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Review: Translations at Studio Theatre

We settle into our seats at Studio Theatre, the lights dim, the audience silences, and I am instantly reminded of how much I love the arts. I performed in the American Repertory Ballet’s Nutcracker from the age of five to 13, and then in high school musicals for four years. So, you could say I’m somewhat of a retired theatre geek. There is something really special about a live performance, and I don’t think that takes years of memorizing lines or overcoming stage fright to appreciate that. Although, every time I take my seat in an audience, I am transported back to what it felt like to be on that stage and the dedication it takes to deliver a truly gripping performance.

Photo credit: Studio Theatre

The intimacy of the various stages at Studio Theatre makes it a particularly unique experience. Sometimes, I’m blown away by the intricacy of a set and sometimes I’m moved because of how a simple set can be the perfect backdrop to convey every line of a complex story.

Translations is set entirely to the backdrop of a hedge school classroom in a fictional Irish village. I brought along my best Irish gal for a Sunday matinee screening, so she could help decipher the thick Gaelic accents, which were portrayed flawlessly by what I’m going to assume was not an all Gaelic-speaking cast.

Photo credit: Studio Theatre

For 90 minutes you witness the rumblings and inner workings of a hedge school classroom in a small Irish village where young locals gather to learn Greek and Latin literature. The banter is ripe with humor that despite the Gaelic dialect, is not lost in translation. But, when British army engineers embark on the small village as a part of their sojourn to map the country, love, humor, and violence intersect—in a Love Actually agonizing language barrier kind of way.

Translations is a glorious tale that reminds you of the power of language—and love. Spend a weeknight or leisurely Sunday afternoon basking in the rich experience from one of Ireland’s most highly regarded playwrights. Until then, I’ll leave you with my favorite line from the show:

“To remember everything is a form of madness” 

Translations is playing through April 29. Tickets begin at $20.

Studio Theatre
1501 14th St. N.W.
Washington. D.C.

Bitch Biz: Studio Theatre is a partner of Bitches Who Brunch. While this article was written independently by us, we do receive compensation from the organization. 


Former DC Editor in Chief

Steph is the former DC editor in chief and is known for having a good eye, a sharp wit, and an eclectic palate.

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