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Upcoming events at Dramaturgy

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About Dramaturgy

Dramaturgy is the study of theatre, broadly defined. Research topics range from textual analysis of drama from antiquity to the present day and the study of the theatre’s politico-cultural context, to the applications of theatre in educational and developmental contexts. The theatricalproces and performance is the key focus of the programme’s teaching and research. Performance is approached from both historical and aesthetic perspectives.

The research environment

The Dramaturgy Programme  at  has a strong tradition of focus on contemporary and innovative forms of theatre. At the same time, the programme also encompasses the investigation of the theatre’s historical dimension.

The Dramaturgy Programme has close ties to the contemporary theatre scene, and elements of the practice of theatre are involved at all stages of its students’ studies. In addition to teaching and research at the programme,  researchers typically teach at drama schools and participate actively in dramatic productions, for example as consultants and theatrical advisers.

The practice-oriented focus of the Dramaturgy Programme has other applications as well: the programme develops concepts for how artistic production processes can be applied in  non-artistic creative processes. The programme’s research thus makes dramaturgical knowledge and strategies accessible to business, culture and the theatre itself.

New research groups and project:

In 2020, the department started the new research group “Paradigms of Dramaturgy: Arts, Institutions and the Social”, based within the interdisciplinary research centre “Cultural Transformations”. Also, Aarhus Universitets Forskningsfond supports a four year research project in the department, “Reconfiguring dramaturgy for a global culture: Changing practices in 21st century European theatre” (2020-2023)”. The department is now joint partner within the European Theatre Research Network, together with the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama/University of London and the University of Kent.  

New professor: Peter M. Boenisch

Peter M. Boenisch is AU’s new professor of dramaturgy. He is originally from Germany and specialises in the fields of theatre direction and institutional contexts of theatre-making. He has published around seventy essays and book chapters which reflect, in particular, his interest in the intersections of aesthetics and politics, as they become manifest in aspects such as spectatorship, the conditions of theatre production, and transcultural and postmigrant theatre. His major book publications include Directing Scenes & Senses: The Thinking of Regie (2015), and The Theatre of Thomas Ostermeier (2016), which he co-authored with the renowned German theatre director. The US magazine Newsweek described him as ‘leading European theatre scholar’ (4/12/2016). Before joining AU in June 2019, he has worked at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich, the University of Kent, and The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama/University of London. At AU, he will now embark on a 3-year project, funded by Aarhus University Foundation, "Reconfiguring dramaturgy for a global culture: Changing practices in 21st century European theatre". Its aim is to analyse the effect of challenges such as globalisation and digitalisation, but also migration and new political populisms within the subsidised public theatre sector in Europe, and focusing particularly on contexts of "second cities" beyond the major European centres such as Berlin, London, Paris, or Copenhagen. In this context, he has also launched a new research group, "Paradigms of Dramaturgy: Arts, Institutions and the Social", within the IKK's interdisciplinary research programme Cultural Transformations at AU.