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Not to be confused with Playmaking[1] and Playmaker[2], terms which have very specific meanings, more often related to "play" as a childhood activity and more particularly to various forms of sport[3] (especially in the form "playmaker"), rather than to theatre and theatre practice or training.

However, one occasionally comes across the use of playmaking as a variant for Theatremaking[4];[5] and a "playmaker" as an approximate equivalent of playwright and/or director, or a theatremaker.


Theatremaking (also written "theatre-making", "theatre making" and "theater making", etc.) is not only used as a general (collective) term to refer to the various activities involved in creating a theatrical production, but is also at times used more specifically to refer to a particular philosophy about creating a theatrical work of art. In this sense it is seen as a holistic process of devising a play as performance, and tends to be based on practice rather than a (formally) written script, thus including the whole spectrum of activities involved in the process, from writing, experimentation and improvisation, to all forms of design and direction.

Individuals making plays in this way are thus referred to as Theatremakers or Playmakers (rather than actors, designers, directors, etc.)

Theatremaking in South Africa

It has now become a widely used term in South Africa as elsewhere and some publishers, such as Bloomsbury Publishers, actually list what were formerly called "drama" books under the new heading "Theatre Making" in their online catalogue[6].

A number of Universities and other training institutions now offer training from this perspective. For example, in the United Kingdom the University of Surrey offers a MA degree in Contemporary Theatre Making[7], Coventry University an MA in Collaborative Theatre Making[8], and the University of Hull an MA in Theatre Making[9],

An MA in Theatre and Performance (Theatre Making) was first introduced to South Africa by the University of Cape Town[10].


Duška Radosavljevic. 2013. Theatre-Making - Interplay Between Text and Performance in the 21st Century. Palgrave Macmillan.

Rose Burnett Bonczek and David Storck. 2013. Ensemble Theatre Making: A Practical Guide Routledge.

Duška Radosavljevic. 2015. 10 Traits of Theatre-Making in the 21st Century in Exeunt Magazine 11 February 2015[11]];[

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