The ALTA Emerging Translator Mentorship Program is designed to facilitate and establish a close working relationship between an experienced translator and an emerging translator on a project selected by the emerging translator. The mentorship duration is approximately one year. The emerging translator is expected to choose a project that can be completed in a year’s time, and they will only be advised on that particular project. Congratulations to this year’s Polish prose mentee, Lauren Dubowski, who will be mentored by Bill Johnston:
Lauren Dubowski comes to translation from a lifelong passion for the arts and a fascination with communication across cultures. Born in New York, she grew up in the culturally, linguistically, and politically diverse town of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. From an early age, she took classes in French, along with art, music, and theatre, in the public school system. She later worked in technical theatre, and interned at the American School for the Deaf, learning American Sign Language.
Lauren received a BA/MA in French literature at Bryn Mawr College. There, she also studied Italian, as well as theatre at Swarthmore College. The subject of her thesis was Renée Vivien, a British writer in French active in Belle Époque Paris. Lauren went on to work in the Philadelphia arts community, where she helped launch the Headlong Performance Institute. Additionally, she studied Polish at Jagiellonian University in Kraków, through scholarships from the Kosciuszko Foundation.
Lauren’s interests led her to Yale School of Drama, where she has trained as a dramaturg, researcher, teacher, translator, and writer in the Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism department. As an MFA student, she collaborated on many productions in a variety of creative roles; participated in a theatre for social change workshop in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; and served as an artistic associate and artistic director of the Yale Cabaret. Lauren then spent a year in Yogyakarta, Indonesia as a Luce Scholar. While drawn to explore puppetry there and in other countries in Asia, she also developed an interest in film, newly aware of its global impact. She began to produce film and new media projects with Ado Ato Pictures, a production company she now continues to work with in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Lauren’s DFA dissertation at Yale School of Drama is focused on the “Young Poland” theatre and visual artist Stanisław Wyspiański, and includes her English-language translations of several of his dramas. She has been fortunate to see many of his plays performed in Poland, thanks to the support of the Fulbright Program and the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale. With this project, she hopes to encourage greater awareness of Wyspiański’s work internationally.
Lauren has contributed translation and writing to publications such as European Stages, The Theatre Times, and Words Without Borders. She was also recently commissioned by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute to translate Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz’s 1925 novel Farewell to Autumn into English. Lauren is thrilled for the opportunity to dive into and share the timely, unique prose drama of Maria Pawlikowska-Jasnorzewska (1891-1945) as an Emerging Translator mentee.