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Title: Demarcating dramaturgy : mapping theory onto practice
Author: Bolton, Jacqueline Louise
ISNI:       0000 0004 2718 9958
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2011
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'Dramaturgy' and the 'dramaturg' have entered the discourse of English theatre practitioners over the past two decades. For individuals working within subsidized building-based producing theatres, understandings and applications of dramaturgical practice have been significantly shaped by the structures and objectives of literary management - a role, established within the industry since the 1990s, dedicated to the development of new plays and playwrights. In Germany, the dramaturgical profession dates back to the latter half of the eighteenth century and, since the twentieth century, has held a remit inclined more towards the programming and production of theatre works than the developing and commissioning of new theatre writing. In Germany and across mainland Europe, dramaturgs hold a recognized position at the heart of producing structures; in England, the role and status of the dramaturg are less defined. Despite a decade or so of concerted explanation and exploration, the concept of dramaturgy continues to be met with indifference, principally associated with practices of literary management which, this thesis shall argue, risk eliding the critical and creative scope of dramaturgy as it is practised on the continent. Through an assessment of the cultural, philosophical and economic contexts which inform processes of theatre-making, this thesis seeks to articulate and analyse these contrasting practices of dramaturgy. Chapters One and Two focus upon contemporary definitions of dramaturgy in England, addressing the role of the dramaturg within new play development and analysing the impact that distinctions between 'script-led' and 'non-script-led' approaches to theatre have had upon the reception of dramaturgical practice. Chapters Three and Four then compare those aspects of German and English theatre practice which I believe critically determine the agency of a dramaturg within production processes. These aspects may be summarized respectively as, on a microlevel, the relationship between text and performance and, on a macro-level, the relationship between theatre and society. This thesis regards dramaturgy as a creative practice defined in relation to a shared set of attitudes towards the production and reception of theatre, and argues that a specifically dramaturgical contribution to theatremaking rests in this analysis of the dynamic between performance and spectator.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available