Post Dramatic Theatre

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Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation CoreSCC2PS2034

Semester and Year Offered: Winter

Course Coordinator and Team: Deepan Sivaraman.

Email of course coordinator: deepan[at]aud[dot]ac[dot]in

Pre-requisites: No prior knowledge assumed.

Course Objectives/Description:

The term Post dramatic theatre was first imposed by Hans-Thies Lehmann through his historical book The Post Dramatic theatre (1999) in which he tried to theorize the conceptual base of the post avant-gardist theatre; a theatre that rejected the representational and dramatic form of storytelling. The notion of the 'post-dramatic' has been institutionalized and established very rapidly as theatre makers and scholars were searching for a new term to define the non- representational theatre of mid-20th and 21st century in which conflict, characters, story, mimesis, verbal text, separation between performer and audience space are no longer valid. The emergence of this new kind of theatre crosses the boarders of other art disciplines and it was the key foundational reason of the establishment of performance studies as the existing theatre and drama studies were not sufficient enough to read the philosophy of this extended theatre form. Introducing a course that exploring the idea of post dramatic which will examine both theoretical positions and practical manifestations of the theatre of contemporary time is not only important for the students of performance studies but also for any students who are interested in the topic ‘‘drama’’ or ‘‘dramatic’’ that can be from English literature, Creative writing, visual art or film studies.

Course Outcomes:

  • Introduce students the concept of post dramatic theatre by examining both theoretical positions and practical manifestations.
  • Learn the critical understanding of post dramatic theatre techniques.
  • Encourage students to explore a theatre beyond representation and the ways in which the fundamentals of dramatic theatre, mimesis, plot, character, privacy, and dialogue, are called into question.
  • Learn the aesthetics of the post-dramatic through practical explorations.
  • Develop approaches to performance that seek to banish representation in the theatre extending its borders to other art disciplines.

Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

Week 1 & 2

Seminar: Introduction to post dramatic theatre

Week 3 & 4

Workshop: Post dramatic ‘‘text’’.

Week 5 & 6

Seminar: Neo Avant- garde and pre history of post dramatic theatre

Week 7 & 8

Workshop: Theatre of Scenography and visual dramaturgy.

Week 9 & 10

Seminar: When is a play not a drama?

Week 11 & 12

Workshop: Theatre of the senses

Last three weeks

Student led seminars & performances

Assessment Details with weights:

Students will be assessed for their overall understanding of the course and their contribution towards performances, group discussions and knowledge sharing. Attending weekly lectures and presentations are vital and any absence may affect the grades.

  • Class room presentations (10%)
  • Home assignments (20%)
  • Participation in the performances (30%)
  • End Term paper (40%)

*All students must participate in all course assessments to obtain a passing course grade.

Reading List:

  • Hans-Thies Lehmann, Postdramatic Theatre (London: Routledge, 2006)
  • Elinor Fuchs, The Death of Character (Indiana: Indianapolis, 1996)
  • Fuchs, Elinor (2008). "Postdramatic Theatre." TDR 52.2, 178-183.
  • Ackerman, Alan, ed. (2001). Anti-theatricality issue of Modern Drama 44.3.
  • Auslander, Philip (2008 [1999]). Liveness: Performance in a Mediatized Culture. London: Routledge.
  • Bay-Cheng, Sarah, Chiel Kattenbelt, Andy Lavender, and Robin Nelson, eds. (2010). Mapping Intermediality in Performance. Amsterdam: Amsterdam.
  • Beliz Güçbilmez,(2007) ‘An Uncanny Theatricality: The Representation of the Offstage’, New Theatre Quarterly, 23:2, pp. 152-60
  • Barnett, David (2008), ‘When is a Play not a Drama? Two Examples of Postdramatic Theatre Texts’, New Theatre Quarterly, 24:1 (2008), pp. 14-23 (includes material on 4:48 Psychosis and Attempts on her Life)
  • Dixon, Steve (2007). Digital Performance: A History of New Media in Theater, Dance, Performance Art, and Installation. Cambridge: MIT Press.
  • Liz Mills, ‘When the Voice Itself Is Image’, Modern Drama, 52: 4 (2009), pp. 389-404
  • Maaike Bleeker, ‘Look who’s Looking!: Perspective and the Paradox of Postdramatic Subjectivity’, Theatre Research International, 29:1 (2004), pp. 29-41
  • Malgorzata Sugiera, ‘Beyond Drama: Writing for Postdramatic Theatre’, Theatre Research International, 29:1 (2004), pp. 16-28
  • Hans-Thies Lehmann, Postdramatic Theatre (London: Routledge, 2006)