School of Arts



Peter M Boenisch is Professor of European Theatre, specialising in the areas of theatre direction and dramaturgy. Before being imported to Kent from Germany in 2004, he was a lecturer at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, worked as freelance theatre critic and dramaturg, and ran a fringe theatre space near Munich. In 2003/4, he was Leverhulme Visiting Fellow with the theatre department at the University of Huddersfield, and in 2012/3, he spent time at the University of Surrey as Professor of Dance and Theatre.
Peter is a Fellow at the International Research College “Interweaving Performance Cultures and an editorial associate of Contemporary Theatre Review (published by Routledge) and, with Rachel Fensham (University of Melbourne), he is series of editor of the New World Choreographies book series for Palgrave Macmillan.


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Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository

Boenisch, P. (2016). The Theatre Of Thomas Ostermeier. Abingdon and New York: Routledge.
Boenisch, P. (2015). Directing Scenes & Senses: The Thinking of Regie. [Online]. Manchester: Manchester University Press. Available at:
Book section
Boenisch, P. (2017). An actor, but in life: Spectatorial consciousness and materialist theatre. in: Fisher, T. and Katsouraki, E. eds. Performing Antagonism: Theatre, Performance & Radical Democracy. London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan UK. Available at:
Boenisch, P. (2014). What happened to our Nation of Culture? Staging the theatre of the Other Germany. in: Holdsworth, N. ed. Theatre and National Identity: Re-Imagining Conceptions of Nation. Abingdon, Oxfordshire: Routledge, pp. 145-162. Available at:
Boenisch, P. (2014). Who's watching? Me! – Theatrality, the Žižekian Subject and Spectatorship. in: Chow, B. and Mangold, A. eds. Žižek & Performance. Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 48-60. Available at:
Boenisch, P. (2013). Spectres of Subjectivity: On the Fetish of Identity in (Post-) Postdramatic Choreography. in: Jurs-Munby, K., Carroll, J. and Giles, S. eds. Postdramatic Theatre and the Political: International Perspectives on Contemporary Performance. London / New Delhi / New York / Sydney: Bloomsbury Methuen Drama.
Boenisch, P. (2010). Frank Castorf and the Berlin Volksbühne: The Humiliated and Insulted (2001). in: Bay--Cheng, S. et al. eds. Mapping Intermediality in Performance. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, pp. 187,196-202.
Boenisch, P. and Stalpaert, C. (2010). Jan Fabres Affirmationsfalle: Von der (Un-) Möglichkeit politischen Theaters im Zeitalter der Toleranz. in: Forschungszentrum, S. and M. ed. Spielart Festival Reloaded. Berlin: Henschel, pp. 62-88.
Boenisch, P. (2010). Thomas Ostermeier: mission neo(n)realism and a theatre of actors and authors. in: Delgado, M. M. and Rebellato, D. eds. Contemporary European Theatre Directors. Routledge, pp. 339-359.
Boenisch, P. (2007). Multisensuality and Postdramatic Mise-en-Scène: The ro:theater's Proust-Project. in: Suguiera, M. and Borowski, M. eds. Fictional Realities/Real Fictions: Contemporary Theatre in Search of a New Mimetic Paradigm. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, pp. 121-134.
Boenisch, P. (2007). Tanz als Körper-Zeichen: Zur Methodik der Theater-Tanz-Semiotik. in: Klein, G. and Brandstetter, G. eds. Bewegung in Übertragung, Bielefeld. Transcript, pp. 29-45.
Boenisch, P. (2006). Aesthetic art to aisthetic act. Theatre, media, intermedial performance. in: Kattenbelt, C. and Chapple, F. eds. Intermediality in Theatre and Performance. Amsterdam: Rodopi, pp. 103-116.
Boenisch, P. (2006). Mediation Unfinished. Choreographing Intermediality in Contemporary Dance Performance. in: Kattenbelt, C. and Chapple, F. eds. Intermediality in Theatre and Performance, Amsterdam and New York. Rodopi, pp. 151-166.
Boenisch, P. (2004). Theater der Sensationen. Performance als Wahrnehmungs-Labor. in: Matzke, A. and Kurzenberger, H. eds. TheorieTheaterPraxis. Berlin: Theater der Zeit, pp. 261-268.
Boenisch, P. (2012). Acts of Spectating: The Dramaturgy of the Audience's Experience in Contemporary Theatre. Critical Stages [Online] 8. Available at:
Boenisch, P. and Orozco, L. (2010). Editorial: Border Collisions - Contemporary Flemish Theatre. Contemporary Theatre Review [Online] 20:397-404. Available at:
Boenisch, P. (2010). Towards a Theatre of Encounter and Experience: Reflexive Dramaturgies and Classic Texts. Contemporary Theatre Review [Online] 20:162-172. Available at:
Boenisch, P. (2008). Other People Live: Rimini Protokoll and their Theatre of Experts - an interview. Contemporary Theatre Review [Online] 18:107-113. Available at:
Boenisch, P. (2008). Exploring the Classics: Michael Thalheimer's Regie beyond the Text 1. Contemporary Theatre Review [Online] 18:30-43. Available at:
Boenisch, P. (2008). Exposing The Classics: Michael Thalheimer's Regie beyond the Text. Contemporary Theatre Review [Online] 18:30-43. Available at:
Boenisch, P. (2007). Decreation inc.: William Forsythe's equations of bodies before the name. Contemporary Theatre Review [Online] 17:15-27. Available at:
