a controversial opinion that is open to debate. An important contribution to contemporary theatre translation is the work of David Johnston, an active theatre translator and scholar who sees the practice of translating for performance as an act of collaboration (2017), an exercise of physical imagination, a step towards a holistic understanding of both language and performance, into which textuality is incorporated and by which it is superseded (Johnston 2013).

Thematic lines:

  • Theatre translation and performability.
  • Theatre translation and reception (audiences, critics, specialized journalists).
  • Gender (women playwrights, translators, directors and dramaturgs) and intercultural perspectives (diaspora playwrights and translators) in theatre translation.
  • Translation and theatre traditions from different cultures (including the relationship between the physical and the textual).
  • Multiple identities and roles adopted by translators (whether consciously or not): the translator-cum-director with its inherent manipulation of play-texts and para-texts; the translator-creator (introducing modifications to optimize the audio-visual potential and cope with time and space constrictions); the playwright as self-translator; the translator-cum-cultural agent (promoting a country’s literature); the translator-adapter among other roles.
  • Decision-making in theatre translation. Imagological pressure (ethnotypes, stereotypes, myths, prejudice and so on) and censorship.
  • Translating theatre for children.
  • Multimodality and languages of scenic arts and their relation to translation/adaptation.
  • Accessibility in scenic arts: surtitles, audio-description, interpreting (signed or spoken).
  • Opera translation.


Aaltonen, Sirkku. (2000) Time-sharing on Stage: Drama Translation in Theatre and Society. Clevedon, Buffalo, Toronto, Sydney: Multilingual Matters.

Bassnett, Susan. (1998) “Still Trapped in the Labyrinth: Further Reflections on Translation and Theatre.” En: Bassnett, Susan & André Lefevère (eds.) 1998. Constructing Cultures: Essays in Literary Translation. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters, pp. 90-108.

Hale, Terry & Upton, Carole-Anne. (2000) “Introduction.” In: Upton, Carole-Anne (ed). Moving Target. London and New York: Routledge, pp. 1-13

Johnston, David. (2013) “Professing translation. The acts-in-between.” Target 25:3, pp 365–384. doi 10.1075/target.25.3.04joh

Johnston, David. (2017) “Narratives of Translation in performance: Collaborative Acts.” In: Cole, Emma & Geraldine Brodie (eds.) 2017. Adapting Translation for the Stage. London and New York: Routledge, pp. 236-249.

Krebs, Katja. (2007) Cultural Dissemination and Translational Communities. German Drama in English Translation 1900-1914. London & New York: Routledge.

Lafarga, Francisco. (2013) “La traducción de piezas extranjeras como vía hacia la modernidad en el teatro español del siglo XVIII”. MonTi. Monografías de Traducción e Interpretación 5, pp. 299-324.

Serrano Bertos, Elena. (2013) “Un déficit documental en la historiografía de la traducción en España: consideraciones acerca del teatro (Austriaco) representado y no editado. MonTi. Monografías de Traducción e Interpretación 5, pp. 193-211.

Venuti, Lawrence. (1993) “Translation as cultural politics: Regimes of domestication in English.” Textual Practice 7:2, pp. 208-223.

Calendar and deadlines for submission:

Authors interested in participating in this issue should upload the full text of the article in one of the official languages of the journal (English, Catalan, Spanish, French, German or Italian) to before 31 May 2024. They must include the title and a 150-word abstract in English and in a second language chosen from among the official languages of the journal (Catalan, Spanish, French, Italian or German). In September-October 2024, the journal will communicate the acceptance or rejection of proposals. The monograph is scheduled for publication in spring 2025.

Contact info:

Queries concerning the academic content of the monograph may be addressed to any of the editors in the following languages: Spanish, Catalan, English.