Dramaturg — What’s That??

I am a playwright, and I’m also a dramaturg.  This week, I’m excited to be heading to Denver, to attend the annual conference for LMDA — the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas.  Yes, it’s a mouthful!

A dramaturg does many things.  Projects can range from serving as a research advisor on a theatre production — particularly one set in a past historical era, such as Frankenstein — to reading incoming script submissions and helping select a theater’s next season to shows, to creating teacher’s guides and lobby displays to aid audiences in thinking about the broader context in which a play is presented.  I like to think of a dramaturg as someone who serves audiences and artistic teams by creating pathways into a play.

As a dramaturg, I’ve done all these tasks and more.  And that’s why I was thrilled when director Steve Cooper suggested that, after I finish writing this new adaptation of Frankenstein, I should then serve as its dramaturg during the rehearsal period.  After spending so much time with Shelley’s text, I definitely feel ready!

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