7.30pm – 8.10pm

DBS Foundation Outdoor Theatre at Esplanade

7.30pm – 9.30pm
Gilles Apap, violin/Alfredo Oyaguez Montero, piano

Esplanade Recital Studio

8.40pm – 9.20pm

DBS Foundation Outdoor Theatre at Esplanade

Theatre | Talk

An Afternoon of Translation & Transcreation

Presented by Singapore Book Council, In Collaboration with Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay
Zulfadli Rashid and Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma (Singapore, USA)

23 Sep 2023, Sat, 2.30pm

3hrs 30mins

(Intermission: 1 x 10mins)

Studio 219 (Esplanade Mall, #02-19)

This event is over.


Join us for a translation-filled afternoon as we hear from two creators working in two different genres: Zulfadli Rashid, a playwright known for his transcreations of plays such as Haresh Sharma's Hope and Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange and Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma, translator of Tamil and Spanish, whose notable translations include The Kural: Tiruvalluvar’s Tirukkural and Give, Eat, and Live: Poems of Avvaiyar. Find out how through their translations and transcreations, they allow their choice work to be more accessible to current-day audiences.



Marrying the words “translation” and “creation”, transcreation—also known as creative translation—is the act of adapting work from one language to another while keeping in mind the style, intent, tone and context of both languages. In this segment, Zulfadli Rashid will share more about his transcreation journey, which startedin 2015 when he adapted Haresh Sharma's Hope into the Malay language play entitled Harap. Since then, he has translated and adapted Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange into Orang, as well as Chong Tze Chien's Poop into Berak. Both plays went through the process of transcreation into the Malay universe—not necessarily just for the Malay-speaking audience, but rather for a more contemporary theatre audience, regardless of their background.


Zulfadli will shed light on his creative process with Mari Kita Main Wayang by Felix Chia, where he approached transcreation with added complexity, particularly focusing on language intricacies and modernising the thematic elements from the original script, while still ensuring that the form, traditional structure and cultural nuances that define a Peranakan play remain intact.



In this segment, Thomas will take us "behind the scenes" of his translations from Tamil and from Spanish and share how each one of them ultimately demanded its own poetics and approach. He'll explore the challenges involved in rendering in English the compact verse form of the The Kural: Tiruvalluvar's Tirukkural, in conveying the imagery and phrasing of Avvaiyar's poems in Give, Eat, and Live, and in being true to the rhythms and to the silence that make Juan Rulfo's Pedro Páramo the masterpiece in Spanish that it is.


He will also explore the questions of serendipity and synergy that have been key to his journeys between and across worlds.


This Singapore Book Council programme is held in conjunction with Esplanade's Mari Kita Main Wayang.

Admission Age:
6 and above.
Language: English
Things to Note:
Accessibility Advisory: We provide a range of access services and relaxed performances for patrons with access needs. For wheelchair-accessible seats, please call Esplanade Customer Experience at 6828 8377 for assistance. Concessions for Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) and up to one accompanying companion are available. | View our accessibility guide
Artist Information

Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma

Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma is an author, translator, teacher, and performer. His translation of the classical Tamil masterpiece on ethics, power, and love, The Kural: Tiruvalluvar’s Tirukkural, was recently published by Beacon Press. Other books include The Safety of Edges (poems), Give, Eat, and Live: Poems of Avvaiyar (translated from the Tamil) and Body and Earth (with the artist C.F. John). He speaks and performs widely, teaches for the Cozy Grammar series of online video courses, and has received grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, 4Culture, Artist Trust, and the U. S. Fulbright Program.

Zulfadli Rashid

Zulfadli Rashid is a playwright known for his thought-provoking and powerful works that explore the complexities of the human experience. His works tackle a wide spectrum of topics, from personal struggles to societal issues, marked by their emotional intensity and unflinching honesty. Written in the Malay and English languages, his body of work continues to grow and evolve.


More recently, Zulfadli has adapted and transcreated numerous plays that have been performed in Singapore and beyond.


In addition to his work as a playwright, Zulfadli is also a dedicated educator and mentor, working with young minds to help them develop their craft and find their own creative voices.

Date & Time

23 Sep 2023, Sat


Studio 219 (Esplanade Mall, #02-19)

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