DramaForum, Poland, Jan 24-25, 2009

‘Dramaturg, man or fish?’ was the first, somewhat disconcerting title that awaited us. The inevitable discussions of what a Dramaturg is, might be, could be or should be ought not to detract from an appreciation of this beautifully organised and engaging conference, where this question was given an unusually intelligent response. Among the many pragmatic and confused approaches, there were also responses  as to why we feel the need to ask this question. Is there a reason, as conference organiser Marta Keil asked, for a particular interest in dramaturgy at the present moment? Or do we, as dance dramaturg Rok Vevar suggested, ‘project the dramaturg’ onto an area of theatre making where we experience some lack, something out of reach?

Apart from responses to this question, which included the not infrequent suggestion that it were better left unanswered, at least in any conclusive sense, there were also many descriptions of dramaturgy and the dramaturg in action, from examples of the curatorial role (Thomas Kraus), the role and function within devising (David Williams, Synne Behrndt), the role in relation to writing (Cathy Turner), in relation to intertextuality (Marzena Sadocha, Bartosz Frackowiack) and in relation to politics and community (Beate Seidel, Sebastian Majewski). Papers are due for publication in 2009.