NEA TRANSLATION AWARD GOES TO:
Chantal Bilodeau translating works by French-African playwright KOFFI KWAHULÉ
To support the translation from French of plays by French-African playwright Koffi Kwahulé. Kwahulé is a Paris-based playwright and novelist originally from Côte d'Ivoire. He received his doctorate in theater studies from the Sorbonne, and has written more than 20 plays, which have been produced internationally and translated into several languages. His work explores the dynamics of power and oppression of disenfranchised individuals, the search for identity, and the isolation of contemporary life in urban settings. This fellowship will support the translation of three plays — That Old Black Magic, Blue-S-cat, and The Melancholy of Barbarians — completeing Bilodeau's seven-play anthology of Kwahulé's work. The anthology will trace the evolution of his aesthetic, reflecting the influence of Hollywood films, rhythm and blues, and jazz.
Chantal Bilodeau is a playwright and translator whose work focuses on Franco-African theater. Her previous translations of Kwahulé's work have been presented by the Lark Play Development Center in New York City, and her own original plays include Pleasure & Pain, produced by San Francisco's Magic Theatre in 2007. She received her MFA in film and MFA in playwriting from Ohio University.