The Glassco Translation Residency in Tadoussac: First Impressions

This year, translator Nadine Desrochers is participating in the Glassco Translation for the very first time. She has generously shared her first impressions about it and PWM would like to share the first of her daily journal entries with you:


June 12


I am writing this on the train to Québec, very excited and thankful to be part of this adventure. My thoughts this morning went to the wonderful Heather Eaton at PWM, who always seemed one step ahead of us in the planning of this residency.

The tables have turned: I am the translator and Bobby Theodore is the dramaturg, PWM is hosting me as we hosted them at CEAD… How wonderful is that? I don’t think I’ve seen Bobby in… 15 years? Eh, boy, comme on dit. Leanna Brodie, of whom I always think as one big, warm, intellectual, and creative hug, will be there as well, after another once-in-a-decade meeting in October. And Marilyn, of course, ma toute belle, whose energy, talent, and heart are a gift in every instant shared.

Did I mention that I have never been to Tadoussac? Truly, the stars are aligned in the most wonderful way. And they have names: Marilyn, Emma, Heather, Bobby, Leanna… so far. What other stars will light my path in the next 10 days? I cannot wait to find out.


June 13

Fletcher Cottage

The ride in the taxi van yesterday went by in a flash, as we spoke of theatre, culture, identity, issues of all kinds linked to who we are, the things we speak, the voices we hear and aim to be.

The first night was spent in a shared dinner and walk along the coast, with most of us in bed by 11 – such a hard-working lot, ready and willing to get to work with an early start.

The house tells the history of a family and place, of theatre and the arts in Canada; and yet it is not a museum, it is a breathing place of ideas and meetings, of joy and memories that infuse all those who come through its many (so many!) doors and chambers.

This house, this home, makes you want to belong. And, after just one night, you feel that you do.

June 14

Tadoussac 5 à 7

Last night’s 5 à 7 was all about… me! Ouh la la…

Okay, not entirely. It was also about the play Fiel, about Marilyn’s process. She gave us a great image, as she stated that the story of a play “la cruise” – flirts with her, seduces her – and of the immense research work that goes into her projects.

Bobby started the meeting by stating how these daily gatherings were meant to be discussions about our current projects and processes, of course, but also about the relationship between playwright and translator. He then turned to me and I was up, so to speak.

I then told the ten-year history that unites me to Marilyn as a translator and it occurred to me that twice, Marilyn Perreault imagined a better, stronger, more creative version of me. She didn’t just believe in the potential of my words to reflect hers, but in my capacity as an artist, as a person. She’s the one who called me 10 years ago and asked me to translate what became Rock, Paper, Jackknife… I had answered that I had never translated a full play before, aside from what we then called a literal version (whatever that means, I see that now!) Her response was, “Ben maintenant, tu vas le faire!” and there you have it. Last year, she needed supertitles for Fiel, and when I answered that I had never translated for supertitles before… well, there you have it.

The challenge that lies before me now is to see how much of those supertitles remain when Fiel becomes the performable version Venom. But revisiting my relationship with Marilyn has put one word at the forefront of my mind: faith. More than trust, she’s always had faith in me. She challenged my talent, my capacities, my self-confidence. She challenged me. And it’s thanks to her that I have met the other playwrights who have given me their words to carry. It’s thanks to her that I am here. Merci, ma belle.