Masters Programme in Dramaturgy at the Institute for Theater, Film and Media Studies at the Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe-University Frankfurt/M

Historically, the dramaturge is the person in the theatre who views the production with critical distance. A part of it, but also removed, the dramaturge continuously questions the production as a whole. He reflects on its needs, necessities and obstinacy but also on its practical constraints, regulated processes and automatisms. In a best-case scenario he relates the production back to the contexts in which it stands. In this way he embodies the demands of history, society and politics within the artistic process and, on the other hands, represents these to the outside world. In order to achieve this he needs – aside from specialist knowledge – above all the basic virtues of every researcher: he should be able to read, see, think, listen, write and have the courage to avail himself of his own intellect.

The Frankfurt Programme

With the class of 2012 the Masters Programme in Dramaturgy – a cooperation between various tertiary institutions, integrating theory and practice within the framework of the Hessian Theatre Academy – has started its second decade under new direction. Founded by Hans-Thies Lehmann in 2002, the concept of the programme was an answer to major upheavals in the theatre in the decade before. In the face of experimental forms that traversed the boundaries of the traditional areas of theatre, visual arts and audio-visual media and in view of new forms of music theatre, dance and performance, the tasks of dramaturgy had become more complex. The programme quickly became a successful model and many of its students were offered engagements even before their studies had ended. Graduates work in many city and state theatres as well as in the venues of independent production companies.

In view of the dramaturge’s rapidly changing job description, it is particularly important for the Frankfurt programme to convey content that prepares students not just for the theatre that already exists, but also for a future theatre still unknown to students and lecturers. Next to knowledge of the theatre as it actually exists, of its traditions and general framework, characteristics that a good dramaturge should posses include a social imagination, a knowledge of other possibilities, a sensitivity for the new and the unknown, the ability to articulate the new and the unknown, and the willingness to assert these in the face of the economic and political obstacles of enterprise and society. For this reason we place particular value on an international focus, tight networking with contemporary artistic practice in all areas of the theatre and neighbouring arts, and the promotion of autonomous scenic research and students’ independent academic-theoretical practice.

Programme Content

The programme content of the Masters in Dramaturgy includes, amongst other things, the fundamental issues of dramaturgical practice and theory, artistic-practical work in scenic projects, workshops and theory-practice seminars, independent artistic, theoretical and organisational-curating work, the theory, history and analysis of the theatre in all of its variations and manifestations, the representation and critique of theatrical forms, theatre technology, production dramaturgy and insights into the fundamentals of theatre organisation (stage, contract and publishing law, theatre management, press and publicity work).

The Masters Programme in Dramaturgy is a programme of the Chair of Theatre Studies at the Institute for Theatre, Film and Media Studies. At the same time it is part of the Hessian Theatre Academy, an academic and production association of programmes in Hessian tertiary institutions that provide theatre qualifications, and the most important Hessian city and state theatre. The tight connection between academic and practical theatre work arises due to the double positioning of the programme – on the one hand in the Institute for Theatre, Film and Media Studies and, on the other, in the Hessian Theatre Academy. This means that the Dramaturgy programme already enables students to participate in exchange and cooperation with students from other theatre areas (Theatre Studies, Directing, Acting, Scenography) in seminars and concrete projects within the framework of their studies.

Direction: Prof Dr Nikolaus Müller-Schöll, Eva Döhne M.A. (coordination).

In addition, the following full-time Theatre Studies lecturers at the Institute for Theatre, Film and Media Studies: Dr. des. Leon Gabriel, Dr. des. Leonie Otto.

