My play translations have been nominated three times for Canada’s prestigious Governor General’s Literary Award in Translation (most recently in 2012) and have been produced throughout North America and in the United Kingdom. I have taught literary translation at Concordia University in Montreal and am regularly invited to speak on panels.



  • • Dialogue and speech translation
  • • Can work from French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese
  • • Screenplay translation
  • • Subtitle writing
  • • Adaptation/localization
  • • Translation dramaturgy


Selected Play Translations

The List (La Liste) by Jennifer Tremblay
GCTC & Nightwood Theatre, 2010.

“Shelley Tepperman’s English translation of The List (La Liste) is exceptional. If there was anything lost in translation it was undetectable in this compelling reading of a script that is structured like poetry yet realized with complete and heartbreaking humanity.  – Chicago Stage Review

“A shattering, haunting play. It won the French language Governor General’s Award in 2008, for its playwright Jennifer Tremblay. I would also hope that her gifted translator, Shelley Tepperman, was awarded for her work too.”  – Lynne Slotkin 


The Poster (L’Affiche) by Philippe Ducros
produced by Teesri Duniya Theatre, 2011


Tideline (Littoral) by Wajdi Mouawad

“… intriguing mix of styles, caught nicely in Shelley Tepperman’s excellent translation.” – Canadian Literature


The Door of No Return (La Porte de non-retour) by Philippe Ducros
Presented at Festival TransAmeriques.
La porte du non-retour (The Door of no return) refers to monuments on the west coast of Africa erected in memory of the millions of slaves deported from Africa to America. Once they passed through the door, they knew that they would never come back.

In this exhibit of some fifty photos, the spectator puts on headphones and listens to an audio guide for a solitary journey. Whispered into his ears are thoughts and comments, sometimes enraged or crying for social justice, but always poetic. This is a voyage into the heart of the African continent, a land of slave traders, fugitives, urban exodus, war refugees and misery.

This rite of passage features photos and narratives Ducros has assembled, and clearly reflects his craving for justice. The listener becomes a migrant coping with the sinister margins of a harsh world and its denizens. The narrator realizes he will never quite fully return from these journeys.


Ludwig & Mae, 3 plays by Patrick Leroux (co-translated with Ellen Warkentin)


Molière, by Sabina Berman
Produced at Alberta THeatre Projects and Tarragon Theatre.
“Shelley Tepperman has given Molière a witty translation, mirroring Berman’s clever and dizzying flood of ideas.” – Paula Citron

“In Shelley Tepperman’s translation, the writing is always clever; real-life scenes blend into scenes from Molière’s comedies, and the more serious second half lets us into the complexities of Racine’s success in the battle.” – Jon Kaplan

“Shelley Tepperman’s superb translation from the Spanish fairly drips from Racine’s twitching mouth…” – Bob Clark, Calgary Herald


Life Savers (Les bonbons qui sauvent la vie) by Serge Boucher
Produced by Ruby Slippers.

“The dialogue is refreshingly natural.” –  Lisa Wilton Canoe Jam

Read a description here.


24 Exposures (24 Poses) by Serge Boucher
Produced by ALberta THeatre Projects. New adaptation read at NAC and at Canadian Stage.

A reinvention of Serge Boucher’s hyper-realist hit, transposed from a pure laine family in small-town Quebec to a working class Jewish family in the Niagara region. On a beautiful August Saturday, in the back yard of a bungalow, a family gathers to celebrate the oldest son’s 40th birthday. The day and evening of storytelling, joking and bickering reveals 8 lives in a family who love all wrong but love each other just the same.


Alphonse by Wajdi Mouawad

“In a touching, funny translation by Shelley Tepperman, Mouawad’s multi-level story-within-a-story reminds adults of what we’ve left behind and beguiles youthful viewers with a winning fairy tale.”
Jon Kaplan, Now Magazine


Wedding Day at the Cromagnons’ (Journée de noces chez les Cromagnons) by Wajdi Mouawad

The play has been produced in Toronto, Ottawa, London, England and Dublin.


In Vitro by Yvan Bienvenue

Finalist for the Governor General’s Award for Translation.

Benoit, a born-again Christian, has brought his fiancee, Isabelle, to an isolated cabin in order to escape “the world.” Back in the city, Francois is waiting for a pizza when his girlfriend calls from a clinic to say she’s decided to abort their baby. Francois drives to the clinic, shoots the doctor, shoots his girlfriend, and places the fetal remains in a waste basket. He turns up at the cabin, asking for a mason jar for his “son” and some tape to secure the shotgun to his arm. Welcome to twelve days of hell.


Playing Bare (La Répétition) by Dominic Champagne

Finalist for the Governor General’s Award in Translation.
“Tepperman’s translation is smooth as glass.” – Gaetan Charlebois, Montreal Mirror

Witty, prickly and fresh, Playing Bare is a mordant satire on the relation between theatre and life. An accomplished actress is on the verge of a nervous breakdown as she directs Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot. In her deranged effort to expose the emptiness of playing fictional characters, she casts the lead roles with a pair of non-actors whose lives mirror those of the characters they play. Her search for the ultimate theatrical experience-life becoming art-takes the action in hilarious and insightful directions.


For a complete list of translations, click here.