Subtitles for EFE Tres’ El príncipe ynocente - Diversifying the Classics
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Subtitles for EFE Tres’ El príncipe ynocente

One of our summer projects was to produce the English subtitles that will accompany EFE Tres’ performance of Lope’s El príncipe ynocente (The Innocent Princeat LA Escena on Saturday, September 22. This task presented exciting challenges. While remaining largely faithful to the original text, EFE Tres has cut many verses, and pared down a script intended for some twenty actors to fit its own cast of two. For translators with a particular interest in marrying the rich language of classical texts with the directness demanded by the modern stage, it was instructive to see how theater professionals modified an original work while still preserving essential points of plot and character development. Studying EFE Tres’ adaptation was all the more helpful because, in writing text meant to be read quickly by a live audience, our condensation of the play needed to go even further. To translate is always to interpret, but reducing a text to roughly half its size required us to make especially hard decisions about how Lope’s language creates meaning.

This exercise was also a delightful opportunity to work closely with the members of EFE Tres before their visit to Los Angeles in late September. We thank them for helping us complete this process, as we also credit them for getting us closer to another publication in our Juan de la Cuesta series. Indeed, in my new position as Post-Doctoral Fellow at Earlham College (Indiana), I am working closely with an advanced undergraduate student—Junior Alexis Sánchez Prado—to turn the subtitles into a complete translation of this early work by Lope, which will join our forthcoming translations of his La noche toledana and La viuda valenciana. Thus this project is helping us strengthen our commitment not only to making Hispanic classical theater more accessible to English-speaking audiences, but also to fostering high-quality, research-based undergraduate teaching in the humanities.

For a trailer of EFE Tres’ adaptation, please go to:

For tickets and information about EFE Tres’ upcoming performance in Los Angeles (in Spanish, with English subtitles), go to:

Paul Cella.

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