Essential Dramaturgy : The Mindset and Skillset book cover
1st Edition

Essential Dramaturgy
The Mindset and Skillset

ISBN 9781138902152
Published February 23, 2017 by Routledge
212 Pages

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Book Description

Essential Dramaturgy: The Mindset and Skillset provides a concrete way to approach the work of a dramaturg. It explores ways to refine the process of defining, evaluating, and communicating that is essential to effective dramaturgical work. It then looks at how this outlook enhances the practical skills of production and new play dramaturgy. The book explains what a dramaturg does, what the role can be, and how best to refine and teach the skillset and mindset.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 - Introduction

Part One: The Mindset

Chapter 2 – Unpacking the Question

Chapter 3 – The Forest and the Trees

Chapter 4 – Timing

Chapter 5 – Why This, Here, Now?

Part Two: The Skillset

Chapter 6 – What You Need

Chapter 7 – How You Apply It

Chapter 8 – When It Works

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Theresa Lang is a teacher, director, and dramaturg. She holds a BA in Drama from the University of Dallas, an MA in Theatre from Brown University, and a PhD in Drama from Tufts University. A theatre historian, her areas of specialty include popular entertainment, the censorship of urban space, and the development of the American theatre. As a practitioner she is particularly interested in the development and production of new work and under-represented voices. She is the dramaturg of Come on Over Ensemble Theatre and is on the faculty at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee and at Boston College. Theresa is the Chair of Dramaturgy and the Coordinator of Devised Theatre for Region 1 of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, and was the Associate Director of the inaugural New Play Dramaturgy Intensive at the Kennedy Center.


Theresa Lang's Essential Dramaturgy: The Mindset and Skillset offers a productive theoretical and methodological contribution to a growing literature on the field of dramaturgy. Lang argues for shifting away from task-based definitions of dramaturgy, advocating instead for understanding a dramaturgical mindset through the use of to dramaturg as an active verb. The book is divided into two parts, beginning with a theoretical approach (mindset) and concluding with practical applications (skillset). This structure makes for engaging and accessible reading that will appeal to upper-level undergraduates and graduate students with interests in dramaturgy, and to early career dramaturgs.

-Daniel Smith, Theatre Topics