2006: new 2007 What's dramaturgy? What's a dramaturg? [ IS] What does a dramaturg do?

The Dramaturg's role in a production
Or: basic expectations for your dramaturg

* A thorough text/story analysis.
* Research into the prior productions of the text as needed.
* Historical research of various sorts.
* Attendance at at least one quarter of the rehearsals, the first read-through, and as many run-throughs as possible.
* Oral or written notes for the director.
* Attendance at some preproduction meetings.
Program contributions.

Dramaturgs can be hired by theatres or directors as freelance production dramaturgs. They can be hired by theatres as literary managers, outreach coordinators, education supervisors and artistic directors. Playwrights can hire dramaturgs to act as script consultants. Dramaturgy can be academic or related to a specific production.

* A production dramaturg is a consultant and an advocate for the playwright's intentions.

I. Pre-Rehearsal

II. During Rehearsal

III. Post Rehearsal

[ details ]

* dramaturgy (UK):

DRAMATURG originates from the ancient Greek:
Dramatourgos = drama (deed or act) + ergos (work or composition) So, originally a dramatourgos was a composer of drama, i.e. a playwright.

The job of a Dramaturg emerged when a playwright (G. E. Lessing) was employed by a theatre to help them with all their productions. 'Dramaturg' is commonly used today to refer to the literary adviser of a theatre, who takes part in the rehearsal process and who guards the integrity of the play.

A dramaturg's role is exciting and multifaceted, operating differently depending on the context and type of production process. The dramaturg works closely with the director and/or playwright, the company and sometimes the producer. S/he looks after the core analysis and ideas of the production, making sure that the director's, company's or writer's vision translates through design, light, sound and costume for that particular audience and venue. They are readers of texts and performances, sounding boards and an additional resource for all involved. It is a collaborative role.

[ Dictionary ]

The Dramaturg: Modern Day Court Jester:

"... A Dramaturg is many things rolled into one. They are part educator and part editor. They act as a supportive muse to the Artistic Director, and as a mischievous court jester. They are the theatre's internal critic, and their resident historian. They can help to shape a company's season, or they can champion undiscovered playwrights and aid them in the construction of their scripts. They play devil's advocate to a production's director, and stand in as the playwright in absentia when cuts and changes to the script are considered. Simply put, they are the Director of the Text. Where a regular director is charged with making the script a three dimensional picture, the Dramaturg ensures that the words and intentions of the author are being served in that translation." ( recommendede reading)

Enough! While drama scholars use "dramaturge," from the French, meaning "writer of plays," producers and actors usuaully use "dramaturg" from the German, meaning "director or editor of plays" (Langenscheidt).

But about the "dramaturgue" term?

Oh no! blog : long in * LMDA

Between the Lines: The Process of Dramaturgy is a series of lively and informative conversations undertaken by Canadian Judith Rudakoff and American Lynn M. Thomson with selected dramaturgs from Canada and USA.

What Is Dramaturgy? Edited by Bert Cardullo
Dramaturgs, or literary managers, play an enormous role in theatre production, yet the concept of "dramaturgy" is poorly or vaguely understood by many theatre professionals. In this insightful collection of essays, dramaturgs, writers and directors discuss the functions and facets of dramaturgy, and why the role of dramaturg can have an enormous impact on the success of a production. Softcover, $55.95.

In Contact With The Gods: Directors Talk Theatre Edited by Maria M. Delgado & Paul Heritage
This inspiring collection of interviews features 18 of the top contemporary directors, including Peter Brook, Augusto Boal, Robert Lepage, Ariane Mnouchkine, Jonathan Miller and Giorgio Strehler, among others. Illustrated with black and white photos and featuring the best epilogue I've ever read: a discussion between Peter Brook, Jonathan Miller and Oliver Sacks about the process of staging "The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat ". Softcover, $27.95.

Ten Dramaturgical Myths
David Copelin

MYTH #1: Literary managers and dramaturgs tell playwrights how to reunite their plays.

