An Introduction to the Dramaturg’s Work 2023

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21 November - 2 December 2023 | 12:00am - 11:59pm
Online via Zoom
Robin Loon,
Application Period: 18 September to 29 October 2023
  • Apply here by Sunday, 29 Oct 2023, 11.59PM (UTC +8)
  • Results will be announced on 1 Nov 2023 
  • Course fee subsidies are available for selected applicants. Refer to application form for details.


An Introduction to the Dramaturg’s Work is a 4-session foundational course that will provide an introduction and grounding for performing arts practitioners who are curious about or want an insight into the dramaturg’s work.

Conducted fully online by Dr Robin Loon, this course aims to equip participants with an understanding of and familiarisation with:

  • the brief history and evolution of the dramaturg
  • the nature and scope of the dramaturg’s work 
  • different kinds of dramaturgs
  • basic duties and responsibilities of dramaturgs
  • standards and competencies surrounding a professional dramaturg

Participants can expect to engage in discussions based on prescribed readings and undertake individual/group assignment(s) in mock-dramaturgy case projects. At the end of the four sessions, participants should be able to:

  • understand the work of a dramaturg and identify dramaturgical interventions;
  • clarify if they need to engage dramaturgs and how to engage them in the creative process;
  • discover their area of interest should they choose to pursue a practice in dramaturgy.

This is the fourth run of the popular Introduction to the Dramaturg's Work course. Hear what previous participants have to say about their experiences, learnings and key takeaways from the past cohorts:

Attempting to analyze the dramaturgical structure of a text-based work, and imagining myself as a dance dramaturg and going through the thought process of what the role in that specific project brief entailed, were new attempts that seemed daunting at first. But having this opportunity to have a go at it allowed me to realize that it wasn't an impossible task. It was also great to attend this course with a diverse group of participants - hearing from them allowed me to identify the gaps in my thinking and process, for example my relative lack of knowledge with regard to performance history and different artistic practices. This course has therefore also allowed me to identify areas to continue working on.
~ Participant (2020)

I am more knowledgeable of the role of the dramaturg now than before and understand better how as a director/choreographer, I am able to maximise the role of a dramaturg in my work. I have also considered becoming a dramaturg myself and understand that although my training is predominantly in dance, the skills I possess as a researcher conducting performance, semiotic and critical analysis are necessary in the dramaturgy of any theatrical work.
~ Participant (2021)

I think it was a meaningful course in that it was a broad and incisive yet also a humble space. I felt like even experienced practitioners were also finding their way and also encouraging of newer practitioners to also find their own ways, making the dramaturg's work a welcoming space.
~ Participant (2022)

Course Details

  • Dates: 
    • Session #1 | Tue, 21 Nov 2023, 7pm - 9pm UTC+8
    • Session #2 | Sat, 25 Nov 2023, 10am - 12pm UTC+8
    • Session #3 | Tue, 28 Nov 2023, 7pm - 9pm UTC+8
    • Session #4 | Sat, 2 Dec 2023, 10am - 12pm UTC+8
  • Total online contact time: 8hrs
  • Expect individual and group assignment(s) that require you to prepare and work on outside of the scheduled Sessions. 
  • This course will be conducted in English, via Zoom virtual platform. There will be close-captioning (in English) enabled for all sessions.

Course Fee

Fee: SGD $150

The following subsidies are made available by partners:

  1. The Thai Theatre Foundation (TTF) will be offering full subsidies to selected Thai participants.
  2. The Asian Dramaturgs’ Network (ADN) and Bangkok International Performing Arts Meeting (BIPAM) will be offering full subsidies for up to 2 selected participants from Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam.
  3. Centre 42 will offer up to 20% subsidy for applicants who require financial assistance, on a case by case basis.

To be considered for the course fee subsidy, please indicate in the online application form here.

Shortlisted applicants may be required to provide the respective organisations with more information or attend an interview, where required.

Frequently Asked Questions

How will the course be conducted?
  • All four sessions will be conducted online via Zoom.
  • The main mode of communication will be in English. There will be close-captioning / English subtitles available during the Zoom session.
  • There will be some general information and lectures, as well as reading materials and prompts for research.
  • There will be a lot of group discussions either on topics, readings or ideas.
  • Some case studies and small group projects.
Will taking this course equip me with the knowledge to practise as a dramaturg?

