Dramaturgy is the study of how theatre works.
It's something that all theatre makers are engaged with, knowingly or unknowingly, when they work on a project. Naming and approaching it as 'dramaturgy' is about understanding how your work works, so you can improve the ways you create, collaborate, problem solve, innovate, and articulate what you do.
A dramaturg is a practitioner who specifically attends to this dramaturgical conversation. Every artwork has its own dramaturgy, and the dramaturg's role is to help identify and cultivate it.
The dramaturg sits at the intersection between theory and practice, working through processes of reflection, articulation, investigation, provocation and integration to support the artists, the audiences, and the art. Their core task is to try to understand all the elements at play in a given project, and how they work together to create a dynamic whole.
Through Malthouse Theatre, I've been working primarily in new play development, providing dramaturgical support across the company's activities and expanding our research and development arm. I'm also interested in the axis connecting dramaturgy and producing, the conversation between dramaturgy and curation, and the broader applications of dramaturgical strategies outside a theatre context.
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What is Dramaturgy?