Amfiteater journal symposium 2021: Shifts in contemporary drama after the year 2000

Location: Slovenian Theatre Institute, Mestni trg 17, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Date: 07. 10. 2021 – 08. 10. 2021

Amfiteater journal
International scientific symposium

Shifts in contemporary drama after the year 2000

7 and 8 October 2021, Slovenian Theatre Institute, Ljubljana, Slovenia

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?



Thursday, 7 October 2021

8.30 registratuion of the participants
9.00 opening of the symposium
mag. Mojca Jan Zoran, director of the Slovenian Theatre Institute
red. prof. Tomaž Gubenšek, dean of the Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television, University of Ljubljana

Lada Čale Feldman: Deconstructing and Reconstructing the Fictional Universe: On Two Opposite Examples of Contemporary Metadrama


First session
Moderator: Gašper Troha

Špela Virant: Contemporary German Theatre Plays or “Capitalism will not win”
Martina Petranovič & Lucija Ljubić: The Poetic Tendencies of Contemporary Croatian Playwriting
Zuzana Timčíková: Authenticity in Collective Works of Auteur Theatre: The Approaches of the Millennial Generation in Slovakia


11.10 coffee break

Second session
Moderator: Tomaž Toporišič

Krištof Jacek Kozak: A Playwright’s Confrontation with the Basic Human Condition: Being a Refugee
Zala Dobovšek: The Representation and Understanding of Poverty in Contemporary Slovenian Drama
Maja Murnik: The Smart Text: Contemporary Slovenian Drama and the Document
Hana Strejčkova: Site-Specific Auteur Drama


13.00 lunch

Aleksandra Jovićević: From Stage to Page: New Forms of Performance Text


Third session
Moderator: Krištof Jacek Kozak

Tomaž Toporišič: How Can We Interpret the 21st-Century (No Longer) Dramatic Texts and Theatre in Art and Theory?
Blaž Lukan: Post-post-drama or the Heavily Broken Dramatic World
Ana Perne: The Text as the “Trace that the Performance Leaves on Paper”
Hanna Veselovska: The 21st-Century Drama and the New Reality of Social Networks


17.00 coffee break

Fourth session
Moderator: Maja Murnik

Almir Bašović: The Anxiety of Self-Determination and Signs of Crisis
Mateja Pezdirc Bartol: The Return of the Worker in Contemporary Slovenian Drama
Gašper Troha: What Shakes the Mind and Heart in Eastern Europe at the Beginning of the 21st Century?
Ivana Slunjski: To Whom Belongs the Performance?
Piet Defraeye: Milo Rau’s Theatre of the Real and the Issue of Homophobia


Friday, 8 October 2021

Fifth session
Moderator: Gašper Troha

Benjamin Zajc: The Substance of Regional Millennial Playwrighting
Varja Hrvatin, Maša Radi Buh & Jakob Ribič: Generationless Drama
Nika Švab: Requestioning the Definition of Women’s Writing in Contemporary Slovenian Drama


10.15 coffee break

Jure Gantar: The Death of the Character in Postdramatic Comedy


Sixth session
Moderator: Krištof Jacek Kozak

Karolina Prykowska-Michalak: The Dramaturgy of Migrants: Kill the Robbers
Radka Kunderová: The Textual, the Performative and the Political
Simona Hamer, Jera Ivanc, Kim Komljanec & Simona Semenič: A Report from the Frontline


12.45 lunch

Seventh session
Moderator: Mateja Pezdirc Bartol

Kim Komljanec: The Present and Future of Contemporary Slovenian Playwriting at Home and Abroad
Andriej Moskwin: The Reception of Slovenian Dramaturgy in Poland
Ljudmil Dimitrov: Slovenian Drama in Bulgarian Translation


15.40 coffee break

Eighth session
Moderator: Blaž Lukan

Pavel Ocepek: Sexually Liberated Woman: Sexuality and Sexual Cultures in Two Plays by Simona Semenič
Ivanka Apostolova: Theatrical Control Policy or Why, After Goran Stefanovski and Dejan Dukovski, No One is Known Outside the Borders of the Macedonian Theatre?


final discussion of the symposium



Introductory lecture and First Session
Second Session
Third Sesssion with Introductory lecture
Fourth Session
Fifth Session
Sixth Sesssion with Introductory lecture
Seventh Session
Eighth Session and Final discussion


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.