The TNO is proud to offer English Supertitles on select shows and times. This technology, which is frequently used for opera, allows us to project an English translation of the play either above the set or on screens on each side of the stage. The projections are done simultaneously which means that English speaking audience members can enjoy French theatre… in English!
With supertitles, the TNO, which has been presenting award-winning French-language live theatre for more than 40 years, can now offer its performances to a wider audience of theatre enthusiasts.
Positioning of the screen
The Supertitles’ screen location can vary from one show to the next. Its position is determined by the set, the position of the projectors and stage lighting. We avoid casting a huge shadow on the stage or on the actors. Once the screen’s location has been set, TNO staff sits in different sections of the theatre to identify rows better suited for viewing Supertitles.
Respect of the original text OR word by word translation
When following Supertitles, you may notice that we do not always project a literal English translation of the text spoken in French by the actors. That is often the case when the play was originally written in English and then translated to French. Translators are often faced with difficult decisions. For example, when a joke, a play on words, an expression or a reference in English does not have a French-language equivalent, what do you do? Do you translate word for word and lose the author’s intent or do you find an appropriate French expression that will solicit a similar reaction from the audience? There is also the obligation of respecting the original text, the author’s poetry, rhythm, images, etc. Do you project the original version of the play in English (when applicable) or do you re-translate the French version to English and thus modify the author’s work? Of course, adjustments are made in the Supertitles we project to facilitate things (for example, if a character’s name is adapted from English to French) and we sometimes shorten or condense sentences to help you read and follow the action more quickly, but we always try to respect the original version of the work. Any adaptation on our part is pre-approved by the author.
Le TNO est fier de proposer certaines représentations de ses spectacles pour adultes avec des surtitres en anglais. Vous pouvez maintenant inviter vos conjoints ou amis anglophones à venir assister à du théâtre en français au TNO! La technologie des surtitres, fréquemment utilisée dans le milieu de l’opéra, nous permet de projeter le texte en anglais, soit sur le décor ou sur des écrans de chaque côté de la scène. La projection se fait simultanément, ce qui permet aux spectateurs francophiles de découvrir et d’apprécier du théâtre en français.