The new dramatic play
: reflections of practice, process, theory

  • Niki Orfanou

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    This thesis is an investigation into the new dramatic play, a term coined as an alternative to the way that written drama is framed up in Hans-Thies Lehmann’s theory of the postdramatic theatre. It is a practice-led research which evolves around my own play, Lucas and Time, taking on its creative processes, such as improvisation, and transforming them into research tools and methods. The thesis argues that the new dramatic play is a theatre text that denies a teleological relationship with the stage and reclaims a sense of completion, without presenting itself as a fixed entity. The thesis, which unfolds as a thinking-through-writing, proposes a sense of theatricality related to the mechanism of the ‘inner spectator’, investigates the play’s difference from other kinds of written texts, and suggests that the new dramatic play engages with tragedy in order to understand its own predicament and search for acts of resistance, which ultimately are to be located in a suspension of ethics. The thesis also discusses other works, such as Heiner Müller’s Germania 3 Ghosts at Dead Man, which creates a space for ambiguity and contradiction that forces the spectator to take a stand, and Tim Crouch’s The Author, which attempts to regulate the spectators’ responses, with unforeseen outcomes. It also presents an experiment, as an account of the events around the production of Lucas and Time in Stadttheater Osnabrück, which premiered in August 2016. Finally, the thesis discusses the relationship between the play, the thesis and the writer as a movement that involves both the present and the future, in the form of an implicit ‘And so on’.
    Date of Award18 Jan 2019
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Roehampton
    SupervisorJoe Kelleher (Supervisor) & Graham White (Supervisor)

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