Gent – March 2014

Unfolding the Many Dramaturgies – an interdisciplinary workshop and research seminar on the diverse dramaturgical tendencies in contemporary performance

Wednesday 26th – Friday 28th March 2014

Organised by the Doctoral School of Arts, Humanities and Law, University of Gent (

This 3-day workshop was addressed to doctoral students of arts theory and practice, philosophy, social science and performance studies. Through reading sessions, writing, and performance-making, the aim was to explore and develop tools and methodologies that cross over the areas of dramaturgy, theory, choreography, philosophy and performance. Through an interdisciplinary and critical approach to performance theory and practice, the workshop focused on distinct and diverse dramaturgical tendencies, forms and notions, with the aim of creating a dynamic cross-talk between fields; these included: ‘formlessness’, ‘task-based’ creation, ‘fragmented’ narratives and aesthetics, ‘serialism’, and ’visuality’.

Participants were invited to elaborate on distinct dramaturgical models, to address dramaturgical questions central to contemporary performance discourses and practices, and to experiment with their individual approach to dramaturgy. They did so regardless of whether they work as dramaturges or not and from within their own practice, be that artistic, or also practices of theoretical and critical thinking and writing.

Moreover, particular focus of this workshop was to examine the relation between ‘minor’ (studio-based) and ‘major’ (social, political) dramaturgies. We therefore looked at the ways dramaturgical discourses connect to larger institutional and social dramaturges, enabling us also to imagine the creation of alternative institutional structures.