1st Edition

The Routledge Companion to Dramaturgy

Edited By Magda Romanska Copyright 2015
    568 Pages
    by Routledge

    568 Pages
    by Routledge

    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).


    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


    Magda Romanska

    “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