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Rubén Szuchmacher interviewed by Catherine Silverstone

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Rubén Szuchmacher is an award-winning Argentinian stage and film actor, teacher, director of theatre, musical theatre and opera, choreographer, programmer, dramaturge, translator (including collaborations with Lautaro Vilo) and writer, who has made performance and taught since the 1970s in Argentina and internationally. This interview is based on a conversation that took place between Szuchmacher and Catherine Silverstone on 22 May 2012 in the Film and Drama Studio at Queen Mary University of London as part of the Leverhulme Olympic Talks on Theatre and Adaptation. The interview addresses four key aspects of Szuchmacher’s career in relation to adaptation: (1) shifts in his professional roles (e.g. actor, director), (2) adapting to making work under and after Argentina’s military dictatorship (1976–1983), (3) adapting Shakespeare and (4) adapting autobiographical material in performance. It concludes with a consideration of Szuchmacher’s upcoming projects and ‘the future’. The interview reveals aspects of Szuchmacher’s directorial and performance strategies. In particular, it identifies his commitment to narrative clarity and finding solutions to the challenges of making and adapting work for particular spaces, institutional structures and audiences in the context of sometimes difficult political and personal circumstances.
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Keywords: Argentina; Leverhulme Olympic Talks; Shakespeare; acting; adaptation; autobiography; dictatorship; directing

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2014

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  • Adaptation, or the conversion of oral, historical or fictional narratives into stage drama has been common practice for centuries. In our own time the processes of cross-generic transformation continue to be extremely important in theatre as well as in the film and other media industries. Adaptation and the related areas of translation and intertextuality continue to have a central place in our culture with a profound resonance across our civilisation.
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