What is a Dramaturg?
Everyone has their own answer to this question....but often times a dramaturg is some who has a firm grasp of theatricality and dramatic structure of a play. A dramaturg is a catalyst for dialogue between actors, artistic teams, institutions, and audience members to have a deeper understanding and contextualization of a play.
A dramaturg is the invisible link between the world of the play, the artistic team/institution, and the audience.
A dramaturg's number one guiding question is: Why this play now?
WHAT DOES A DRAMATURG DO?
asks questions, creates dialogue, assembles production packets, designs lobby displays, facilitates talkbacks, plans events, historiographers of theater and performance by writing reviews or books, archives performance material, reads scripts for a literary department, assists playwrights, develops educational material, serve as an adaptor and/or translator...and SO MUCH MORE!
THink of Dramaturgy as...
The Co2 of Plays.
Or like an invisible stitch in sewing, but for a production.
You can't always see the work of a dramaturg but the informs every fiber of the production.
Or a Librarian...google will give you lots of answers but a Librarian will give you the right one. Librarians wear many hats not only as reader services assistants but as information scientists and community organizers. Similar to the audience engagement work that a dramaturgy does.
Or a new play dramaturg is sometimes like "Mom" (or insert any figure here) who gives you tough love and honest advice. Your go-to speed dial for any news and usually the bad news when you are feeling lost and confused. The person who will always care for you and talk to you no matter what time it is. The person you can laugh with or cry with. The one person who will always understand you and be there for you. Sometimes you take their advice other times you ignore it (but...they are usually right). But in the end, you are always grateful to have their input and they are always cheering you on. Because.... sometimes at the end of the day you just need your "Mom" or a dramaturg.
I think one of the most important things a dramaturg can do is serve as an active audience member while watching rehearsals.
You Sound Like a Girl, IRT’s 3B Residency, New York, NY, Devised/New Work Dramaturg
Holy Lola, Dance Film, The Holding Project, Portland, OR, Dance Dramaturg
Crane, The Holding Project, Portland, OR, Dance Dramarturg
Philadelphia Stories, By writer Paul Rome and composer Roarke Menzies, The Bushwick Starr and Walker Space, New York, NY, New Work Dramaturg
Bacchae, Adapted by: CK Williams, Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle, WA, Production Dramaturg
Eclipsed, By: Danai Gurira, Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle, WA, Production Dramaturg
A Memory of Two Mondays, By: Arthur Miller, Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle, WA, Production Dramaturg
Now Ear This, Rachel Levens on Geoff Sobelle's Hear Their There Here, January 2018
Stuck By: Hatlo, Washington Ensemble Theater, Seattle, WA, New Work Assistant Dramaturg
Simon Fairchild Animal Memorial Choir By: Kelsey Wilk, New Work Assistant Dramaturg (Reading)
Urinetown: The Musical Playwright: Greg Kotis, Composer: Mark Hollmann, Lyricists: Greg Kotis & Mark Hollman, Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle, WA, Assistant Production Dramaturg
Theater NOW New York: Sound Bites 3.0, 2015
Bushwick Starr, 2012-2013
Washington Ensamble Theater 2012-2013
2019 LMDA Conference, Hot Topics- Playwrights-in-Residence at Universities (1:05:15).
2019 LMDA Conference, CreativeXChicago, Co-facilitated with Caroline Snape.