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Dramaturg and dramaturgy

The Dramaturgs' Network explores dramaturgy through information, debate and practice.

d'n 15th anniversary celebrations

& the Kenneth Tynan Award ceremony

Sunday, 23 October 2016

3pm - 10pm

Arcola Theatre

24 Ashwin Street, Dalston

London E8 3DL

Theme of the day:
The Dramaturgy of Censorship

"How far should one accept the rules of the society in which one lives? To put it another way: at what point does conformity become corruption?"
 - Kenneth Tynan


3.30pm-5pm                   Welcome and panel discussion on the Dramaturgy of Censorship chaired by Jonathan Meth

                                       Speakers: Natalia Kolyada (Belarus Free Theatre), Tena Štivičić  (playwright), Andrew Haydon                                               (theatre critic), Omar El-Khairy (playwright), Amy Ng (playwright)

5pm-6pm                         Live music with Klezmer band Balabustah

6pm-7pm                         Staged reading of A Portrait of the Writer Who Wrote Nothing by Ahmed El-Fagih, with George                                         Savvides, with a presentation of the dramaturgical approach by director Richard Shannon

"If there is a dangerous aspect to writing, that makes it more like walking over a mine field, it is only part of the excitement that comes with the job. One never hears of a carpenter, a blacksmith, or a farmer, being assassinated because someone didn't like their work." (excerpt from the play)


Creative team:

Author: Ahmed El-Fagih



































7pm-7.30pm                    Presentation of the Kenneth Tynan Award by Mark Ravenhill

7.30pm-8.30pm               Buffet dinner - served in Studio 3

Dramaturgical surgeries: 15 minute slots to discuss your play with a member of the dramaturgs’ network (first come first served) - Box Office area

Advice for early career dramaturgs (open to all) - Studio 1

Book Swap


8.30-10:00pm                 DJ Roops

Tickets: £17 to include food from the Arancini Bros / £12 without food.

The Kenneth Tynan Award is sponsored by Oberon Books and supported by the National Theatre.

How to get to the Arcola Theatre:

Cast: George Savvides

George Savvides' theatre credits include Remzi in The Battle of Green Lanes (Theatre Royal Stratford East), Ali in Lockerbie 103 (Tour including the Traverse), Priest in King Oedipus (Nuffield, Southampton), Adu Deep in The Garden of Habustan (Tricycle), the title role in Walaa (New Diorama), St. John in Dream Think Speak’s site specific production of In the Beginning was the End (Somerset House) and most recently The Judge in Haram Iran (Above the Stag). He has translated three Aristophanes' plays: The Frogs (Arts Council Tour), Wealth (Warehouse Theatre, Croydon) and Clouds (Commission). His film and television credits include Gilles Montand in The Honourable Rebel, Hassan Ali in Papadopoulos & Sons, Mushie Mashhadi in HBO/BBC’s award-winning House of Saddam, Hertz in BBC’s Fortunes of War (BBC), Yannis in six episodes of ITV’s September Song and two US miniseries opposite Omar Sharif in Harem and Memories of Midnight.

Ahmed El-Fagih is a writer of international standing whose works include the award-winning trilogy Gardens of the Night and a large body of novels, plays, short story collections, and essays. His dramas have been performed in many countries, including the United States, and his books have been widely read and translated. El-Fagih was a leading figure on the Arab cultural scene in London in the 1970s and 1980s, where he first studied drama, then ran the magazine Azure, an English-language publication covering Arab arts. During this time, his play Gazelles was adapted by Adrian Mitchell and staged at the Shaw Theatre in 1982. El-Fagih then turned to diplomacy and served as Libya’s Ambassador to Greece, and more recently Romania, where he performed in his play The Portrait of the Writer Who Wrote Nothing at the Sibiu Festival. During this period, El-Fagih continued to write plays and novels, and his twelve-volume novel Maps of the Soul was recently published in Cairo.

