Workshop Series 3: Production dramaturgy – “Adapting classics and devising new plays for the contemporary stage”
This workshop and screening series offers participants the chance to watch and explore six productions dramaturged by Florian Borchmeyer, Head of Dramaturgy at Schaubühne Berlin, and culminates in a four-day professional workshop, in which Borchmeyer examines different approaches to adaptation and devising new plays, and looks specifically at the role of the production dramaturg.

Borchmeyer has a background in literature and works extensively as a literature critic and filmmaker, as well as curating the international programme at Filmfest Munich. Much of his work is an exploration of the influence of socio-political historical events in Germany.

Screening and Discussion Series
In the first part of this series, and in preparation for the artist workshop, participants watch screenings of six Schaubühne productions that illustrate the versatile range of Borchmeyer’s work, and discuss the different ways in which classic plays and socio-historical material are adapted and transformed for the contemporary stage. The first three of the screening and discussion sessions are led by Janice Poon, lecturer at the School of Drama at The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. The last three are offered in conjunction with our “What is Stage: From Text to Space” programme on the scenography of Borchmeyer’s colleague Jan Pappelbaum, Head of Stage Design at Schaubühne, and are co-organised by West Kowloon and Edward Lam Dance Theatre, and led by both Janice Poon and Edward Lam.

Workshop sessions
The second part of the series comprises four full-day artist workshop sessions. During the sessions, Borchmeyer shares insight on different dramaturgical approaches to adapting classic plays and devising new plays for the contemporary stage, and examines the role of the production dramaturg in providing artistic advice and contextual suggestions during the development process. He also shares his personal experience of working on a range of classic works, from Shakespeare to Ibsen, and works with participants to analyse texts and performances from a dramaturgical perspective. 

Screening and Discussion Series:




Screening Title


2 July (Monday)


Recital Hall, 3/F, The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts

(1 Gloucester Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong)

Returning to Reims

Directed by Thomas Ostermeier


Oedipus the Tyrant

Directed by Romeo Castellucci

Janice Poon

3 July (Tuesday)


Compassion – The History of the Machine Gun

Directed by Milo Rau

5 July (Thursday) 


Drama Theatre, 1/F,  The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts

(1 Gloucester Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong)

An Enemy of the People

Directed by Thomas Ostermeier 


Professor Bernhardi

Directed by Thomas Ostermeier

6 July (Friday) 


Richard III

Directed by Thomas Ostermeier

Artist Workshop with Florian Borchmeyer





11 – 14 July (Wednesday to Saturday)


Studio Theatre / Dance Studio 9, The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts

(1 Gloucester Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong)

Florian Borchmeyer

Janice Poon

2:30pm – 5:30pm

Selected participants are required to commit to attending all sessions of screening and workshop. Due to copyright arrangements, no other viewings will be provided.

Part A, screening and discussion will be conducted in Cantonese and supplemented in English
Part B, workshop will be conducted in English

Number of participants:

Administration Fee (Part A and B inclusive):

10% – 15% discount*

*Successful applicants will be contacted by email with payment instructions. Participants who took part in our “Dance Dramaturgy” workshops in March (Workshop Series 1 or 2 or both) can enjoy 10–15% discount on fees. For details, please refer to the application form.

Participants wishing to apply for Workshop Series 4 and 5 in October 2018 and January 2019, please pay the full fee for the first workshop series and retain your confirmation email in order to enjoy discounts on later workshops. West Kowloon will base all fees/discounts on our email records.

Target participants:
Theatre professionals, including stage directors, choreographers, playwrights, performing arts critics, interdisciplinary professionals and others.

Non-theatre professionals with a background in culture and humanities, such as anthropologists, sociologists, historians, psychologists and writers with performance-related experience.

Students or graduate students of performing arts, performance studies, dramaturgy and other fields of culture and humanities.

Participants will be selected based on their application. Please submit your application before 15 June 2018. Successful applicants will be contacted by email with payment instructions on or before 22 June 2018.

Ms Yuen: (852) 2200 0804,

The organiser reserves the right to change the programme content and speaker. All changes will be announced on the website.

Overseas participants must shoulder their own travel and accommodation expenses.

Adverse weather arrangements:
If a black rainstorm warning, or a typhoon signal no. 8 or above is in force three hours before the start of an event, the event will be cancelled.

About the Speakers:

Florian Borchmeyer
Head of Dramaturgy, Schaubühne Berlin

Florian Borchmeyer was born in 1974 in Wasserburg am Inn, Germany. He has worked as a dramaturg since 2011, and was appointed head of dramaturgy at the Schaubühne Berlin in 2013. Borchmeyer studied literature in Berlin, Havana and Paris, and in 2006 he received a doctorate in philosophy with a graduate thesis on the history of the discovery of America. In the same year, his documentary movie Habana – Arte nuevo de hacer ruinas (Havana – The new art of making ruins) was recognised at the Bavarian Film Prize (Bayerische Filmpreis). Borchmeyer continues to work as a filmmaker and as a literature critic for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. He also curates the international programme at the Filmfest Munich.

Janice Poon
Lecturer (Playwriting) and Academic Project Coordinator, School of Drama, The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts

Janice POON is Lecturer (Playwriting) and Academic Project Coordinator at School of Drama, The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. She is also the Artistic Director of Hong Kong Dramatists and a veteran theatre artist and cultural practitioner engaged in cross disciplinary playwriting, directing, dramaturgy, curating and theatre making focusing on play development and text-based cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural theatre making. Her works are loaded with humanity concern in socio-political situations and has been recognised with the Asian Cultural Council Lee Hysan Foundation Fellowship and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the British Government’s Chevening Scholarship. Devoted to cultural exchange between Hong Kong and the international theatre scene, she has been a resident artist at The Lark Play Development Center in New York and the Odin Teatret in Holstebro, Denmark, and is also a frequent speaker and facilitator at international theatre conferences and festivals. Her works have been presented in major cities in Europe, the US, China and other regions in Asia. And Then, I Float (2013) was awarded four major awards, nominated for the best play award at the Hong Kong Theatre Libre, and also invited as part of a cultural exchange project at the Schillertage festival in Mannheim, Germany (2015); Small Waisted (2016) won the Multi-cultural Short Plays Competition organised by the International Theatre Institute of UNESCO.