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Peter M. Boenisch


Peter M. Boenisch

Research areas

  • Dramatic art Dutch and Flemish theatre European theatre German theatre Regietheater theatre direction
  • Dramaturgy Sociodramaturgy Theatre and Society
  • Theatre institutions Institutional Critique Institutional Dramaturgy


I have been Professor of Dramaturgy at Aarhus University since 2019, after teaching previously at LMU Munich, the University of Kent, and The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama/University of London. I am Vice President of the European Association for the Study of Theatre and Performance (EASTAP, https://eastap.com/).

My main research areas are in the fields of theatre direction and institutional contexts of theatre-making, with a particular focus on the German- and Dutch-speaking countries. My interest is, in particular, in the intersections of aesthetics and politics in contemporary theatre, interrogating issues such as spectatorship, the conditions of theatre production, and transcultural and postmigrant theatre from a European perspective. My book publications include  Directing Scenes & Senses: The Thinking of Regie (Manchester University Press 2015), the book The Theatre of Thomas Ostermeier (Routledge 2016), coauthored with the German theatre director, as well as the edited projects Littlewood - Strehler - Planchon (with Clare Finburgh) in the Methuen series Great European Stage Directors,  the 30th anniversary re-issue of David Bradby and David Williams's Directors' Theatre (Macmillan Red Globe 2019), and the book The Schaubühne Berlin under Thomas Ostermeier: Reinventing Realism (Methuen 2020). I am currently working on the project, funded by Aarhus University Foundation: "Reconfiguring dramaturgy for a global culture: Changing practices in 21st century European theatre". Its aim is to scope comparative case studies of how theatre institutions, mainly in the subsidised public theatre sector, reorientate in response to challenges such as globalisation and digitalisation, but also migration and new political populisms. The major focus of attention will be on contexts of "second cities", with the aim to analyse the specific situation beyond the major cosmopolitan European centres such as Berlin, London, Paris, Copenhagen, and elsewhere. In this context, we have also launched a new research group, "Paradigms of Dramaturgy: Arts, Institutions and the Social", within the IKK's interdisciplinary research programme Cultural Transformations at AU.

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