Ahmed El-Fagih founded and chaired many institutions in Libya and abroad. Among the posts he has occupied include Chairman of Arab Cultural Trust, Secretary General of the Union of Writers and Artists, and Director of the National Institute of Drama and Music. He is currently Chairman of the Mizda Heritage Society. El-Fagih has directed and performed in many plays for The New Theatre, a company he founded in Tripoli, and is the recipient of Libya’s highest medal, The Grand Al-Fatah Medal.

Director: Richard Shannon

Richard Shannon is a dramaturg, playwright and director. He works in both theatre and radio, and lectures at Goldsmiths and Warwick universities. His credits as a writer include: Sabbat (Dukes Theatre, Lancaster), The Lady of Burma (Old Vic, Edinburgh Festival 2007, Riverside Studios, toured nationally, and has been performed in Poland, Bangalore, Mumbai, Ireland and Norway), Stargazer (Polka Theatre in London, and the USA). Richard was Associate Director (New Work) at Polka Theatre for ten years. His productions at Polka include: Shouting, Stamping, Singing Home by Lisa Evans. Richard was also one of the founding directors of Independent Radio Drama Productions. His directing credits include: Saddam's Arms by Simon Beaufoy, No Boy’s Cricket Club by Roy Williams, The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle starring Edward Petherbridge as Sherlock Holmes, Chuwudubelu, Preserved of God by Justin Butcher starring Ben Okafor (BBC Radio 4). Richard also works as a visiting lecturer in radio drama and production at Goldsmiths College, University of London, teaches playwriting at the University of Warwick and the University of East London, and drama at Newham College in Stratford, London.

d'n café


The d'n café is an open forum discussion and professional development event organised by the Dramaturgs’ Network. 


With no fixed address, the d’n café is a conceptual space for theatre practitioners to meet, talk, and reflect on practice. The d'n café is also a place for networking, and is open to professionals as well as anybody with an interest in dramaturgy.


Past d'n cafés included:


- On verbatim theatre (with Robin Soars, Alecky Blythe, Chip Chung and Nicolas Kent) - 2011.


- New drama development in the USA (with Harriet Power and Bob Hedley), 2012.


- On translating for the stage (with Penny Black, Karen Jürs-Munby and Just a Must Theatre Company), 2012.


- On post-colonial performance (with Nina Feldman and Patrice Naiambana), 2013. 



d'n lab


The dn lab, in the format of workshops or masterclasses offers hands on, shared experience on various aspects of dramaturgy from devising through dance to new drama development.


Past d'n labs lincluded:


- Dance dramaturgy masterclass with Hildegard de Vuyst (les ballets c de la b), 2012.


- Devising, dramaturgy and the alternative science play (with Ann Van de Velde and Alex Mermikides), 2012.


- Adaptation and dramaturgy (with Jack Bradley), 2013.



Hildegard de Vuyst at the dance dramaturgy workshop, 2012

other events

The Dramaturgs' Picnic is an annual social event (traditionally held at Hampstead Heath): an opportunity to catch up with colleagues, share food and talk about dramaturgy. 



The Dance Dramaturgy Working Group organises outings for those who are interested in this strand of dramaturgy.




The Kenneth Tynan Award is the only award in the UK acknowledging the work of a dramaturg.






Vanda Butkovic and Penny Black at the Olympic d'n café, 2012

d'n lab on devising, 2012

Dramaturgs' Picnic, 2011

Is there anything dramaturgy-related you think is missing from our activities? Is there a topic you  think we should discuss? An idea we could investigate and develop? A festival we could be part of? An organisation we could work together with?


Would you be able to help organise it?


Do get in touch with us - all the above events were initiated and organised by d'n volunteers!

“…the whole day had a warm, inviting, thoughtful tone to it.  You've built a great community around you and the d'n, and I was very proud to have been there for such an important event.”

(Rachel Ditor, Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas /LMDA)

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