An Introduction
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1. What is dramaturgy?
1.1 Dramaturgy with and without a dramaturg
1.2 The roots of today’s dramaturgy: From Poetics to postdramatic theatre
1.3 Theatre as a process of transformation
1.4 Dramaturgy in the Netherlands and Flanders
1.5 Perspectives on dramaturgy
1.6 Dramaturgy and theatre research
1.7 Dramaturgy within and across disciplines, styles, and genres

2. Material
2.1 Text as material
2.2 Aristotle: Language as medium of imitation (mimesis)
2.3 Theatre landscape until the eighteenth century
2.4 Absolute drama
2.5 Concepts of drama analysis
Primary text / Secondary text
Story & plot
Dramatic characters
Re-definitions of processes of meaning production
2.6 Brecht: Epic theatre
2.7 Metatheatricality
2.8 Theatre of the Absurd
2.9 Textual montage techniques
Accumulation as a principle of montage
Juxtaposition as a principle of montage
Dissipation as a principle of montage
2.10 Material and materiality
2.11 Theatre as a means of exploration

3. Process: From material to performance
3.1 The material and the envisioned performance
3.2 Translational processes in theatre
Context – location
Context – time
Translation for accessibility
Starting point: The source
Relevance and inspiration
Research and interpretation
3.3 Visual aspects of dramaturgy
The space and the audience
Writing the space
The visual experience
3.4 Auditory aspects of dramaturgy
A few historical examples of voice in theatre
Beyond meaning
Accents, dialect, play with language, and sound of voice

4. Audience
4.1 The first spectator
4.2 The position and the role of the audience in the performance: the spectator as/is dramaturg
The dramaturg as intermediary between performance and audience
4.3 Audience reach
4.4 Theatre and politics: The heritage of Brecht and Boal
4.5 The auditorium and the stage
Site-specific and immersive theatre
4.6 Youth in/and theatre
Dutch Theatre for Young Audiences
Theatre education for children and youngsters
The last spectator

Illustration acknowledgements

Reviews and Features

'It’s by far the best book on dramaturgy I have ever seen.'
Bryan Reynolds, Chancellor’s Professor / Claire Trevor Professor, University of California Irvine

'Authors Cock Dieleman, Ricarda Franzen, Veronika Zangl and Henk Danner are active in dramaturgy practice and education and succeed in sharpening the view of the field in just 180 pages. With clear formulations, nuanced examples and fundamental theories, this Introduction remains entertaining right through to the instructive glossary at the end.'
Elisa Seghers in Forum+, vol. 28 no. 1


An Introduction

The image of the dramaturg resembling a stuffy librarian, as opposed to the largely intuitive process of theatre making, belongs to the past. Contemporary theatre performances not only tell a story, but constantly reflect on the world in which that story takes place and is shown. As a result, dramaturgy has become part of the artistic process. Thus everybody involved in a theatre production is concerned with dramaturgical thinking, i.e. how to relate to material, process, audience and society. The dramaturg crosses borders between theory and practice, between theatre makers, performance and audience.

'Dramaturgy. An Introduction' provides a broad overview of the concept of dramaturgy and the profession of the dramaturg. It is intended for students and teachers of theatre and performance studies, but also for directors, scenographers, actors and for all lovers of theatre.

Cock Dieleman

Cock Dieleman is Assistant Professor (Senior Lecturer) Theatre Studies (BA and MA) and International Dramaturgy (MA), University of Amsterdam. His specializations are theatre education, youth theatre, dramaturgy and contemporary Dutch theatre. In addition to his professorship he was head of the education department of Het Zuidelijk Toneel and ZT Hollandia.

Ricarda Franzen

Ricarda Franzen teaches dramaturgy at the University of Amsterdam, as well as at the art academy ArtEZ in Arnhem. She studied Rhetoric in Tübingen, Germany, before studying Dramaturgy in Amsterdam. In her research, she works on sound in theatre and in archives. As a dramaturg, she has frequently worked on radio dramas.

Veronika Zangl

Veronika Zangl is Assistant Professor (Senior Lecturer) at the Department of Theatre Studies, University of Amsterdam. Her research interests encompass dramaturgy, performance analysis, (theatrical) representation of the Holocaust and Humour Studies. In recent years, she has published a number of articles and anthologies in these fields of research.

Henk Danner

Henk Danner studied Dutch Literature at the University of Nijmegen and Theatre Studies at the University of Amsterdam. Danner works as Lecturer in dramaturgy, scenography and theatre practice at the Department of Theatre Studies, University of Amsterdam, and as guest lecturer at several art colleges in the Netherlands. In addition, he works as a lighting designer in theatre and dance.

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