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On Wednesday 12 and Thursday 13 December, students of the Master's programme International Dramaturgy hold a Winterschool. The goal is to conclude the practical exercises - led by Pedro Manuel and dramaturge Peter van Kraaij - on different dramaturgical practices and share work on everyone’s year’s work in the form of dramaturgical concepts. Those dramaturgical concepts were developed around the notion of documentary theatre.

The group will be joined by students from our exchange programme in Stockholm and by last year’s cohort of dramaturgy students, offering the possibility to exchange thoughts, experiences, and together discuss the notion of being a stranger in new cultural contexts. In conclusion, Belgian artist Hans Bryssinck joins to show his film and to take up the topic of cultural translation from the perspective of his project.

The programme is open to fellow MA students Theatre Studies, artists in spe in our network, such as graduate students from DAS Theatre and directing students from AHK, as well as Master's students from the University of the Underground. We kindly ask people from other studies and colleagues to sign up with Ricarda Franzen, so that we know what to deal with.

Sign up now via


We will be working in the building of the University Theatre, Nieuwe Doelenstraat 16-18, 1012 CP Amsterdam, mostly in s23 on the ground level (the old library).

University Theatre
University Theatre

Nieuwe Doelenstraat 16-18
1012 CP Amsterdam

Wednesday 12th December

11.30-13.30 Pedro Manuel work session on the gig economy, joined by Luke Rideout (University of the Underground), open to all. Colleagues and students sign up.

13.30-14.30 break

14.30- 16.00 Open Space session on the dramaturgical concepts of the dramaturgy students

16.00-17.00 students from Stockholm present their research

17.00 borrel

Thursday 13th December

10.00-12.00 Exchange between last year’s students with the current ones. Translation of their experience to the next generation. Experiences of feeling a stranger, experiences of cultural incompatibility (departing from their own experiences in another cultural context). Maeva Dolle is the coordinator of this exchange. 

12.00-13.00 lunch break

13.00-16.00 session with Ricarda Franzen: workshop audio description, conference Performance Philosophy (tbc)

15.00-16.00 Peter van Kraaij concludes his lessons (Dutch and closed session)

16.00-20.00 Hans Bryssinck. Watching the film together and discussion.


Working session with Pedro Manuel. (Wednesday 11.30-13.30)

What was the series of lessons about which this working sessions concludes? In these sessions, students have explored how dramaturgy can look at material of real life and imagine forms of staging them. Departing from a number of contemporary performances where there is a staging of the real, specific strategies of staging were observed that allow the audience to participate and perceive the world within a theatrical frame.

On a practical level, small scale experiments were conducted, in particular with regards to the gig economy. During the Winter School, these sessions are concluded with a working session where material from earlier working sessions is shared.

Open Space

An Open Space in the format that we envision refers to a simple methodology for self-organization in a non-hierarchical and informal environment, meant to encourage open conversation, shared knowledge and collaborative thinking. It is a format for which we start with a pre-formulated problem or topic, and for which we invite anyone who would like to engage with the topic.

For your participation in an Open Space session, no preparation is required. Please bring your open and alert minds and be aware of these Open Space principles:

  • Whoever is there, are the right people. We can learn a lot from each other. 
  • Whatever happens is the only thing that could happen. We are all limited by our own pasts and expectations. We will all do our best to focus on the present time and place – and not get bogged down in what could have or should have happened.
  • When it's over, it's over. Do not try to forcefully continue the conversation if you feel it has come to an end. No one is here to entertain or be entertained.

What is a dramaturgical concept?

A dramaturgical concept is a working format within the dramaturgy Master, engaging with a source and envisioning its staging. A dramaturgical concept is a conversation piece, departing from an idea and thinking through in detail the consequences for a staging. As a concept it incites a shared horizon for all people involved in the theatre production. It is the foundation to negotiate the entire creation process, from source to staging, but it also serves to communicate and justify the planned performance in its context and artistic choices to the public.

As a document produced for assessment purposes, it should explicitly communicate a vision on (a certain type of) dramaturgy.
A dramaturgical concept starts from a specific source, classically from a drama text, but possibly from any other source, such as a myth, plot, or material that itself might be formatted in a specific way, belonging to a certain genre or discipline such as for example a photo, a painting, a song (etc.). The organization and structure of such a source in its original form is reconceptualized in preparation for the stage. In this process a new coherent context is created, that develops a new perspective also on the original source. Which temporal and spatial transformation does the source undergo? What is the need to engage with the source or topic in the proposed way? The dramaturg makes use of a theoretical framework in order to think through and justify artistic choices. The source is engaged by means of analysis and framed according to a new artistic logic that is spelled out in detail.

Hans Bryssinck (Thursday 13th, 16.00-20.00)

Wilson y Los Más Elegantes is a multidisciplinary project that the Belgian artist Hans Bryssinck developed over the past years in Colombia. Through the process of learning to sing traditional Colombian music he configures a series of new works ranging from performance, to music, to film.

He uses performative strategies to play with Colombian language and gestures and makes them his own, resulting in a clumsy but sincere intercultural dialogue. From the position of the intruder in another culture the artist investigates the edges of identity, in this particular case of  colombianity . Instead of affirming and consolidating a specific identity, he plays with ambiguity and with doubt.

MA International Dramaturgy