World Factory: the Politics of Dramaturgy in Performance

12 February 2018, 12:30 - 14:00

CRASSH Meeting Room, Alison Richard Building

Part of the CRASSH Fellows Work in Progress Seminar Series.  All welcome but please email Michelle Maciejewska to book your place and to request readings.  A sandwich lunch and refreshments are provided.

Dr Zoe Svensden

World Factory: the Politics of Dramaturgy in Performance, is an interdisciplinary performance-as-research project. It examines the question of what might constitute political engagement within a contemporary performance paradigm, by means of creating an artistic intervention in the public sphere. In an era of performance activism using theatrical interventions for political purpose outside theatres, the project explores a post-Brechtian theatrical politics in the provocation of discourse. The production was researched through a methodology of ‘research-in-public’ that identified the process as an emergent iterative practice rather than a product-orientated activity.

In this research, I explore the role of the dramaturgy. How can a dramaturg play an important role in the UK theatre, which does not have a tradition for this role? How can working from a dramaturgical perspective enhance understanding of texts and textual practices from different eras and different cultures? How can it help to bring excellent emerging directing practices often pioneered in devising and non-text-based theatre into text-based theatre? What is the relationship between the idea of dramaturgy and the pragmatics of collaboration in practice? Can a focus on dramaturgy foster collaborative practice?

Dr Zoe Svendsen is an Early Career Fellow at CRASSH in Lent Term 2018.

Dr Zoe Svendsen is a University Lecturer in Drama and Performance at the Faculty of English. She also works in the theatre as director, dramaturg, advisor and translation. She runs METIS, a performing arts company that makes interdisciplinary performance projects. Zoe was awarded her PhD in 2009. Her publications include The Dramaturgy of Spontaneity: Improvising the Social in Performance’ in Improvisation and Social Aesthetics, ed. Georgina Born, Eric Lewis and William Straw. Duke University Press, March 2017, ‘World Factory’ in Performance Research: On Game Structures, Vol. 21, no. 4 (September 2016), 137-39, and ‘World Factory’ in Dark Mountain: Technê, Issue 8 (October 2015), pp. 204-08.