Dramaturgy, in its many forms, is a fundamental and indispensable element of contemporary theatre. In its earliest definition, the word itself means a comprehensive theory of "play making." Although it initially grew out of theatre, contemporary dramaturgy has made enormous advances in recent years, and it now permeates all kinds of narrative forms and structures: from opera to performance art; from dance and multimedia to filmmaking and robotics.

In our global, mediated context of multinational group collaborations that dissolve traditional divisions of roles as well as unbend previously intransigent rules of time and space, the dramaturg is also the ultimate globalist: intercultural mediator, information and research manager, media content analyst, interdisciplinary negotiator, social media strategist.

This collection focuses on contemporary dramaturgical practice, bringing together contributions not only from academics but also from prominent working dramaturgs. The inclusion of both means a strong level of engagement with current issues in dramaturgy, from the impact of social media to the ongoing centrality of interdisciplinary and intermedial processes.

The contributions survey the field through eight main lenses:

  • world dramaturgy and global perspective
  • dramaturgy as function, verb and skill
  • dramaturgical leadership and season planning
  • production dramaturgy in translation
  • adaptation and new play development
  • interdisciplinary dramaturgy
  • play analysis in postdramatic and new media dramaturgy
  • social media and audience outreach.

Magda Romanska is Visiting Associate Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Harvard University, Associate Professor of Theatre and Dramaturgy at Emerson College, and Dramaturg for Boston Lyric Opera. Her books include The Post-Traumatic Theatre of Grotowski and Kantor (2012), Boguslaw Schaeffer: An Anthology (2012), and Comedy: An Anthology of Theory and Criticism (2014).

chapter |16 pages


part I|94 pages

World Dramaturgy in the Twenty-First Century

chapter 6|5 pages

On German dramaturgy

chapter 10|7 pages

Dramaturgy in post-revolution Iran

Problems and prospects

chapter 11|6 pages

Performing dramaturgy in Syria

Observations and interview with Mayson Ali

chapter 12|6 pages

Official and unofficial dramaturgs

Dramaturgy in China

chapter 14|5 pages

Dramaturgy in Indian theatre

A closer view

part II|55 pages

Dramaturgy in the Age of Globalization

chapter 17|5 pages

The dramaturg as globalist

chapter 18|6 pages

Freelance dramaturgs in the twenty-first century

Journalists, advocates, and curators

chapter 19|6 pages

The National Theatre goes international

Global branding and the regions

chapter 20|6 pages

From alienation to identity

Transnational communication of Russian-Israeli theatre 1

chapter 21|5 pages

Intercultural dramaturgy

Dramaturg as cultural liaison

chapter 22|4 pages

The dramaturgical bridge

Contextualizing foreignness in multilingual theatre

chapter 24|7 pages

Transcultural dramaturgy methods

chapter 26|3 pages

European dramaturgy in the twenty-first century

A constant movement 1

part III|55 pages

Dramaturgy in Motion

chapter 29|7 pages

Interactual dramaturgy

Intention and affect in interdisciplinary performance

chapter 32|5 pages

Finding our hyphenates

A new era for dramaturgs

chapter 34|5 pages

Dramaturgy as training

A collaborative model at Shakespeare's Globe

chapter 35|4 pages

The art of collaboration

On dramaturgy and directing

part IV|49 pages

Dramaturgs as Artistic Leaders and Visionaries

chapter 37|5 pages

Dramaturgs as artistic leaders

chapter 39|5 pages

On dramaturgy and leadership

chapter 41|6 pages

Season planning

Challenges and opportunities

chapter 44|6 pages

Reimagining the literary office

Designing a department that fulfills your purpose

part V|54 pages

Dramaturg as Mediator and Context Manager

chapter 46|7 pages

A view from the bridge

The dramaturg's role when working on a play in translation

chapter 47|6 pages

Lost in translation

chapter 49|6 pages

Literary adaptation for the stage

A primer for adaptation dramaturgs

chapter 52|5 pages

Dramaturg as context manager

A phenomenological and political practice

chapter 54|5 pages

Thinking like an actor

A guide for the production dramaturg

chapter 55|5 pages

The youth respondent method

New work development of Theatre for Young Audiences

part VI|61 pages

Dramaturgy among other Arts

chapter 61|5 pages

Dramaturgy and film

chapter 62|6 pages

Phronesis for robots

(Re)covering dramaturgy as an interdiscipline

chapter VII|68 pages

Dramaturg as Systems Analyst

Dramaturgy of postdramatic structures

chapter 66|6 pages

Postdramatic dramaturgy

chapter 67|6 pages

Teaching deconstructively 1

chapter 69|6 pages

Dramaturging non-realism

Creating a new vocabulary 1

chapter 71|6 pages

Research, counter-text, performance

Keywords for reconsidering the (textual) authority of the dramaturg 1

chapter 72|5 pages

The bead diagram

A protean tool for script analysis

chapter 74|10 pages


What dramaturgs should learn from mathematicians

part VIII|58 pages

Dramaturg as Public Relations Manager

chapter 78|7 pages

Framing the theatrical experience

Lobby displays

chapter 80|6 pages


Asking good discussion questions

chapter 81|5 pages

Talkbacks for “sensitive subject matter” productions

The theory and practice

chapter 82|5 pages

Dramaturgies for the digital age

chapter 83|6 pages

Digital engagement

Strategies for online dramaturgy

chapter 85|3 pages

Can technology save theatre?

Tweet seats, YouTube auditions, and Facebook backstage? 1