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On 5/18, the theatre company Play for Voices presents a live listening session of their latest production, Friedrich Dürrenmatt's radio play “The Doppelgänger,” translated from German into English by Walter Byongsok Chon, Assistant Professor of Dramaturgy and Theatre Studies. The presentation will be at Be Electric Studios in Brooklyn at 7pm.

The production by Play for Voices is directed and composed by Theadora Tolkin, with sound design by IC alum Asa Wember.

Excerpt from Chon’s paper “The Radio Play and What Lies Beyond: Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s The Doppelganger,” which Chon presented at ALTA (The American Literary Translators Association) Conference in 2018. 

"Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s radio play The Doppelganger begins with the conversation between the radio show host and the playwright.  The host starts with: 

So, Mr. Playwright. You got a story for me? Like you promised? If I may say so, I can do voices; man, woman, old, young, my age, your age. And, as you just heard, they are the voice of each character.[1] 

To which the playwright answers:

So I have got a story for you, Mr. Host. But this story is so heart-stoppingly dark and strange. And I must confess that I don’t know any more about it than you do. Except for the motive. But no matter, really: a plot always finds itself in due time.

In this first exchange between the host and the playwright, the play establishes that it will be about the act of storytelling as well as the story itself.  The dialogue between the host and the playwright continues, and the story unfolds.  The story begins at night.  There is a man.  He is asleep.  At a noise, he wakes up and finds his Doppelganger, an identical version of him, sitting in front of him.  The Doppelganger tells him that the Man has been sentenced to death for a murder.  The murder was committed by the Doppelganger.  The Man claims his innocence but is arrested all the same.  Now he has to fight for his innocence.…"


[1] Translated from German into English by Walter Byongsok Chon. Translation Right granted by Diogenes Verlag AG.  This translation started in the class Translation and Adaptation, taught by James Magruder, at Yale School of Drama in Spring 2009.  Further revisions have been made since.  The current version reflects the version submitted to Play for Voices in June 2016.

Walter Chon(Theatre Arts)’s translation of a German radio play is presented in New York | 0 Comments |
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