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Palgrave Macmillan

Multilingual Dramaturgies

Towards New European Theatre

  • Book
  • © 2024


  • Provides a study of dramaturgical practices in contemporary multilingual theatre in Europe
  • Provides insight into diverse approaches toward multilingual theatre and its dramaturgy
  • Sheds light on an exciting theatre practice and argues for its central role in the future of Europe

Part of the book series: New Dramaturgies (ND)

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Table of contents (7 chapters)


About this book

Multilingual Dramaturgies provides a study of dramaturgical practices in contemporary multilingual theatre in Europe. Featuring interviews with international theatremakers, the book gives an insight into diverse approaches towards multilingual theatre and its dramaturgy that reflect cultural, political, and economic landscapes of contemporary Europe, its inhabitants, and its theatres. First-hand accounts are contextualized to reveal a complex set of negotiations involved in the creative and political tasks of staging multilingualism and engaging the audience, as well as in practical issues like funding and developing working models. Using interviews with practitioners from a diverse range of theatrical backgrounds and career levels, and with various models of financial support, Multilingual Dramaturgies also offers an insight into different attitudes towards multilingualism in European theatres. The book illuminates not only the potential for multilingual dramaturgies, but also the practical and creative difficulties involved in making them. By bringing the voices of artists together and providing a critical commentary, the book reveals multilingual dramaturgies as webbed practices of differences that also offer new ways of understanding and performing identity in a European context. Multilingual Dramaturgies sheds light on an exciting theatre practice, argues for its central role in Europe and highlights potential directions for its further development.


“A brilliant book on the practices and politics of making multilingual theatre in a in a European continent in flux where language is anything but stable. Kasia Lech shows the complex ways in which theatre has served as the site for navigating ethical questions in relation to difference, colonialism, displacement, memory, and ableism. Drawing on insightful interviews with theatre makers, and analysing an impressive range of productions, Multilingual Dramaturgies provides a bold examination of how language operates in theatre, the relationship to funding and what the deployment of diverse media means for the process of making and engaging with work across different cultural contexts.”- Professor Maria Delgado, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London

“Kasia Lech's brilliant intervention into the relationship between theatre and language fills the gap in our understanding of multilingualism and its potential for post-national identity formation, and the pivotal role that theatre might play in the process. Blending critical theory with close reading and dramaturgical analysis of specific works and artists, together with the insightful interviews, she provides much-needed framing of multilingual theatre as essential to understanding the processes of both globalization and digitalization of our lives.”                                                                           Professor Magda Romanska, Emerson College, Boston, Mahindra Humanities Center, Harvard University

“Kasia Lech’s Multilingual Dramaturgies represents an urgent intervention into Theatre Studies, exploring how European theatre performs, understands, and re-imagines difference. Enriched by the presence of detailed interviews with professional practitioners, the book is also a sensitive and politically-engaged exploration of what it means to make and receive performances in multi-lingual contexts. This combination of theory with practice makes this study profoundly impactful for our understanding of dramaturgy, translation, collaboration, and the role of the theatrical spectator. At a time of growing fragmentation and polarisation, Lech’s work points us towards new forms of European theatre -- but also identifies new ways of living ethically in the world, for theatre-makers, audiences, and citizens everywhere.”                                                                                          - Professor Patrick Lonergan, University of Galway

Authors and Affiliations

  • Faculty of Humanities, Theatre Studies, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

    Kasia Lech

About the author

Kasia Lech is a scholar, actor, storyteller, dramaturg, puppeteer, and Associate Professor in Global Performance History at the University of Amsterdam, Netherlands. Her research and creative practice explore theatre through practice-based and traditional scholarship and primarily focus on theatre in relation to multilingualism, verse, translation, migration, dramaturgy, and cross-cultural encounters. Kasia is the author of Dramaturgy of Form: Performing Verse in Contemporary Theatre (2021). She performed internationally and co-founded Polish Theatre Ireland, a multilingual theatre company based in Dublin. Kasia is an Executive Director at, a global theatre portal which seeks to decolonize theatre criticism. She also co-convenes the Translation Adaptation Dramaturgy working group at the International Federation for Theatre Research.

Bibliographic Information

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