REALITY #1: No literary manager or dramaturg with any sense or sensitivity would do this. Yes, we ask questions. Yes, we point out the consequences of the choices that a playwright makes. We care about themes, resonances, a play's context. We may suggest alternative structure, the rearrangement of scenes, the dramatic (not economic) need for more or fewer characters. But our response or advice is based on one crucial principle: the script belongs to the playwright. Copyright is moral right. Changes can only be made by the author, or with the author's consent.

[ the rest in "What is Dramaturgy?" ]

Scriptwork: A Director's Approach to New Play Development by Donna Breed, David Kahn, Lanford Wilson; Southern Illinois University Press, 1995

Dramaturgue and other pages in shows (The Possessed, Shrew, Oedipus).

Main Dramaturgue Page (very new) *

On Theatrical Interpretation (Master Teachers of Theatre: Observations on Teaching Theatre by Nine American Masters by Burnet M. Hobgood; Southern Illinois University Press, 1988) : In the Beginning Was the Word

Backwards and Forwards: A Technical Manual for Reading Plays by David Ball; Southern Illinois University Press, 1983 : - Part One: Shape - 1: What Happens That Makes Something Else Happen? - 2: And What Happens Next? - 3: But Do It Backwards - 4: Stasis and Intrusion - 5: Obstacle, Conflict - 6: Ignorance is Bliss (or: the Very Cause of Everyone's Lunacy About Hamlet) - 7: Things Theatrical - Part Two: Methods - 8: Exposition - 9: Forwards: Hungry for Next - 10: Missing Persons (character) - 11: Image - 15: Families - 16: Generalities: Mood, Atmosphere - 17: The Unique Factor - 18: Changing Eras - 19: Climax - 20: Beginnings/Endings - 21: Rereading - 22: What Next?

Playwright Versus Director: Authorial Intentions and Performance Interpretations by Sidney Berger, Jeane Luere; Greenwood Press, 1994


Modern American Drama, 1945-2000 by C. W. E. Bigsby; Cambridge University Press, 2000

- Chapter One: The Absent Voice: American Drama and the Critic - Chapter Two: Eugene O'Neill's Endgame - Chapter Three: Tennessee Williams: the Theatricalising Self - Chapter Four: Arthur Miller: the Moral Imperative - Chapter Five: Edward Albee: Journey to Apocalypse - Chapter Six: A Broadway Interlude - Chapter Seven: Sam Shepard: Imagining - Chapter Eight: David Mamet: All True Stories - Chapter Nine: The Performing Self - Chapter Ten: Rede.Ning the Centre: Politics, Race, Gender - Chapter Eleven: Beyond Broadway

Twentieth-Century Theatre: A Sourcebook by Richard Drain; Routledge, 1995 - Part I: The Modernist Dimension - Introduction - 1: Alfred Jarry - 2: Adolphe Appia - 3: Gordon Craig - 4: F.T.Marinetti, E.Settimelli and B.Corra - 5: Enrico Prampolini - 6: Tristan Tzara - 7: Guillaume Apollinaire - 8: Walter Hasenclever - 9: Valeska Gert - 10: Stanislas Ignacy Witkiewicz - 11: Ivan Goll - 12: El Lissitzky - 13: Sergei Radlov - Notes - 14: Oskar Schlemmer - 15: Daniil Kharms - 16: Gertrude Stein - 17: Eugene Ionesco - Note - 18: Allan Kaprow - 19: Robert Wilson - 20: Tadeusz Kantor - 21: Richard Foreman - Part II: The Political Dimension - Introduction - 22: Bernard Shaw - 23: Sergei Eisenstein - Notes - 24: Ernst Toller - 25: Vsevolod Meyerhold - 26: Erwin Piscator - 27: Workers’ Theatre Movement - 28: Bertolt Brecht - 29: Athol Fugard - 30: Ariane Mnouchkine - 31: Judy Chicago - 32: HÉlÈne Cixous - 33: Carolee Schneemann - 34: Suzanne Lacy and Leslie Labowitz - 35: Edward Bond - 36: Charles Ludlam - Part III: The Popular Dimension - Introduction - 37: Gordon Craig - 38: Vesta Tilley - 39: Vsevolod Meyerhold - 40: W.B.Yeats - 41: F.T.Marinetti - 42: Vladimir Mayakovsky - 43: Grigori Kozintsev - 44: Blue Blouse - 45: Vsevolod Meyerhold - 46: Karl Valentin - 47: Bertolt Brecht - Notes - 48: Jean Vilar - 49: Armand Gatti - 50: Peter Schumann - 51: Dorothy Heathcote - 52: Dario Fo - 53: John Mcgrath - 54: Armand Gatti - 55: John Fox - 56: Kwesi Owusu - Part IV: The Inner Dimension - Introduction - 57: August Strindberg - 58: Adolphe Appia - 59: Gordon Craig - 60: Vsevolod Meyerhold - 61: LoÏe Fuller - 62: Isadora Duncan - 63: Wassily Kandinsky - 64: Constantin Stanislavski - 65: Paul Kornfeld - 66: Evgeny Vakhtangov - 67: Federico GarcÍa Lorca - 68: Antonin Artaud - Notes - 69: Judith Malina - 70: Jerzy Grotowski - 71: Louise Steinman - 72: Rachel Rosenthal - Part V: The Global Dimension - Introduction - 73: Antonin Artaud - 74: Bertolt Brecht - Note - 75: Enrique Buenaventura - 76: Errol Hill - 77: Luis Valdez - 78: Peter Brook - 79: Wole Soyinka - 80: Ntozake Shange - 81: Honor Ford-Smith - 82: Augusto Boal - 83: HÉlÈne Cixous - 84: Eugenio Barba



