Friday, February 1, 2008

What is Dramaturgy? By Elizabeth Pool

Elizabeth Pool, our Resident Dramaturg, clears it up for us.

At a recent talk back one of our inquisitive audience members asked the question I get asked quite often – what is a Resident Dramaturg? It’s a question I am used to answering from friends, family members, and perceptive audience members! I like to think of my job as making a play accessible to whoever comes in contact with it, everyone from actor to audience member. In rehearsal, I provide information to actors and directors that underscore the understanding of context – historical context, geographical context, and social context. For example, with a play like The Glass Menagerie, it might help the cast understand their characters place in the world by understanding a bit about life in St. Louis in the 1930s. I also hope to make the play accessible to the audience through tools like program notes and lobby displays. I try to ask the question: What information can be shared about the playwright or play that will make this piece more accessible to YOU, the audience member? I look forward to generating more conversation with you as the season unfolds.

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