This course is structured as an exposure course to orientate practitioners and creatives on what a dramaturg’s role is in the creative process. As an introductory and foundation course, it is not designed to equip you fully to practise as a dramaturg upon completion. However, you should be able to apply the knowledge and understanding to decide if you would like to further pursue a practice in dramaturgy.

I am interested in pursuing a career as a dramaturg, how will this course help me?
  • This course will provide you with a clear understanding of what a dramaturg can or cannot do and the kind of interventions that a dramaturg can negotiate in the creative process.
  • This course will delineate the types of dramaturgs and help you identify your specific area of interests as a dramaturg.
What will I get out of this course if I cannot practise as a dramaturg?
  • A clearer idea of what a dramaturg is and what a dramaturg does.
  • The difference between dramaturgy and a dramaturg’s work.
  • Whether you should enlist the help of a dramaturg and what he/she/they bring.
  • An understanding of the different kinds of dramaturgs operating in the field.
Is this course very academic and theoretical?

Certainly, there will be some reading and theories to consider but the course is really a broad introduction into the world of the dramaturg and the possibilities and value dramaturgs bring to the creation process.

I am an actor, how will this course be useful to me?
  • This course will provide the actor with some basic idea of the dramaturg in performance and in text work.
  • This course will also help the actor identify flow and action within text and performance in relation to his/her/their performance/acting strategies.
I am a writer, how will this course be useful to me?
  • This course will provide the writer with knowledge of structure and structuring and basic dramaturgy that underlies text.
  • This course will also build the right expectations of what a dramaturg can bring to the writing process.
I am a director, how will this course be useful to me?
  • This course will provide the director with sufficient knowledge to identify whether his/her/their project requires the input of a dramaturg and what kind of dramaturg he/she/they should enlist.
  • This course will also help the director understand how to engage a dramaturg during the creative process.


– Application Period: 18 September to 29 October 2023 –


To qualify for this workshop, you must:

  • Be aged above 21 years old.
  • Have a practice in the performing arts, or are engaged professionally in the performing arts practice, for a minimum of 2 years.
  • Commit to the full duration of the programme, and is able to attend virtually via Zoom.


To apply: 

  • Complete the online application form here.
  • Submit by Sunday, 29 Oct 2023, 11.59PM (UTC+8).
  • Confirmation of your spot in the Course will be announced on 1 Nov 2023.


An Introduction to the Dramaturg’s Work 2023 was an international edition, with 23 participants from Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines meeting over Zoom to learn more about dramaturgs and a dramaturg's work. The course went into detail on the definition of a dramaturg, and the different roles and functions a dramaturg can fulfil depending on a production's specific, unique needs. 

Over the course of four sessions, participants reviewed readings, engaged in scenario-based role-play with facilitator Robin Loon, and heard from three guest lecturers, Alvin Chiam, Sonya Wong and Nidya Shanthini Manokara, all of whom have various experiences with the field of dramaturgy. Participants were also given reflection exercises and short assignments after each session, and were encouraged to share their responses at the beginning of the following session, allowing the group to hear different perspectives and learn from one another. 

25 Zoom participants smiling into the camera.

A final group photo with our 2023 participants! 

For this edition of the course, subsidies were made available by Centre 42, the Asian Dramaturg's Network and Bangkok International Performing Arts Meeting, and the Thai Theatre Foundation. 

The participants who received subsidies from Centre 42 were Kwek Yi Xuan, Muhammad Sharul Mohammed, Thi Thanh Hang Nguyen and Teo Xiao Ting. 

The participants who received subsidies from the Asian Dramaturg's Network and Bangkok International Performing Arts Meeting were Linh Trang My Pham (Valerie) and Nguyen Hai Yen (Red). 

The participants who received subsidies from the Thai Theatre Foundation were Pranchalee Khajai, Tanyathorn Khunapinya, Pathipon (Miss Oat), Jaa Phantachat and nd Thanupon Yindee (Golf). 

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