Mapping Out, In & About

"Mapping Out, In & About" is the inaugural symposium of the newly-established Asian Dramaturgs' Network (ADN), held in Singapore on April 23 and 24. The symposium will feature the gathering of more than 15 Asian-based dramaturgs from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, China, Japan, Korea, Philippines and Australia.

The symposium's theme, "Mapping Out, In & About", refers to discussions that will shed light on – as well as challenge – dramaturgical thinking and practices in Asia. In a series of public talks, the ADN speakers will present different perspectives on dramaturgy, dramaturging and the dramaturg within performance-making. 

Some issues that will be explored during the symposium are:

  • Conceptualising dramaturgy in the region
  • Practical realities of dramaturgy - working through case studies
  • Work processes between performance-makers and dramaturgs in practice
  • Education and pedagogy in dramaturgy

The aim of these public talks is to raise the awareness and the profile of the field of dramaturgy in contemporary performance-making in Singapore. 


The Asian Dramaturgs' Network (ADN) was borne out of a need and curiosity – a need to connect with other dramaturgs in the region, a curiosity to search for like-minded individuals in dramaturgy. It also fulfils the need for dialogue and debate on dramaturgy, dramaturging and, for me most importantly, to engage with dramaturgs. 

There is gaining urgency to extend the curiosity of the dramaturg – “What are you?”, “What do you really do?”, “How do you do it?” – to fellow dramaturgs in the region. This latter point was beautifully reminded by a dear comrade in dramaturgy and friend that ADN should be about “a network for dramaturgs first”. In other words, who are the people behind this concept and more importantly in effecting the active verb of dramaturging?

ADN is about connecting individuals in dramaturgy because it is the people who are doing, refining, adjusting and shaping dramaturgy. We at ADN are interested to connect and dialogue with such individuals. They give shape to dramaturgical thinking. They materialise dramaturgy through embodied practices in all the myriad approaches and methods.

The inaugural symposium will see a meeting of dramaturgs from all over Asia. They are neither representative of every single country in the region, nor do they exhaustively reflect the different disciplines in dramaturgy. However, it is a start. And it is with this start that we hope to gather even more intelligence and information about Asian dramaturgs and dramaturgy out there. 

We also want to engage in and exchange particular issues and themes surrounding the dramaturg and dramaturgy through our sessions of forums, panels and roundtables. And hopefully, the blossoming of new, meaningful rapport and friendships; performance-making is a social activity, after all.

The vitals: 23rd and 24th April 2016, Singapore. We hope to see you there.