The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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SMU to host U.S. premiere of ‘Truth in Translation’

Tonight, SMU’s Bob Hope Theatre will play host to the U.S. premiere of the South African production “Truth in Translation.”

The play is a dramatization, told both as a play and through music, about South Africa during the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). Translators (the subjects of this re-enactment) of the 11 African languages translated the testimony of the genocide perpetrators as they spoke about the crimes they committed, the testimony of the victims as they spoke about their loved ones killed, and ultimately, the healing that results from truthful communication.

The entire presentation is extremely moving and profound. “Truth in Translation asks: Can we forgive the past to survive the future?

The Truth in Translation Project is a pilgrimage of South African actors to international conflict zones to tell the story of how the people of South Africa made a small evolutionary leap to heal their country. This stage production, which is the catalyst for an international series of civil society workshops and a forthcoming documentary film, takes place in that flash of time.

Accompanying the performance will be a graffiti wall set up outside the theater. The wall will serve as a living and changing legacy of the production, which will travel with the play all over the world. This concept begins in Dallas, literally starting with a blank wall, then travels to four other US cities, ending the U.S. tour in Washington, D.C.

The wall is a series of three feet wide by six feet tall stainless steel panels, conceived and designed by Tim Coursey, James Neel, David Searcy and Nancy Rebal of Today Marks the Beginning. An audio feature in the graffiti wall allows participants to talk into an apparatus that records each message over another, so when played back, all voices play at once, creating ‘one voice,’ which will be played at each performance.

Following each performance (except the Saturday matinee), a talk back between the audience and “Truth in Translation” troupe takes place, which is being filmed for a future documentary. Afterward, the audience is invited to draw and or write their feelings on the wall (writing instruments will be provided).

Tickets are free but must be reserved in advance of the showing. “Truth in Translation” will run through Sept. 8.

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