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Directing and Dramaturgy Working Group

Directing and Dramaturgy

Originally founded by the late David Bradby under the name of “Directors/Collectives”, our working group changed its name in 2010 in order to reflect our members’ widespread interests. These now encompass a range of contemporary theatre, dance and performance practice across all genres. We continue to pursue the group’s original ambition to explore artistic work and academic perspectives that defy and challenge preconceived categories such as “playwright’s theatre”, “director’s theatre”, “dance” and “devised performance”. At the same time, we have widened our understanding of “collective creation” to include reflections on the spectator’s role and complicity in the event of performance. Our expanding focus was, in particular, signalled by our inclusion in our remit of the emerging field of dramaturgy.

Our group comprises early-career and experienced academics and practitioners working on/in a variety of different forms and capacities, from classical drama to dance, puppet theatre to playwriting. We also interact closely with theatre professionals. Our main intention is to provide a stimulating platform for exchange and debate both at the annual TaPRA conferences and at interim events that we organise on a specific topic/focus, often with invited guest speakers. So far, the artists and scholars we have invited to participate in our one-day interim events have included Ivo van Hove (theatre director, Toneelgroep Amsterdam), Toni Racklin (head of theatre, the Barbican), Simon Stephens (playwright, UK), Sebastian Nübling (director, Germany), Lizzie Clachan (designer, Shunt), Ramin Gray (theatre director, Actors Touring Company), and academic speakers like Johan Callens, Maria Delgado, Alan Read, Dan Rebellato and Robert Shaughnessy.

The following aims guide our research:

  • To explore practices of directing and dramaturgy in different forms and genres;
  • To reflect the changing artistic, social and ideological contexts in which directing and dramaturgy take place;
  • To test and articulate terminologies and methodologies for the study of directing and dramaturgical practices;
  • To define and conceptualise processes of authorship and spectatorship;
  • To investigate performance that creates transdisciplinary bridges with other fields such as dance, the visual arts, etc.

For further information, please contact the Directing and Dramaturgy Working Group co-convenors: Clare Finburgh, University of Kent ( and Sam Haddow, University of St Andrews (

The Group operates a website and mailing list at

Group members can use the private TaPRA members’ section to contribute to this group. Ensure that you sign up for the Directing and Dramaturgy Working Group.

Recent News

Tragedy and the Contemporary

Citizens Theatre 119 Gorbals Street – Glasgow Saturday 7 May 2016 PLEASE CONFIRM ATTENDANCE BY MONDAY 4 APRIL TO Clare Finburgh: Sam Haddow: Guest Speakers: Zinnie Harris (playwright), Dominic Hill (artistic director, Citizens Theatre Glasgow), David Greig (playwright), Graham McLaren (director), Graham Eatough (director), Mark Brown (critic). The Directing and Dramaturgy Working Group…

Directing and Dramaturgy Working Group: Tragedy and the Dramaturgy of Ruins 

Following the Directing and Dramaturgy Working Group’s Interim Event at the Citizens Theatre Glasgow on the theme of Tragedy and the Contemporary, we are happy to present Tragedy and the Dramaturgy of Ruins as the focus for the main TaPRA conference. The conceited man With his lofty scheme Ruins himself And everybody near him (Aeschylus, The…

Call for Papers: Tragedy and the Contemporary

Tragedy and the Contemporary   Citizens Theatre, Glasgow Saturday 7 May 2016   Guest Speakers: Zinnie Harris, Dominic Hill, David Greig, Graham Eatough, Graham McLaren, Mark Brown.   Call for Papers The TaPRA Directing and Dramaturgy Working Group is hosting an interim event around This Restless House, Zinnie Harris’ adaptation of Aeschylus’s Oresteia, directed by Dominic Hill at the Citizens Theatre Glasgow. This one-day…
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