Translation Adaptation Cover Artwork: Dried vegetation - such as bark, roots, and seeds - partly framed on a wall.
Translating Lyrics
From the American Repertory Theatre production of Pippin - Photo-Michael J. Lutch-AP American Repertory Theater
From the American Repertory Theatre production of Pippin. Photo by Michael J. Lutch.

The translation of a play into another language is obviously a challenge that requires both artistry and craft. A sense of the rhythm, tone, and character idiosyncrasies of the original all are necessary, along with a sensitivity to idiomatic language, subtext, and cultural nuance. A good or mediocre translation can make all the difference to how a play is received by the native speakers of the new language.

Sign In To Access This Article

Subscribe to gain full access to The Dramatist Issue Archive.

Join and become a Dramatists Guild Member, Business Subscriber or subscribe to the magazine with an annual plan for unlimited access.

Guild Members receive our magazine as a benefit of membership!

View Options


Stephen Schwartz
Stephen Schwartz

wrote the music and lyrics for the current Broadway hit Wicked and has also contributed music and/or lyrics to Godspell, Pippin, The Magic Show, The Baker’s Wife, Rags, Children Of Eden, and The Prince Of Egypt.