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Eight Myths about Dramaturgy

1) ​Literary Managers and Dramaturgs tell playwrights how to rewrite their plays.

2) Since dramaturgs have raised staged readings to an art form, playwrights have been encouraged to develop their plays to death

3) Literary managers and dramaturgs function as "objective voices" in rehearsal

4) As intellectuals, literary managers and dramaturgs want to replace warm human emotions in the theatre with cold abstract ideas.

5) Literary managers and dramaturgs are no more than powerless, stage-struck "PhD gofers" with no real artistic talent.

6) Dramaturgs interfere with the " natural" relationship between the director and the playwright (of a new play), and between the director and the text (of an older work).

7) Literary managers and dramaturgs are just critics in very thin disguise. They're not team players, they have little sense of performance and are always demanding instant results.

8) There will always be literary managers to read all the new plays but dramaturgy is a fad that will go away


- From David Copelin in What is Dramaturgy (ed.B.Cardullo) 2005

The Reality according to Caro

1) It is the dramaturg's job to assist the writer in creating the best version of the play he or she wants to write.  

2) Dramaturgs love seeing new writing produced in full on stage - this is always the goal

3) A dramaturg is a voice that spends a great deal of rehearsal time listening - this is why they often have interesting views

4) The best dramaturgs value gut feeling and visceral reactions just as much as directors and actors 

5) Dramaturgs are often writers themselves - this gives them extra sensitivity to the needs of a developing script

6) It is the dramaturgs job to facilitate good working relationships between director/

writer/text at all times

7) Dramaturgy is an ego-less profession - when done well it is invisible

8) Every company, theatre, writer has a dramaturg, perhaps unpaid and without the title but they have been around for a long time and will continue to be

If you would like to know how sound dramaturgical advise can help with your budding idea, first or final draft, rehearsal or submission process, contact Caro.

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