* 2005 Question: Theatre with Anatoly: what are your webpages for? Dramaturgue (Don Juan) or Dramaturg? See Theatre Theory and read The Possessed D page!

* Dramaturgy -- NOUN: The art of the theater, especially the writing of plays. Not a playwright?

The Write Thing : The Dramaturg -- UK

Dramaturg and Literary Manager

Dramaturgue? (actor's checklist) : ** English Theatre National Arts Centre

Shakespeare as dramaturg?! Leon Katz:

These are the skills, knowledge, and experiences I believe a dramaturg should have when he enters the profession:

1) A critical sensibility, together with the ability to write mature essays and reviews addressed not merely to professionals and scholars, but also to reasonably intelligent, generally aware readers and theatregoers.

2) A thorough knowledge, in depth, of the dramatic repertory based on a wide range of reading in dramatic literature, scholarship, and criticism in all periods and genres of drama, with special areas of expertise of his own.

3) The ability to do scholarly research, plus practical experience in tracking down scripts, options, copyright information, and publication as well as production histories of plays.

4) The ability to read and translate plays from, ideally, several foreign languages but as a minimum one, and the even more valuable ability to adapt the translated text into stageworthy dialogue in English.

5) The ability to read new scripts intelligently, and to write summaries and appraisals of them with professional competence.

6) The ability to cut scripts knowledgeably, with an understanding of how to do so without destroying their logic or losing their essential dramatic and theatrical values.

7) Experience in preparing a dramaturg's protocol--a fivepart pre-production study of a play-together with a glossary of the text, for the information of the director and possibly the rest of the company. The parts consist of (a) the historical, cultural, and social background of the play;
(b) relevant biographical information concerning the playwright, plus a history of the writing of the play and an assessment of its place in the author's oeuvre ; (c) a critical and production history of the play, including a report on the textual problems (if any) of the original and an assessment of the major translations (if the play was written in a language other than English); (d) a comprehensive critical analysis of the play, including the dramaturg's suggestions for a directorial-design concept for a new production; and (e) a comprehensive bibliography of materials on the play: editions, essays, articles, reviews, interviews, recordings, films, videotapes, etc.

8) The ability to prepare useful background study guides-often a digested version of the protocol or parts thereof--to be made available to student or "group" audiences.

9) Experience and expertise in collaborating with directors and designers to create a production concept, or, if a specific "concept" is not to be employed, an approach to the play and an articulation of its goals in production.

10) Based on the dramaturg's intimate knowledge of a play, and on pre-production discussion with a director about his approach to the play, the expertise to contribute significantly to a play's casting and design.

11) Expertise in taking dramaturgical rehearsal notes (which can be of crucial value to a receptive director), knowing at what points in the rehearsal process his notes are of value, what sort of notes are useful at different stages of the rehearsal process, and what sort of notes have constructive value together with what sort do not.

