The Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavans Bangalore and Kolkata have long been closely associated with the respective theatre scenes, which are essentially amateur theatre scenes. Actors as well as directors and other theatre makers are project-related and active in changing constellations. The need for dramaturges and an interest in the profession has been much discussed in the Indian theatre scene in recent years, especially because the approach of dramaturgical work is relatively new for South Asia. Because of the development of new forms of theatre such as documentary theatre, performance art and play development, the need for professional dramaturgical work has increased. The contact with German dramaturges via various cooperations added to the expressed wish for a more in-depth exchange. What is still lacking in some cases is an understanding of the role and the job profile, a sound knowledge of practical techniques and an exchange about them in general.
Developed by Sophia Stepf (Artistic Director, Flinn Works) and Jehan Manekshaw (Head of School, Drama School Mumbai) in collaboration with Götz Leineweber (Dramaturg), the Goethe-Instituts in Kolkata and Bangalore have offered two ten-day workshops in autumn 2019 for experienced, practicing theatre makers who want to exchange ideas about the role of dramaturge in play development and develop their own dramaturgical skills.
In the course of the subsequent ongoing mentoring, own plays are developed. In the five-day evaluation and development workshop in autumn 2020 for selected participants, the experiences will be evaluated, perspectives for further work in the field of dramaturgy and its sub-disciplines will be presented and selected aspects will be deepened.
The contents of the workshops were:
- Short history of dramaturgy (“a professional profile develops”)
- Text analysis (work with theatrical texts)
- staging analysis (theatre visits or video examples)
- Feedback methods (DasArts and others)
- Practical dramaturgy (scene work)
- Alternative dramaturgies (documentary, immersive, site-specific)
- Professional profile and understanding of roles in a team
The long-term goal of this project is the encouragement of Indian dramaturges and the strengthening of the professional exchange of German and Indian dramaturges.
© Sophia Stepf
Sophia Stepf is a certified dramaturge from the Leipzig University of Music and Theatre.
She has been working as a dramaturge, director, curator for 15 years, directs the free company Flinn Works and regularly teaches the course 'Intercultural Dramaturgies' at the HMT Leipzig. She has a broad experience in project work in India (e.g. for Ranga Shankara, NSD, Prithvi, FLAME, Theatre Professionals). She has curated and developed projects for various Goethe-Instituts in India in the fields of children's and youth theatre, new theatre texts and theatre pedagogy. Her piece, 'C sharp C blunt' has won prizes in Delhi and Zurich and has been touring internationally for five years. Her new play 'Global Belly', partly researched in India, was invited to the Impulse Theatre Festival 2018. She curates the free theatre festival Schwindelfrei in Mannheim where she regularly invites young Indian theatre professionals. She lives with her family in Berlin.
© Jehan Manekshaw
© Götz Leineweber