26 January 2009

Children's Bilingual Theater

Theater is a natural place for writers to write in languages other than their own. Even children can do that well, as evidenced by the Children's Bilingual Theater, founded by (at that time) a 10th grader in Atlanta. Of course, one can argue that, in theater, communication depends strongly on non-verbal cues (stage movement, stage business, voice elements, etc.) and there is less need for the language itself to be "literary" or "artistic." Even if the words are not comprehensible because they are in a language they do not understand, audiences can still follow storylines. (That has been proven again and again in international theater festivals, not to mention opera, where singers themselves often do not speak the language of the lyrics.) What would be interesting to me, however, is how the writers (in this case, children) are able to express themselves in languages that they clearly do not have full command of.

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