Since the summer semester of 2018, the mdw has offered a postgraduate programme in applied dramaturgy—which is Austria’s only programme of training conceived specifically for future dramaturges.

What do dramaturges actually do?

Dramaturges are observers and communicators: they look, read, think, listen, convey, and write. They confront themselves and others with the substance and aesthetic forms of music and other performing arts. They compile the programmes of (music) theatres and concert venues and develop the concepts used by such institutions to address the general public. They may also develop cut versions of works, conceive programme booklets, lead discussions with the audience, plan productions, provide written critiques, accompany rehearsals from a critical distance, mediate between artists, provide (hopefully) constructive feedback, put productions in context, research background information and sources for stage productions, serve as contacts for audience members, and much more.

In order to address these requirements, 2018 saw creation of the postgraduate programme “Applied Dramaturgy in Music and Performing Arts” at the mdw as Austria’s first university-based professional development offering focussed on the broad field of dramaturgy both from a theoretical and from an artistic standpoint.

Applied Dramaturgy: Dramaturgy in Theory and Practice

The core of this two-year programme centres on developing and realising dramaturgical projects in music and other performing arts—in the process of which concerts, music theatre, spoken theatre, performance art, and hybrid art forms are examined and analysed with regard to their aesthetic vocabularies and dramaturgies. The broad spectrum of dramaturgical work is conveyed in theory and in practice: cultural studies, cultural policy, philosophy, and aesthetics represent central teaching content, as do matters of language and communication. This programme is designed as a postgraduate, extra-occupational professional development offering and provides its students the opportunity to deal both theoretically and practically with dramaturgy for the theatre and for music. The participating teaching staff support students in structuring and realising their dramaturgical projects as well as in their involvement in cooperative projects with international arts institutions. While in this programme, students can complete a dramaturgy internship at one of the cooperating theatres and concert venues, develop a dramaturgical project of their own as part of an independently chosen collaboration with artists, or write an academic paper. This programme addresses interested parties of all ages who wish to pursue university-level further training in and deal in greater depth with—contemporary applied dramaturgy.

All those who are interested in obtaining a glimpse into the Applied Dramaturgy programme can do so on Tuesday, 18 June 2019 at 5:00 pm as part of the event series “Gender Talks”, at which the programme’s first graduate—Monika Robescu—will present her final project in the form of a musical performance entitled IGNOTAE DEA.


Next course start winter semester 2019. Registration from now until 7th June 2019 possible!

  • Comprehensive information on this programme can be found at:

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