Dramaturgy: a word that requires a few definitions. The first is sociological: it refers to performance theory, studying life and culture as if it was part of a drama. The second is literary: it refers to the structure and research background of a dramatic work. How much did bread cost in 1564? What was the heat temperature of electric lights in the early 20th century? Aside from research, dramaturgs also analyze the structure of dramatic works to help the director see how and why they can mess with it.
When working on a show, dramaturgs will often put together what is called a Casebook. Some examples of my work in this area are below.
My section on Alcestis, Euripides’ averted tragedy, has resources about Greek burials, Apollo, Heracles, and the trouble with translations. This site was used by my cast when I directed the show in the summer of 2010 for Apoloniad Productions’ Euripides Summer Series Off-Broadway in New York City.
My Hippolytus blog was support for the second part of the Euripides Summer Series. It has sections on the royal family of Crete, the Amazons, sexuality in Ancient Greece, and the great hero Theseus (which was additionally used by the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama’s dramaturgy team for their mainstage production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.)
The Mad Forest blog was a resource for the cast and creative team of LA’s renowned Open Fist Theatre Company’s production of Caryl Churchill’s episodic docudrama about the Romanian revolution of 1989. It includes sections on Romanian pronunciation and accent work, history, culture, and subversive humor.
You can read more posts with a dramaturgical bent here: