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Ina Driemel

Disertation Project

Staged Youth: Analysis of a Construct in Theater Pedagogy (1982–2012)

This research project focuses on images of youth in theater pedagogy. The material for the analysis consists of theater performances from the “German National Theater Contest Theatertreffen der Jugend” of the Berlin Festspiele from 1982–2012.

One consequence of the development of pedagogy, psychology, and sociology in the beginning of the twentieth-century is the production of “youth” as a social category and discursive construct. At the same time, scientific discourse produces a wealth of knowledge about “youth” together with numerous images that have become embedded in society and have come to make claims of truth and universality. The knowledge and conception of “youth” is founded in a generational perspective and a thematization of otherness.

Beginning with the assumption that “youth” is constructed in an artist-pedagogical context, the project analyzes theater-pedagogical productions created with young people. It examines these stagings to ask about the conceptions (images) of youth they evince and the discourses that frame them. 

The project views theater pedagogy as an agent in the production of discourse and as a producer of knowledge; it is based on the thesis that a “different form of knowledge” (Busch 2016) from that of the sciences can be recognized in these performances. Questions include, among others: to what extent can theater as a form of art over-write and “write-apart” discursive orders of knowledge and so destabilize or “dis-un-ambiguate” (Engel 2003) them by employing aesthetic strategies and procedures? 

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Studies in social work with a focus on aesthetics and communication/culture and media at the Neubrandenburg University of Applied Sciences, studies in theater pedagogy at the Berlin University of the Arts. From 2007–2012, full-time employment as a freelance theater educator and lecturer at universities; from 2012–2013, employment at the National Theater Contest of the Berlin Festspiele; winter semester 2013–2014 and winter semester 2014–2015, instructor for special responsibilities (with a focus on theater pedagogy) at the Coburg University of Applied Sciences.


„Nicht suchen, sondern finden“, in:, Onlinepublikation des Graduiertenkollegs „Das Wissen der Künste“, Nr. 4 „das Provisorische“, November 2015, URL:


05. 2015 "Improvisieren und Üben. Die Arbeitsecke"; Symposium: alles bleibt anders...Handwerk als Gestaltung. Gestaltung als Handwerk,  im Rahmen des designcampus open, Hochschule Coburg


WiSe 2014/15 "(Lebens-)Geschichten on stage", Studiengang Soziale Arbeit, Schwerpunkt Kultur-Ästhetik-Medien, HS Coburg

WiSe 2014/15 "Kulturelle Bildung am Übergang", Studiengang Early Education, HS Neubrandenburg

SoSe 2014 "Die Kunst des Vortrags", Studiengang Soziale Arbeit, Schwerpunkt Kultur-Ästhetik-Medien, HS Coburg

SoSe 2013 - WiSe 2014/15 "Ressourcenorientierte und kreative Biographiearbeit", Studiengang Soziale Arbeit, ASH Berlin