1st Edition

Dramaturgy and History Staging the Archive

Edited By Caitlin Kane, Erin Stoneking Copyright 2025
    168 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Dramaturgy and History provides a practical account of an aspect of dramaturgical practice that is often taken for granted: dramaturgs’ engagements with history and historiography.

    Dramaturgs play a vital role in amplifying and activating theatre’s unique potential to contribute to the pressing public discourse around the uses and legacies of history.This collection challenges the notion of history as an unassailable or settled set of facts, offering readers a glimpse into the processes and methods of eighteen dramaturgs working in a variety of settings, including professional theatres, universities, museums, and archives. The dramaturgs featured use history to a variety  of ends: they reframe classical texts for contemporary audiences; advocate for the production of lesser-known writers and the expansion of the canon; create new works that bring women’s, LGBTQIA+,and Global Majority histories to life; and establish new and necessary archives by/of/for minoritarian artists. Collectively, they examine and animate some of the most urgent questions, concerns, and challenges that dramaturgs encounter in working with history.

    An essential resource for teachers and students of dramaturgy, the collection offers a concluding hands-on exercise for each chapter to facilitate the reader’s application of the methods discussed in their own practice.

    List of Contributors





    Caitlin Kane and Erin Stoneking


    Part I: Production Dramaturgy: (Re)contextualizing Existing Plays


    Chapter 1: Experimenting with Conceptual Casting: Tennessee Williams's The Glass Menagerie

    Khalid Y. Long


    Chapter 2: (Dis)Respecting Canonical Texts

    Jennifer Popple


    Chapter 3: Evoked, If Not Depicted: Dramaturgy and Local Histories

    Charlie Peters


    Chapter 4: Punk Nuns and Early Modern Vacationlands: Dramaturgical Approaches to Staging Sor Juana in the 21st Century

    Alison Hyde Pascale


    Chapter 5: [Re]Fashioning Mowatt’s Comedy of Manners through Adapturgy

    Janna Segal


    Chapter 6: History Looking Back: Dramaturging the Gaze

    Yiwen Wu


    Chapter 7: “To Attach Our Floating Hearts”: The Dramaturgy of Queer Historiography

    Percival Hornak


    Part II: New Play Dramaturgy: Staging History and Historiography


    Chapter 8: Staging the Queer Archive: soldiergirls in Process

    Ryan Adelsheim


    Chapter 9: Dancing Augmented Archives: Movement and Technology as Dramaturgical Practice

    Al Evangelista


    Chapter 10: Animating Loss: The Role of Historiography in New Play Development

    Erin Stoneking


    Chapter 11: Dramaturgy of Internal Displacement in Nigeria

    Elaigwu P. Ameh


    Chapter 12: Strength in Numbers: Cultivating Dramaturgical Collaboration Across Disciplines

    Lindsay L. Barr


    Chapter 13: Loops of Time: A Historicized Dramaturgy

    Sam Redway


    Part III: Dramaturgy and/as Public History: Connecting with Broader Publics


    Chapter 14: Hands-On History: Engaging Historical Thinking through Dramaturgy

    Elysia Segal


    Chapter 15: Applying Brecht’s Anti-Spectacular Approach to Staging Fascism

    Ilinca Tamara Todoruț


    Chapter 16: "Beyond Land Acknowledgement”: Rendering Central Illinois History Along The Potawatomi Trail of Death

    Nicole Anderson Cobb


    Chapter 17: A Public Historian’s Guide to Dramaturging Native Plays

    Laurie Arnold


    Chapter 18: Archiving AfroLatine Theatre

    Daphnie Sicre




    Caitlin Kane (she/they) is an Assistant Professor of Theatre History and Dramatic Criticism at Kent State University.


    Erin Stoneking (she/her) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Gender and Race Studies at The University of Alabama.