The Routledge Companion to Dramaturgy  book cover
1st Edition

The Routledge Companion to Dramaturgy

Edited By

Magda Romanska

ISBN 9780415658492
Published August 1, 2014 by Routledge
568 Pages

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Book Description

Dramaturgy, in its many forms, is a fundamental and indispensable element of contemporary theatre. In its earliest definition, the word itself means a comprehensive theory of "play making." Although it initially grew out of theatre, contemporary dramaturgy has made enormous advances in recent years, and it now permeates all kinds of narrative forms and structures: from opera to performance art; from dance and multimedia to filmmaking and robotics.

In our global, mediated context of multinational group collaborations that dissolve traditional divisions of roles as well as unbend previously intransigent rules of time and space, the dramaturg is also the ultimate globalist: intercultural mediator, information and research manager, media content analyst, interdisciplinary negotiator, social media strategist.

This collection focuses on contemporary dramaturgical practice, bringing together contributions not only from academics but also from prominent working dramaturgs. The inclusion of both means a strong level of engagement with current issues in dramaturgy, from the impact of social media to the ongoing centrality of interdisciplinary and intermedial processes.

The contributions survey the field through eight main lenses:

  • world dramaturgy and global perspective
  • dramaturgy as function, verb and skill
  • dramaturgical leadership and season planning
  • production dramaturgy in translation
  • adaptation and new play development
  • interdisciplinary dramaturgy
  • play analysis in postdramatic and new media dramaturgy
  • social media and audience outreach.

Magda Romanska is Visiting Associate Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Harvard University, Associate Professor of Theatre and Dramaturgy at Emerson College, and Dramaturg for Boston Lyric Opera. Her books include The Post-Traumatic Theatre of Grotowski and Kantor (2012), Boguslaw Schaeffer: An Anthology (2012), and Comedy: An Anthology of Theory and Criticism (2014).

Table of Contents


Magda Romanska

Part I World dramaturgy in the twenty-first century

1 Robert Blacker looks at the past and future of American dramaturgy

Jacob Gallagher-Ross and Robert Blacker

2 Contemporary new play dramaturgy in Canada

Brian Quirt

3 Collaborative dramaturgy in Latin American theater

Margarita Espada

4 Documentary dramaturgy in Brazil

Julie Ann Ward

5 The place of a dramaturg in twenty-first century England

Duška Radosavljević

6 On German Dramaturgy

Bernd Stegemann

Translated by Johannes Stier

7 The making of La Dramaturgie in France

Kate Bredeson

8 Dramaturgy and the role of the dramaturg in Poland

Agata Dąbek

Translated by Michael Leonard Kersey Morris

9 The new play dramaturgy in Russia

Pavel Rudnev

Translated by Jessica Hinds-Bond

10 Dramaturgy in post-revolution Iran: problems and prospects

Marjan Moosavi

11 Performing dramaturgy in Syria: observations and interview with Mayson Ali

Fadi Fayad Skeiker

12 Official and unofficial dramaturgs: dramaturgy in China

William Huizhu Sun

13 Dramaturgy of Separated Elements in the Experimental Japanese Theatre

Eiichiro Hirata

14 Dramaturgy in Indian theatre: a closer view

Ketaki Datta

15 Dramaturgy in Australia and the case of Avast and Doku Rai

Peter Alexander Eckersall

16 Dramaturgies in/of South Africa

Marié-Heleen Coetzee and Alan Munro

Part II Dramaturgy in the age of globalization

17 The dramaturg as globalist

Tom Sellar

18 Freelance dramaturgs in the twenty-first century: journalists, advocates, and curators

Anne Hamilton

19 The National Theatre goes international: global branding and the regions

Jens Peters

20 From alienation to identity: transnational communication of Russian-Israeli theatre

Miriam Yahil-Wax

21 Intercultural dramaturgy: dramaturg as cultural liaison

Walter Byongsok Chon

22 The dramaturgical bridge: contextualizing foreignness in multilingual theatre

Debra Caplan

23 Reading and (re)directing "racial scripts" on and beyond the stage

Faedra Chatard Carpenter

24 Transcultural dramaturgy methods

Judith Rudakoff

25 The dramaturgical process and global understanding

Robyn Quick

26 European dramaturgy in the twenty-first century

Marianne Van Kerkhoven

Part III Dramaturgy in motion: demolitions, definitions, and demarcations

27 Dramaturgy on shifting grounds

Hans-Thies Lehmann and Patrick Primavesi

28 Dramaturgy as skill, function, and verb

Lawrence Switzky

29 Interactual dramaturgy: intention and affect in interdisciplinary performance

Bruce Barton

30 The expansion of the role of the dramaturg in contemporary collaborative performance

Sarah Sigal

31 Who is the dramaturg in devised theatre?

Teresa Stankiewicz

32 Finding our hyphenates: a new era for dramaturgs

Jessica Applebaum

33 Dramaturgy as a way of looking into the spectator’s aesthetic experience

Milan Zvada

34 Dramaturgy as training: a collaborative model at Shakespeare’s Globe

Amy Kenny

35 The art of collaboration: on dramaturgy and directing

Anne Bogart and Jackson Gay

36 Dramaturgy in action{...}even if it’s not as a dramaturg

Thomas A. Oldham

Part IV Dramaturgs as artistic leaders and visionaries: privileges and responsibilities of the office

37 Dramaturgs as artistic leaders

Gideon Lester

38 Dramaturgical leadership and the politics of appeal in commercial theatre

Ken Cerniglia

39 On dramaturgy and leadership

Vicki Stroich

40 Leadeship advice to a dramaturgy student

Anne Cattaneo

41 Season planning: challenges and opportunities

Edward Sobel

42 The dramaturg’s role in diversity and audience development

Julie Felise Dubiner

43 Guthrie Theater’s debt to women and diversity

Marianne Combs

44 Reimagining the literary office: designing a department that fulfills your purpose

Janine Sobeck

45 The National New Play Network Collaborative Literary Office: new tools for old tricks

Jason Loewith and Gwydion Suilebhan

Part V Dramaturg as context manager: transculturalism, translation, adaptation, and contextualization

