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Meet the Translator: Alexis Diamond

Meet the translator: Alexis Diamond

By Jessica Lewis Date: September 28, 2020 Tags: Author Interviews

Get to know the translator behind Pascal Brullemans’s beautiful plays for young audiences Amaryllis & Little Witch– Alexis Diamond!

Describe yourself in one sentence.
This question is my worst nightmare.  

Oh, fine. 

I like cats (my first word was "kitty"), reading, watching, listening, and looking at things, toddlers (they are very good company, and their universe is so similar to theatre that it is a delight), long walks, jokes, eating and drinking things, and talking with my brilliant friends and relations. I mean, I am pretty boring. But like, fun-boring. 

What’s something unique about you or something that you like to do?
I like when strangers tell me stories. They open up to me, and reveal things, and I don't always know how to respond, but I always appreciate this opening up, and this glimpse beyond or beneath the surface of things. 

What are some of your favourite plays?
The works I have translated or want to translate, of course, by Pascal Brullemans - in addition to the plays in question, there’s Ce que nous avons fait. Marie-Claude Verdier’s Je n'y suis plusAndy's GoneSeeker, Érika Tremblay-Roy’s Le problème avec le rose and Lettre pour Éléna, Marie-Hélène Larose-Truchon’s Minuit and Un oiseau m'attend, Alexis Bürger’s Les Harding, and Rachel Graton’s La nuit du 4 à 5. (See CEAD to access repertoire of titles.)

Three of my very favourite texts/theatre experiences of all time, off the top of my head:
The Swanne by Peter Hinton
Les Feluettes by Michel Marc Bouchard
Okinum by Émilie Monnet

What’s something you’ve discovered during the pandemic?
I like making soda bread and flatbread. Fast, healthy, delicious. I can also keep plants alive for more than two weeks. Well, not all plants, obviously. But some. 

I also like the quiet, the reduced urgency, the feeling I can go at my own pace, rather than a pace set by external forces. At the same time, I need those external forces to feel tied to something bigger than myself! I miss the human interaction necessitated by theatre making and theatre going. 

What are you reading these days?
For projects:
Décolonisons les arts! edited by Leïla Cukierman, Gerty Dambury, Françoise Vergès
Mind in Motion: How Action Shapes Thought by Barbara Tversky

To relax:
Rom-com chick lit 

What’s something that makes you laugh?
This video combines two of my favourite things (cats + French). You've all seen it, but it really makes me laugh, still.

Learn more about Alexis:
Alexis Diamond is a Montréal-based theatre artist and translator. Her award-winning plays, operas, and translations have been presented across Canada and internationally. Alexis’s 2018/19 season included a piece for the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and the touring production of Little Witch. Her translation of Érika Tremblay-Roy’s The Problem with Pink was published by Lansman Editeur in fall 2019.

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