HotINK: International Theater in NYC

The HotINK Festival – which brings 10 international playwrights and their plays to New York each spring, presenting them in English translation – has been around for a good decade now. At first it was located at NYU, but then NYU decided to slash the program’s budget, so now it’s at the Lark Theater/Play Development Center, a venue that provides excellent support to local playwrights as well, as I know from following the work of Chiori Miyagawa and Gary Winter. This year’s festival is scheduled for March 22 – March 26.

Over the years, the festival has brought us plays from 50 different countries. This year’s offerings include works from Scotland, Ireland, Latvia, Israel/Palestine, Canada, Bulgaria, Belarus, Singapore, and Cyprus. Each is assigned to a team of actors and a director who prepare a professional-quality reading that is then presented exactly once in the course of the festival. Most of these readings are followed by a brief moderated conversation with the playwright, and sometimes the translator as well. This year I will be moderating one of these discussions, with Cypriot playwright Giorgos Neophytou, following the presentation of his play DNA at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 24.

This year the festival has begun a new partnership with the Translation Committee of the PEN American Center to draw public attention to the crucial contribution translators make in the presentation of international theater. The Translation Committee’s own Cobina Gillitt, who recently blogged about the festival for the PEN website and is herself a translator from the Indonesian specializing in theater, has organized and will moderate a panel discussion featuring playwright Aleksey Scherbak (Latvia); John J. Hanlon, the translator of Mr. Scherbak’s play Colonel Pilate; translator and author Judith Miller; and translator Laurent Muhlheisen. The panel will be held at 5:00 p.m. on March 24.

The Lark Play Development Center is located at 311 West 43rd Street, 4th and 5th Floors. For the complete schedule of the festival click here. All programs are free and open to the public, but note that reservations are required – and some shows are beginning to sell out, so if you’d like to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to check out theater from around the world, I suggest you reserve your seats soonest.

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