penny black


→ Biography

 “Writers make national literature, while translators make universal literature.” 
José Saramago

My name is Penny Black and for the past twenty years I have been working with language and with text. The language is German, the text could be anything literary or artistic, from Nobel prize-winning author Elfriede Jelinek's monster five-hour Sports Play to Mozart's shortest opera Der Schauspieldirektor from ghost-writing Mischa Spoliansky's autobiography to translating theatre festival websites.

Dig deeper into this site and you’ll find information about productions old and new, what I translate – from plays to novels to festival programmes and much much more - as well as books I have adapted for the stage, dramaturgical work and what dramaturgy might mean, and what I am writing now..

I am passionately interested in German and British theatre, as well as theatre from the Arab world. I set up and ran an organisation called MEDAF for many years (Middle East Dramatic Arts Forum) to introduce Arabic-speaking writers and directors to the UK. Theatre can change hearts and minds, it can tell stories that are hidden to the outside world in a way I believe no other medium can.

Photo of Penny Black