Call for Papers: Shifts in contemporary drama after the year 2000

Lokacija: Slovenski gledališki inštitut, Mestni trg 17, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Termin: 08. 04. 2021 – 10. 05. 2021

Amfiteater journal
International scientific symposium

Shifts in contemporary drama after the year 2000

7 – 9 October 2021, Slovenian Theatre Institute, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Call for Papers


Throughout history playwriting and theatre have been caught in an impossible relationship in which they seem to be constantly struggling for dominance, while each of them appears to be unable to exist without the other one. This can be noted as early as in Aristotle’s Poetics, where the great philosopher argued that »the power of Tragedy, we may be sure, is felt even apart from representation and actors«. Nevertheless, the rise of tragedy was essentially bound to theatre and rituals in honour of the god Dionisus which represented an important element of the Athenian polis. We will not however be dealing with the entire history of this relationship, but rather the changes it has undergone during the last 20 years, as it would appear that we are witnessing a revival of playwriting in Slovenia and elsewhere in Europe.

We have already addressed the renaissance of playwriting in the wake of the so-called ‘in yer face’ theatre which emerged in the United Kingdom in the 1990’s and affected the development of drama throughout Europe. On the other hand, as early as in the late 1960’s the so-called performative turn (a term coined by Erika Fischer-Lichte) took place in the development of theatre, which later influenced the emergence of postdramatic theatre (Lehman) or the new aesthetics of the performative (Ästhetik des Performativen) (Fischer-Lichte), while in the area of playwriting it brought about no-longer-dramatic texts (Gerda Poschmann) or post-dramatic texts in the 1980’s.

After the turn of the millenium a new style of writing for theatre started to be discerned, mainly in German literary theory and theatre studies: the so-called ‘dramatisches Drama’ or ‘dramatic drama’, as Birgit Haas designated it. This encompasses theatre texts which again tend to build more heavily upon dialogue and discernible and at least partly coherent drama plot, while they are at the same time characterised by emphatic political or socially engaged points. At the same time new designations for drama playwriting began to emerge, e.g. neo-drama (Anne Monfort) or post-post-dramatic theatre (Élisabeth Angel-Perez), in which authors maintain their presence through lyrisation or episation. Thus contemporary drama exposes us to a deconstruction of the opposition between presentation and representation, while at the same time establishing a strong process of re-dramatisation, the injection of drama and the dramatic into the post-dramatic tissue of plays, despite disturbances of the fictional universe and parallel to it.

The questions we want to address in the planned simposium are as follows:

1. What characteristics of the form and content of drama can be discerned in Slovenia and elsewhere in Europe after the year 2000?

2. What are the causes and influences on the development of playwriting after the year 2000?

3. The forms of dramatis personae in contemporary drama and the question of dramatic genres.

4. What is the relationship between drama and theatre performance in contemporary theatre?

5. Who are the most prominent authors of contemporary drama and what poetics do they adhere to?

6. What is the reception of contemporary drama like?

7. Do literary theory and criticism dispose of appropriate tools for the analysis of such texts? Is it necessary to resort to insights and tools from other fields due to the changed nature of this type of drama and its interconnections with inscenation principles?

8. Can we (still) argue that drama is in a crisis?

9. What is the role of the author in drama after the year 2000?

10. What tactics and strategies does contemporary drama employ when faced with social challenges?

We invite both researchers and practitioners to join us with their papers addressing the above-mentioned issues or to elaborate on them with their personal viewpoints at the international scientific symposium that will take place in Ljubljana from 7 to 9 Octoberre 2021. The possibility of an on-line participation will be assured.

The working language of the symposium will be Slovene and English.

Please send the title and abstract of your paper (max 250 words) together with a short bio (max 120 words) in either Slovene or English to the email This is also the go-to address for any additional questions. The deadline is 10 May 2021.

We will notify you if your paper will be accepted into the programme of the symposium by 1 June 2021.

All the authors will be invited to expand their papers into articles (either in Slovene or English) that will be published in the first issue of the Amfiteater journal in 2022. All articles will be peer-reviewed.


Head of symposium: Gašper Troha

Preparatory committee: Mihael Čepeljnik, Mojca Jan Zoran, Krištof Jacek Kozak Blaž Lukan, Maja Murnik, Mateja Pezdirc Bartol, Tomaž Toporišič, Gašper Troha

Gasper Troha
Slovenian Theatre Institute
Mestni trg 17, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
T + 386 41 369 690


Organizers of the symposium

The Slovenian Theatre Institute (SLOGI) is a national public institution founded in 2014 as the legal successor of the National Theatre Museum of Slovenia, founded in 1952. The Institute aims at the continued evolution of theatre culture at the national level and to raise the awareness of the role and importance of theatre in the development of society and individuals. The Institute is engaged in collecting, preserving, documenting, researching, examining, interpreting, promoting and presenting Slovenian theatre culture, of its heritage and as contemporary theatre arts, both at the national and international levels.

The Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television of the University of Ljubljana performs educational, artistic and research work in the fields of theatre, radio, film and television. From its founding in 1945 to 1975, it operated as an independent higher education institution with a rector, and then became a member of the University of Ljubljana.

Amfiteater – Journal of Performing Arts Theory, is a scientific journal that publishes original articles on performing arts with a broad spectrum from dramatic theatre, drama, dance, performance and hybrid art forms. Authors can analyse the forms and content of artwork and art phenomena from the field of performing arts, their history, their present, and their future, as well as their relationship to other art forms and the broader (social, cultural, political…) context.




The symposium is organized in cooperation with the University of Ljubljana, Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television, within the framework of the Theatre and Interart Research programme (project No. P6-0376), co-financed by the Slovenian Research Agency from the state budget.