12) A thorough awareness of dramaturg's rehearsal decorum. It is most important for the dramaturg to take notes during rehearsal as inconspicuously as possible. He must be aware that the very sight of someone vigorously writing notes can be unnerving to directors and actors, who may feel that premature judgment is being made upon them. What helps most in allaying this source of irritation is the dramaturg's creation of the feeling in the company, as early as possible in the rehearsal process, that he is part of the same team and anxious for the same, good result. The courtesies and parameters that guide the dramaturg are these: he avoids interrupting of his own volition the director's work or the rehearsal; he does not show his notes to, or discuss them with, any member of the company without the request or consent of the director; in manner and in conversation, he avoids exhibiting negative responses toward the director's or the company's labors. The dramaturg, as much as any member of the company, shares the responsibility for creating an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect during rehearsals.

13) Knowledge of the do's and don'ts governing the dramaturg's conduct during consultation sessions with the director. However discussion between the two occurs, whether regularly and formally or only occasionally and informally, the dramaturg suggests his opinion to the director but does not force it on him, and understands that the final decision on all matters raised in discussion is necessarily the director's.

14) In working with playwrights, the ability to break down a script, analyzing its structural strengths and weaknesses, and make constructive suggestions for revision.

15) Training and experience in appropriate writing styles and formats for program notes (which should reflect the director's concept of the play and production and provide audiences--even critics--with a relevant context for viewing the playin-production), newsletter articles, interviews, and publicity releases.

16) Experience in keeping notes for, and writing up, postproduction records: production logs, season histories, post-production critical evaluations.

17) The experience of an apprenticeship in a professional theatre, working within the framework of its particular procedures and policies, and gaining familiarity with its overall administrative and budgetary set-up.

18) Above all, to have developed his individual "idea of a theatre" out of which he would, if this earth were heaven, map out seasons of repertory to advance that particular idea; and even if this earth is not heaven, to have developed the determination to work tirelessly toward advancing such a theatre, or orienting a theatre in which he works toward his artistic goal. Concomitantly, to have developed enough common sense to recognize that a theatre in which he is employed will not normally adapt itself overnight to his particular aesthetic orientation, but to retain enough idealism to yearn and plan for the existence of his ideal theatre, some day, somewhere. For dramaturgy as a profession ultimately looks toward the shaping of the artistic policy of a theatre, the formulation of its artistic policy being evidenced in its choice of repertoire, its approach to productions, and the cultural and aesthetic orientations of the artists it employs.

What Is Dramaturgy? by Bert Cardullo; Peter Lang, 1995

SHOWs NOTEBOOKs = (My) Director's Notes and Scrapbook:

- Primary Bibliography: Writings by Chekhov

- Secondary Bibliography: Reviews

- Secondary Bibliography: Books, Articles, Sections

- Author Index: Secondary Bibliographies

- General Index [ 3 Sisters + Farces (sample) ]

Other supplementary jobs for the dramaturg, especially in an institution:
* Advising the marketing team.
* Working with the education staff.
* Participation in post-play discussions.
* Input on press releases.
* Text work -- ranging from true adaptation to suggesting cuts. Keeping a copy of the script as performed (working with the stage manager).
* Historical research in conversation with the sound, light and set designers.
* Text work with the actors - especially on poetic drama.
* Active collaboration with the director during the rehearsal process --
* A vocal presence in rehearsals.
[Play selection.]
* Organizing readings of new plays.
* Rooting and keeping logs of collaborative writing/performances.
* Keeping track of research materials -- both those provided by the dramaturg and those brought in by other people.


I serve as a dramaturg (Lessing-style) for the shows I direct or want to direct. Since 1999 (3 Sisters) I began to keep my notes online (webpages). At first, I thought that I need six months (or a year) of pre-production time and a few months of post-production (arranging the archives of the show), now I know that the process is endless...

I keep adding texts and links to the pages of the shows, which I directed many years ago. Director's notes, character analysis, interesting reviews of the plays staged somewhere...

That is forever. It's never ends. I have to accept it.

Anatoly 2005

2006... -- cybernetics