46 A view from the bridge: the dramaturg’s role when working on a play in translation

Katalin Trencsényi

47 Lost in translation

Gitta Honegger

48 The dissemination of theatrical translation

Adam Versényi

49 Literary adaptation for the stage: a primer for adaptation dramaturgs

Jane Barnette

50 Intermingling literary and theatrical conventions

Tomasz Wiśniewski

51 Research strategies in dramaturgical practice

Matt DiCintio

52 Dramaturg as context manager: a phenomenological and political practice

Graça Corrêa

53 New play explorations in the twenty-first century

Mark Bly

54 Thinking like an actor: a guide for the production dramaturg

Andrew Ian Carlson

55 The youth respondent method: new work development for Theatre for Young Audiences

Kristin Leahey

Part VI Dramaturgy among other arts: interdisciplinarity, transdisciplinarity, and transvergence

56 Complex in-betweeness of dramaturgy and performance studies

Marin Blažević

57 The dramaturg(ies) of puppetry and visual theatre

Dassia N. Posner

58 A method for musical theatre dramaturgy

Brian D. Valencia

59 Borderless dramaturgy in dance theatre

Vessela S. Warner

60 The role of the dramaturg in the creation of new opera works

Andrew Eggert

61 Dramaturgy and film

Gerry Potter

62 Phronesis for robots: (re)covering dramaturgy as an Interdiscipline

Michael Chemers

63 Dramaturgical design of the narrative in digital games

Klaus P. Jantke

64 New media dramaturgy

Peter Eckersall, Helena Grehan, and Edward Scheer

65 The science of dramaturgy and the dramaturgy of science

Jules Odendahl-James

Part VII Dramaturg as systems analyst: dramaturgy of postdramatic structures

66 Postdramatic dramaturgy

Gad Kaynar

67 Teaching deconstructively

Barbara Johnson

68 EF’s visit to a small planet: some questions to ask a play

Elinor Fuchs

69 Dramaturging non-realism: creating a new vocabulary

Tori Haring-Smith

70 On dramaturgy in contemporary dance and choreography

Sandra Noeth

71 Research, counter-text, performance: reconsidering the (textual) authority of the dramaturg

D. J. Hopkins

72 The bead diagram: a protean tool for script analysis

Shelley Orr

73 Methods for a new dramaturgy of digital performance

Jodie McNeilly

74 Drametrics: what dramaturgs should learn from mathematicians

Magda Romanska

75 Parallel-text analysis and practical dramaturgies

Toby Malone

Part VIII Dramaturg as public relations manager: immersions, talkbacks, lobby displays, and social networks

76 Dramaturgy and the immersive theatre experience

Catherine Bouko

77 Barrack-dramaturgy and the captive audience

András Visky

78 Framing the theatrical experience: lobby displays

Miriam Weisfeld

79 Dramaturg as public relations manager

Katie Rasor

80 Talkbacks: asking good discussion questions

Jodi Kanter

81 Talkbacks for "sensitive subject matter" productions: the theory and practice

Martine Kei Green-Rogers

82 Dramaturgies for the digital age

Ilinca Todoruț

83 Digital engagement: strategies for online dramaturgy

Tanya Dean

84 Digital dramaturgy and digital dramaturgs

LaRonika Thomas

85 Can technology save theatre? Tweet Seats, YouTube auditions, and Facebook backstage?

Randi Zuckerberg

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Magda Romanska is an Assistant Professor of Theatre Studies and Dramaturgy at Emerson College and a research associate at Harvard University’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies. She holds a Ph.D. from Cornell University and a B.A. from Stanford. She is winner of the 2010 Gerald Kahan Scholar’s Prize (ASTR). Her forthcoming books include: Theatre and Meaning: The Strange Case of Grotowski and Kantor (Anthem Press) and an anthology, Comedy: Theory and Criticism (Palgrave Macmillan).


“Romanska has put together a robust, impressively comprehensive volume that covers the ever-broadening scope of contemporary dramaturgy within a global context… this volume reveals the established, emerging, and imagined ideas of what dramaturgy is and could be… [it] is destined to become a go-to reference for practitioners and students of dramaturgy, along with directors, critics, playwrights, and theater scholars. Highly recommended.”

- Choice

"It is not overstating the case to say that this volume will for sure be the book of reference for students, scholars, and dramaturgs in the fields named above if it comes to questions of dramaturgy. The Routledge Companion to Dramaturgy goes far beyond a conventional handbook on dramaturgy as a way to structure a text to be staged. Rather, it claims attention to and evokes interest for the variety of a concept and a profession that not only covers crucial aspects of the field, but also implicitly highlights the richesse of dramaturgy as a field of study and therefore advocates theatre, performance and media studies as important disciplines that have a long history whose end is not in sight."

- Journal of Contemporary Drama in English

"A wide range of working methods in postdramatic theatre outlined in clear terms."

- Theatralia

"A timely gift to the world of contemporary theatre."

- American Theatre

"A singular, vital, and necessary contribution to the field."

- Platform: Postgraduate Journal of Theatre Arts

"An indispensable resource for anyone serious about dramaturgy."

- Contemporary Theatre Review

"The Routledge Companion to Dramaturgy will prove highly useful in theatre and performance practice, education, and scholarship."

- Theatre Survey 

"Offers an impressive range of voices and insights into dramaturgical practice."

- Theatre Research International