Boenisch, P. (2005). Komik und Konsumzwang: Zwischen Jux und Jucken – Komische Gesten bei Forced Entertainment. Maske und Kothurn. Vierteljahresschrift zur Theater-, Film- und Medienwissenschaft 51:335-345.
Boenisch, P. (2004). Ent-Körpern, Ent-Schreiben, Ent-Schöpfen. Wie sich die Tanztheorie von Forsythe's 'Decreation' zur Dekonstruktion der Diskurse über das Ballett verleiten ließ. BalletTanz:56-61.
Boenisch, P. (2004). Alienating Realities. Hygiene Heute and the Politics of Sonic Conspiracy. 3xT Tidsskrift for teori og teater:40-49.
Boenisch, P. (2009). Book Review No Beauty for Me There Were Human Life is Rare: On Jan Lauwers' Theatrework with Needcompany Stalpaert, C., Le Roy, F. and Bousset, S. eds. Contemporary Theatre Review 19:115-116.
Boenisch, P. (2007). Book Review: Mary Luckhurst, Dramaturgy: A Revolution in Theatre. Theatre Research International [Online] 32:207-207. Available at:
Boenisch, P. (2005). Book Review: Simon Shepherd and Mick Wallis, "Drama/ Theatre/ Performance",. Theatre Research International 30:306-307.
Conference or workshop item
Boenisch, P. and Orozco, L. (2010). Working Group "Directing & Dramaturgy". in: TapRA 2010 Conference.
Boenisch, P. (2010). Curator of Panel "Dramaturgy Abroad and Back: Transnational Reflections on a modern Western theatre paradigm" and Introductory Paper "Dramaturgic Research in Theatre Studies: Exploring Potentials and Methodologies". in: IFTR World Congress 2010 "Cultures of Modernity".
Boenisch, P. (2010). Dramaturgy as Relational Process: On the Act of Spectating. in: 10. Kongress der Gesellschaft für Theaterwissenschaft "Theater & Subjektkonstitution".
Boenisch, P. (2010). Zeitläufte: Zur Choreografie und Wahrnehmung von Zeitlichkeit im Tanztheater der Gegenwart. in: Symposium "TIME CODES: Zeichen der Flüchtigkeit – Zeichen der Zeit", DANCE 2010-Festival.
Boenisch, P. (2009). Intermediale Dramaturgie, zum Beispiel Guy Cassiers und Frank Castorf. in: Intermediale Dramaturgie, zum Beispiel Guy Cassiers und Frank Castorf.
Boenisch, P. (2009). Keynote, Symposium 'Mapping Performance: Intercultural Spaces, Negotiable Boundaries'. in: 'Mapping Performance: Intercultural Spaces, Negotiable Boundaries Symposium.
Boenisch, P. (2009). Curator "Re/Placing Shakespeare: On Ivo van Hove's Roman Tragedies" (Symposium). in: Re/Placing Shakespeare: On Ivo van Hove's Roman Tragedies Symposium.
Boenisch, P. (2009). Invited Panel contribution "Visions of Dance Studies". in: Tanzkongress.
Boenisch, P. (2009). Invited Lecture, Critical Encounters 3: Encountering the Intermedial. in: Critical Encounters 3: Encountering the Intermedial.
Boenisch, P. (2009). Invited Research Seminar, '(Re-)Devising Classics in Contemporary Theatre'. in: (Re-)Devising Classics in Contemporary Theatre.
Boenisch, P. (2009). The naked tragedy of being human: Recent productions of Shakespeare in German Theatre. in: 2009 British Shakespeare Association conference.
Boenisch, P. (2009). Co-convenor, with Una Bauer, Working Group Directors/Collectives. in: TaPRA Conference 2009.
Boenisch, P. (2009). Panelist, Plenary Discussion ‚Jacques Rancière Study Day. in: Rebellato, D. and Holdsworth, N. eds. Royal Holloway/TAPRA Working Group 'Performance, Identity, Community'.
Boenisch, P. (2009). Research Seminar, Forschungsprojekt SaM Sound and Movement. in: Forschungsprojekt SaM Sound and Movement.
Boenisch, P. (2008). Invited Panel Member, Conference 'Theatre Studies Today and Tomorrow'. in: Theatre Studies Today and Tomorrow.
Boenisch, P. (2008). 'How to do things with Text: Text-Regie als Mise-en-Sens'. in: Conference 'Orbis Pictus - Theatrum Mundi'.
Boenisch, P. (2008). Guest Lecture, 'Theater-Politik und Bühnen-Business: Hinter den Kulissen der englischen 'theatre industry' - Strukturen und Modelle jenseits der Subventionskultur'. in: • Guest Lecture, 'Theater-Politik und Bühnen-Business: Hinter den Kulissen der englischen 'theatre industry' - Strukturen und Modelle jenseits der Subventionskultur'.
Boenisch, P. (2006). Decreation Inc. William Forsythe's exploration of 'behaviour without intention'. in: Symposium "The Changing Body in Training and Performance".
Boenisch, P. (2006). Intermediality and the Classics: Updating the "old media" of theatre. in: 15th World Congress International Federation of Theatre Research.
Boenisch, P. (2006). Deutsches Theater according to Michael Thalheimer: A Postcard from Berlin. in: Tapra Theatre and Performance Research Association.
Boenisch, P. (2005). Postdramatic Mise-en-scène: The ro:theater's Proust-Project. in: IFTR-Conference "Fictional/Real in Contemporary Theatre".
Boenisch, P. (2004). See and be SCENE: Reflecting the Presentation and Perception of Restoration Theatre. in: "The Long Restoration: Leviathan to Licensing Act", Conference.
Boenisch, P. (2004). Komik ist Konsumterror. 20 Jahre gegen das genussvolle Einverständnis: Forced Entertainment 1984 - 2004. in: Kongress "Komik - Ästhetik, Theorien, Vermittlungsstrategien", 7th International Congress of the German Society for Theatre Studies.
Showing 50 of 82 total publications in KAR. [See all in KAR]



