Meet Aurélien Foster, Our Surtitle Guru

  • 04, May 2016
  • Theatre in Paris exclusives
  • Theatre in Paris contributor

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Working as a surtitler represents for me the perfect synthesis between my literary studies and my passion for theatre. I began working as a surtitler at the Maxim Gorki Theater in Berlin and then at various festivals in Europe (Vienna, Avignon…). Back in my home country of France since September 2015, I am now with Theatre in Paris.
 
Translating surtitles requires a specific style which has to be precise, concise and clear at the same time. The audience has to be able to understand the sense and the spirit of a line, without being disturbed in its concentration on what’s happening on-stage. For that reason, every surtitle must be easy to read and visually pleasant.
 
During the show, my work is to synchronize the surtitles with what is being spoken on stage. It is in fact a job full of subtle aspects, because like sound or light, surtitling must be in harmony with the rhythm of the show. Moreover, unexpected things can always happen: an actor can forget a line, improvise, change the rhythm… You must remain alert and be able to react quickly to keep coherence. That's also one of the joys of live theatre!