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The Dramaturgy Series : Concepts and Practices


The term Dramaturgy is often used today in Theatre and theatre-related art forms, where the presence of a dramaturge features more frequently in contemporary theatre performances than it did in the seventies and eighties of the past century. This series is an introduction to the concept of Dramaturgy, as well as the work of the dramaturge and the “dramaturgical mindset”. It also explores the changing relationship between Dramaturgy and the different elements of theatre over time, and examines the basis of “dramaturgical analysis” and how it contributes to the creation of a theatre performance. Throughout the series, we also encounter practical examples from World Theatre, which we attempt to analyze based on the concepts mentioned beforehand, studying the form and structure of playwriting from the Dramatic and Epic/Brechtian Theatre, with a focus on the most important influences of Bertolt Brecht on Post-Dramatic Theatre. In conclusion, we reflect on a few open-ended questions regarding Post-Modern Theatre, including the nature of contemporary playwriting, the arguments it proposes today, and its relationship to Theatre\ in the Arab Region.

Episodes


Episode One | The Concept of Dramaturgy

The term Dramaturgy is often used today in the field of Theatre, where the presence of a dramaturge features more frequently in the posters of contemporary theatre performances than it did in the seventies and eighties of the past century. This episode is an introduction to the concept of Dramaturgy, as well as the work of the dramaturge and the “dramaturgical mindset”. It also explores the relationship between Dramaturgy, theatre customs, and directing, and examines the concept of reading a Theatrical Text, and specifically the concept of reading it dramaturgically, as well as their relationship to performance and scenography.

Episode Two | Dramaturgical Analysis

In this episode, we talk about Dramaturgical Analysis, which is based on the techniques of a dramaturgical reading, and its role in creating a theatre performance. We also explore how this kind of reading is different from theatrical criticism, considering that it’s a tool for understanding the text, and helps the director and actors in presenting it to the best of their abilities. We also focus on the concepts of the external and internal structure of the text, as well as its different elements, and their role in constructing meaning.

Episode Three | Applied Examples of Two Texts from the Dramatic and Epic Theatre

In this episode, we present two practical examples from both the dramatic and epic theatre, through two theatrical texts: Anton Chekhov's The Bear, and Berthold Brecht's Mother Courage. In the first example, we discuss the characteristics of dramatic theater through the analysis of conflicts, characters, time, and space. In the second example, we discuss the concept of Epic theater by analyzing the first ‘tableau’ of Brecht’s Mother Courage, to explore the method of diving the play and presenting both the characters and the events, as well as the difference in how these elements are employed in Dramatic theatre.

Episode Four | The Structure of Writing in Epic Theatre

In this episode, we present an applied model of writing in Epic theater, Berthold Brecht’s Mother Courage, in which we analyze a number of his ‘tableaux’ to distinguish the structure and characteristics of Epic theater (or Brechtian theatre) and how it differs from Dramatic theater on several levels, such as: the narrative structure – the character’s views of the world – the purpose of ‘set décor’ and props, etc...

Episode Five | Post-Dramatic Theatre

In this episode, we introduce an example of post-dramatic theatre: Roberto Zucco by French playwright Bernard-Marie Koltès. Through this text, we learn about the structure of the text, its relationship with the theatrical space, how Koltès uses the concept of Intertextuality or overlap with texts from the theatrical heritage, how this affects the nature of the text itself, and how we can potentially work on it in a dramaturgical way.

Episode Six | Some questions regarding Brecht's legacy and that of contemporary theatrical writing

In this episode, we examine the effects of Brechtian theatre on playwrighting by introducing some of the characteristics of post-modern playwriting, and the dramaturgical hurdles associated with it. We also explore the position of playwriting today in relation to the bigger theatrical process, as well as the position of theatre in the Arab Region in relation to International Theatre.


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