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  • DR341 “Directors’ Theatre: The History of Staging Plays”
  • DR343 “Behind the Performer”
  • DR669 “European Theatre since 1945”
  • DR635 “Dance and Theatre: Dramaturgies of Moving Bodies”
  • MA European Theatre
  • Peter also teaches at Hochschule für Schauspielkunst “Ernst Busch” Berlin, and the theatre department at Freie Universität Berlin.
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Peter is primarily interested in the aesthetics and politics of theatre performance, with inspiration drawn from Slavoj Žižek, Hegel, Lacan, Jacques Rancière, Fredric Jameson and other critical philosophers. His work focuses on theatre direction and dramaturgy, mainly in Continental Europe, and explores the notion of Regie as a distinct critical and political approach to theatre directing. 

In 2015, he has completed a British Academy/Leverhulme Research Grant "Thomas Ostermeier and the Berlin Schaubühne: Reinventing Directors' Theatre for the 21st Century", which has resulted  in the book The Theatre of Thomas Ostermeierco-authored with the director himself,  published by Routledge in  2016.

Listen to Peter's lecture Reclaiming Regietheater: The Dialectics of Directing, given at the London Theatre Seminar, Senate House/University of London, on 17 October 2013, as a Podcast on Backdoorbroadcasting.


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Peter welcomes proposals for postgraduate research in the following areas:

  • Directing, mise en scène and Dramaturgy
  • European Theatre, especially German and Flemish/Dutch theatre
  • Critical Theory, Aesthetics of Theatre and Performance
  • Dance and Corporeality

Please contact him for an informal discussion of potential projects.
Current and recent supervisions and examinations include

  • Canonical Dramatic Texts in Contemporary Directors’ Theatre
  • The Organisation of Scenography
  • Dramaturgy of Contemporary British Dance
  • Dramaturgy of the Body: Visuality, Corporeality and Physical Presence
  • Collectivity within Contemporary Greek Dance Creation
  • Shakespeare and German unification: The interface of politics and performance
  • The Role Of The Dramaturg In Devised And Contemporary Performance In The UK
  • Brechtian Gestus Today
  • Film as Performance – Performance as Film
  • Blast Theory: intermedial performance
  • Post 1990s Dance Theatre
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Last Updated: 15/02/2017