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Directing and Dramaturgy

The Directing and Dramaturgy research cluster contains members from both departments in the School of Media and Performing Arts, as well as colleagues from the School of Health and Education.

We are interested in the relationships between directing and dramaturgy, and how thinking associated with these activities may have implications and applications beyond the remit of Theatre, Film and Television with which they are associated. For example, how may one talk about the dramaturgy of music? How is the role of the director related to that of the choreographer? Can dramaturgical approaches allow us to understand and potentially subvert our understanding of cultural and historical grand narratives? And what do the hierarchical structures associated with directing have to say about democracy and personal agency?

Research activity in the group currently falls broadly under three areas:

Translation and adaptation

The adaptation of poetry to stage, film, visual and musical forms, and the creative/adaptive processes undertaken by artists in these various disciplines.

The relationship between choreography, sign-languages and music, in the creation of work based on a theatrical text. Ekphrasis as a method of adaptation.

The relocation of classical Greek plays into contemporary contexts.

Poetry and theatre translation, particularly German, Italian, Francophone and Lusophone theatres and contexts.

The process of adapting/translating/devising from text to stage, and the relationship between physicality and text.

Industry practices of commissioning and staging theatre translations, and the translation/production history of non-Anglophone plays in Britain.

The ability of shows to “travel”, and processes of domestication and foreignisation in performance.

Narrative structures and dramatic form

How performance technique and practice affects compositional, dramaturgical and directorial approaches.

Drama writing for theatre and film, particularly Meta-Theatre; Post-war British Theatre Writers; and Extreme Theatre and Cinema.

Dramatic narrative structure and the relationship between form and content, including alternative story structures in scriptwriting.

Stretching dramatic form through multi-modal experimentation.

Narrative expectations in audiences and spectators; intuitive and analytical systems for apprehending the world and articulating it. How theatre makers exploit such expectations.

Politics, ethics and intersubjectivity

The subversion and re-appropriation of female roles in writing and performance.

Working with people in applied settings, and generating work through working in Applied context.

The boundaries between research and appropriation, and the ethical implications of using verbatim/documentary material.

The Carnivalesque element in performance.

Representations of hunger in poetry and theatre.

The dramaturgy of solo work, and how the performer ‘manages’ her/his relationship with the audience.

Methodologically, we are keen to explore practice as research, as well as archival-historiographic practices and quantitative research.

For more information or to get in touch with us please email Pedro de Senna and Ian Saville.

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