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Politician. Clockmaker. Spy. Yet of all the deeds committed by Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais, he is best known as a playwright.

The exciting plays of the French spy, arms-dealer and playwright Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais can become free for the public with your help! Donate now to make possible the translation of his works, in a new English language edition which offers the plays to be performed by anyone absolutely free.

Remarkably, this project amounts to creating the first ever English language translation of all known theatrical works by Caron de Beaumarchais. He is most famous for having written The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro, but, he composed around a dozen other plays, many of which were of equal fame in France at the time. I have already translated one of his plays, Eugenia: but I hope to produce an edition of ALL of his plays together. These are:

But that's not all this project is about; for my true intention is to allow these plays to be performed royalty free by any person who should like to.

Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais (24 January 1732 – 18 May 1799) was a French playwright, watchmaker, inventor, musician, diplomat, fugitive, spy, publisher, arms dealer, satirist, financier, and revolutionary (both French and American).

Beginning as a provincial watchmaker's son, Beaumarchais rose in French society and became influential in the court of Louis XV as an inventor and music teacher. He made a number of important business and social contacts, played various roles as a diplomat and spy, and had earned a considerable fortune before a series of costly court battles jeopardized his reputation.

An early French supporter of American independence, Beaumarchais lobbied the French government on behalf of the American rebels during the American War of Independence. Beaumarchais oversaw covert aid from the French and Spanish governments to supply arms and financial assistance to the rebels in the years before France's formal entry into the war in 1778. He later struggled to recover money he had personally invested in the scheme. Beaumarchais was also a participant in the early stages of the French Revolution. He is probably best known, however, for his theatrical works, especially the three Figaro plays.

The plan is to produce a printed edition of these works for sale, at a price to be determined by the final page count; but the true intent of this project is to permit the plays be used for performances with no additional charges -- that is, anyone would be able to perform Beaumarchais in English from my translations, without having to pay further royalties to me or anyone. The money raised will be used to fund the publishing, distributing and creating of this important opus, which will benefit the entire English-speaking world of theater-goers. 

Famous plays like those by Beaumarchais, which are in the public domain, are often kept from being seen by the English-speaking public due to the necessity of making a translation; the result is the translation is considered a new work, no longer is public domain, and consequently doesn't get shown as much as other royalty-free pieces such as those by Shakespeare or Oscar Wilde.

In a sense, funding this project is not just funding a translation, but is funding performances by schools and theater companies who will no longer need to worry about paying the royalties for performing these works.

NOTA: Sometimes, projects on Kickstarter are fortunate enough to raise more than enough money for the intended project. If this should come to pass for Beaumarchais, any additional funds will go towards the production of a new printed edition of Beaumarchais's opera Tarare, featuring the music by Antonio Salieri and a translation of the original French libretto. 

EVEN IF YOU CANNOT DONATE, IT COSTS NOTHING TO SPREAD THE WORD - PLEASE CONSIDER SHARING A LINK TO THIS PAGE.

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  • Pledge $12 or more
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    11 backers

    Those who donate at least $12 will receive a free PDF eBook edition of ALL the plays of de Beaumarchais! These can be used for performance or simply read for pleasure.

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  • Pledge $40 or more
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    0 backers

    Those who can donate $40 or more will receive the eBook listed above, as well as a printed edition of the English language version of Beaumarchais's play "Eugenia." This printing includes supplemental texts which will not be included in the Complete Plays edition.

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  • Pledge $100 or more
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    4 backers

    Those who donate at least $100 will receive a complimentary edition of the finished, printed edition of Beaumarchais's complete plays in English. Of course, all the included plays are available for free use for performances!

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  • Pledge $250 or more
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    1 backer

    Anyone who can donate $250 or more receives all of the rewards listed above, plus a limited edition Eugenia coffee mug featuring the original tagline. (Yes, it had a tagline.)

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  • Pledge $5,000 or more
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    0 backers

    Donating $5,000 or more will earn you all of the above bonuses, plus a special dedication written for you which will appear in the printed and ebook editions: the sort of old-fashioned, honorific-filled dedications one used to see made for the patrons of books and of the arts.

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Funding period

- (40 days)