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Contemporary Western societies feed on overflow: burgeoning populations, mass production, a multiplicity of information, data, and news. For us individuals, as well as communities, in order to be able to manage and process this deluge, it needs to be contained and organised into some sort of order. So, patterns are recognised and created, details are omitted, and others are emphasised until an abundance of occurrences gains shape, meaning, and value. Stories are formed, narratives emerge, emotions are evoked. What is the difference between manipulating and emphasising truthful meaning? How can dramaturgy, the art of recognising patterns and thus creating meaning respond to this challenge?

This public lecture by internationally renowned dramaturg and researcher Katalin Trencsényi will examine this on two levels: micro-dramaturgy (the level of individual performance-making), and macro-dramaturgy (institutional processes). It will look at a variety of examples of overflow, and how formless mass is shaped into patterns for efficiency. It will examine occurrences in life (natural and social) how they are organised, and how this is reflected in theatre and performance. Since its inception as a separate profession, dramaturgy has been championing critical thinking in theatre-making. What is the role of dramaturgy in a post-truth society?  This lecture will also attempt to answer the question: what is the ethical responsibility of dramaturgs and theatre-makers in the creative process in contemporary theatre and performance?


Dr KATALIN TRENCSÉNYIDr KATALIN TRENCSÉNYI is a dramaturg, researcher, and theatre-maker. Her areas of specialization are: contemporary theatre and performance, new drama development, dance dramaturgy, collaborative processes, and European director’s theatre.

As a London-based freelance dramaturg, Katalin has worked with the National Theatre, the Royal Court Theatre, Deafinitely Theatre, Corali Dance Company, and Company of Angels, among others. As a theatre-maker Katalin has worked and taught internationally: in Belgium (DANSPUNT – Out of the Toolbox Festival), Canada (Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal), Poland (Festival of New Dramaturgies), Russia (Diaghilev Festival), and the US (LMDA dance dramaturgy workshop at Gibney Dance).

Katalin is co-founder of the Dramaturgs’ Network (d’n), has worked on its various committees, and from 2010 to 2012 served as its President. Currently she is working as a member of the d’n Advisory Board.

Katalin is the author of Dramaturgy in the Making. A User’s Guide for Theatre Practitioners (Bloomsbury Methuen Drama, 2015), editor of Bandoneon: Working with Pina Bausch (Oberon Books, 2016), and co-editor with Bernadette Cochrane of New Dramaturgy: International Perspectives on Theory and Practice (Bloomsbury Methuen Drama, 2014). Since 2018 she has been working as editor of the dramaturgy section of the award-wining global theatre portal,

As a visiting lecturer Katalin has taught at the University of Kent, the Guildford School of Acting (University of Guildford), Kingston University, Falmouth University, and the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Currently she is working as an associate lecturer at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA).

Katalin is proud to have won the Bly Fellowship in 2014, awarded by the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas, and is looking forward to present her research on dance dramaturgy at the Bly Alumni’s celebratory gathering at the Kennedy Center in 2019.

Event Details: 6:00pm start with drinks and light refreshments after lecture.


Buses: there are two main bus hubs on the UQ St Lucia Campus - UQ Lakes, and UQ Chancellor's Place.  If you are staying near St Lucia, you will arrive via Chancellor's Place on the 402, 411 or 412 bus.

Ferry: there is a ferry stop on the UQ St Lucia campus.

Train: the closest train station is Toowong; you will need to catch an additional taxi or a bus in order get to St Lucia campus.

Details for these options can be found via the Translink Website:

Taxi: if catching a taxi, inform the driver to take you drop you off on Campbell Road which follows on from Sir Fred Schonell Drive.


Sir Llew Edwards Building (Building #14), St Lucia Campus
Terrace Room, Level 6