Furthermore, the following lecturers have contributed or contribute to the programme: Prof. Dr. Norbert Abels, Prof. Dr. Khalid Amine, Robin Arthur, Ira Avneri, Sibylle Baschung, Prof. Hans-Ulrich Becker (Studiengang Regie, HfMDK Frankfurt), Esther Boldt, Dr. Dagmar Borrmann, Uwe Carstensen, Laurent Chétouane, Dr. Kattrin Deufert/Thomas Plischke, Prof. Ingo Diehl (Zeitgenössische Tanzpädagogik, HfMDK Frankfurt), Dr. Miriam Dreysse, Markus Droß, Tim Etchells, Prof. Wanda Golonka, Martin Hammer/Maria Magdalena Ludewig, Prof. em. Dr. Ulrike Haß, Prof. em. Dr. Carl Hegemann, Prof. Dieter Heitkamp (Ausbildungsbereich Zeitgenössischer und Klassischer Tanz, HfMDK Frankfurt), Hans Hollmann, Manuela Infante, Prof. Dr. Christian Janecke (Kunstgeschichte, HfG Offenbach), John Jesurun, Ruth Kanner, Alexander Kerlin, Prof. Dr. Esa Kirkkopelto, Katharina Kellermann, Prof. Ernst-August Klötzke (Musiktheorie, HfMDK Frankfurt), Chris Kondek, Juliane Kremberg, Konrad Kuhn, Katja Leclerc, Matthias Lilienthal, Stefanie Lorey, Christof Loy, Thomas Maagh, Florian Malzacher, Prof. Lina Majdalanie (geb. Saneh), Uwe Mengel, Kris Merken, Bernhard Mikeska, Bettina Milz, Sergio Morabito, Malin Nagel, Gerardo Naumann, Matthias Naumann, Christof Nel, Boris Nikitin, Prof. Mike Pearson, Benedikt von Peter, Christine Peters, Dr. Annalisa Piccirillo, René Pollesch, redpark, Jeanette Rohrbacher, Prof. Dr. Freddie Rokem, Prof. rosalie, Felix Rothenhäusler, Richard Schechner, Imanuel Schipper, Prof. Thomas Schmidt (Theater- und Orchestermanagment, HfMDK Frankfurt), Johannes Schmit, Dr. Philipp Schulte, Bernhard Siebert, Dr. Tim Schuster, Katharina Stephan, Prof. Dr. Malgorzata Sugiera, Friederike Thielmann, Marion Tiedtke, Susanne Traub, Norihiko Tsukinowa, Gerd-Theo Umberg, Camilla Vetters, Dr. Marion Victor, Helena Waldmann, Barbara Weber, Prof. em. Dr. Samuel Weber, Rosa Wernecke, Adriane Westerbarkey (Bühnenraum und Kostüm, HfG Offenbach), Prof. Dr. Kristin Westphal, Prof. Dr. Susanne Winnacker, Olaf Winter, Susanne Zaun, Ivna Zić, Jonas Zipf as well as the lecturers at the Institute for TFM.

The Master Programme in Dramaturgy is engaged in close exchanges with, amongst others: dasarts Amsterdam; Foreign Affairs, Berlin; Frankfurt LAB; Kampnagel Kulturfabrik, Hamburg; Künstlerhaus Mousonturm, Frankfurt; Oper Frankfurt; PACT Zollverein, Essen; Plateforme de la jeune création franco-allemande; Ruhrtriennale; Schauspiel Frankfurt; Tanzlabor 21, Frankfurt; Tanzquartier Wien; Theater der Welt; Theaterbiennale Wiesbaden; The Forsythe Company; Zentrum für Kunst und Medien, Karlsruhe.

The Masters Programme in Dramaturgy has a distinct international orientation due to the invitation of international scientific and artistic guest lecturers and the collaboration with different european and non-european universities. Cooperation partners include the following universities: Universitetet i Bergen, Universität Stockholm, Theaterakademie Helsinki, Aberystwyth University, Københavns Universitet, Université Libre de Bruxelles; Université Paris 8 Vincennes – Saint-Denis, Université Paris 10 Nanterre, Universidad da Coruña, Universität Wien, Karls-Universität Prag, University of Chicago, Universität Tel Aviv.