PLAY. Relational Aspects of Dramaturgy


15-16/03/2012, Ghent, Royal Academy of Fine Arts, University College Ghent

Dramaturgy has, in its traditional sense, a fourfold meaning: the text dramaturgy, the performance dramaturgy, the production dramaturgy and the dramaturgy of the theatre house/performance venue within its surroundings. The main interest of the planned conference on relational aspects of dramaturgy is situated on levels of production processes and their outcome, the performances. The main questions / points of interest are: Is there a mutual relationship between these two modes, or levels, of dramaturgy given? How do the production processes, in particular the dramaturgical processes, and the performances resemble each other?

We aim at an exploration of the mutual relations of dramaturgical work/the labour of dramaturgy in production processes AND dramaturgies as "arrangements" of theatrical signs (textual dramaturgies, visual, acoustic and inter/medial dramaturgies, body dramaturgies ...). In the lectures performance analysis can, or should, be linked with some of the following points of interest and questions:

  • the labour of dramaturgy: What is s/he doing?
  • the mediatised or live situations that constitute the dramaturgical work: How are "liveness" and "media" being used in contemporary dramaturgical work?
  • the dramaturgies of voice and sound: How are voice and sound being used in dramaturgic work?
  • the dramaturges bodily actions and capacities: What kinds of bodies (body norms) are at work in dramaturgy?
  • the ways of cooperating and decision making that bring forth the artistic team: Which modes of cooperation and decision making are presently being developed in dramaturgic processes?
  • the changing conditions of artistic labour within the New Economy: Which dramaturgies of economy are presently at work?
  • transnational processes of globalisation, migration, dis- and re-location, of both dramaturges and performances: How do they presently constitute dramaturgic processes?
  • dramaturgy in the "teaching machine": Which pedagogies in dramaturgy are currently evolving, especially in international student groups?


This conference is a cooperation between the Research Centre S:PAM (Studies in Performing Arts & Media) at Ghent University, the Free University Brussels and the University College Ghent. Furthermore, it is organised in collaboration with the "Working Group Dramaturgy" within the German Society for Theater Research (convenors: Peter M. Boenisch, Evelyn Deutsch-Schreiner, Katharina Pewny).

Scientific committee

Christopher Balme (President of the International Federation for Theatre Research), Jung-Soon Shim (Executive Officer of the International Federation for Theatre Research), Friedemann Kreuder (President of the Gesellschaft für Theaterwissenschaft), Katharina Pewny (Ghent University), Johan Callens (Free University Brussels), Katrien Vuylsteke-Vanfleteren (University College Ghent), Jan Steen (University College Ghent), Jeroen Coppens (Ghent University).

Institutional Partners & Funding

With the financial support of FWO (Research Foundation Flanders)

FWO  Studies in Performing Arts & Media (S:PAM)   VUB   HoGent