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


ByMagda Romanska

part I|94 pages

World Dramaturgy in the Twenty-First Century

chapter 1|6 pages

Robert Blacker looks at the past and future of American dramaturgy

ByJacob Gallagher-Ross, Robert Blacker

chapter 2|5 pages

Contemporary new play dramaturgy in Canada

ByBrian Quirt

chapter 3|5 pages

Collaborative dramaturgy in Latin American theatre

ByMargarita Espada

chapter 4|5 pages

Documentary dramaturgy in Brazil

ByJulie Ann Ward

chapter 5|5 pages

The place of a dramaturg in twenty-first-century England 1

ByDuška Radosavljević

chapter 6|5 pages

On German dramaturgy

ByJohannes Stier

chapter 7|7 pages

The making of La Dramaturgie in France

ByKate Bredeson

chapter 8|5 pages

Dramaturgy and the role of the dramaturg in Poland

ByAgata Dąbek, Michael Leonard, Kersey Morris

chapter 9|6 pages

The new play dramaturgy in Russia

ByPavel Rudnev, Jessica Hinds-Bond

chapter 10|7 pages

Dramaturgy in post-revolution Iran

Problems and prospects
ByMarjan Moosavi

chapter 11|6 pages

Performing dramaturgy in Syria

Observations and interview with Mayson Ali
ByFadi Fayad Skeiker

chapter 12|6 pages

Official and unofficial dramaturgs

Dramaturgy in China
ByWilliam Huizhu Sun

chapter 13|7 pages

Dramaturgy of separated elements in the experimental Japanese theatre

ByEiichiro Hirata

chapter 14|5 pages

Dramaturgy in Indian theatre

A closer view
ByKetaki Datta

chapter 15|6 pages

Dramaturgy in Australia and the case of Avast and Doku Rai

ByPeter Eckersall

chapter 16|6 pages

Dramaturgies in/of South Africa

ByMarié-Heleen Coetzee, Allan Munro

part II|55 pages

Dramaturgy in the Age of Globalization

chapter 17|5 pages

The dramaturg as globalist

ByTom Sellar

chapter 18|6 pages

Freelance dramaturgs in the twenty-first century

Journalists, advocates, and curators
ByAnne Hamilton

chapter 19|6 pages

The National Theatre goes international

Global branding and the regions
ByJens Peters

chapter 20|6 pages

From alienation to identity

Transnational communication of Russian-Israeli theatre 1
ByMiriam Yahil-Wax

chapter 21|5 pages

Intercultural dramaturgy

Dramaturg as cultural liaison
ByWalter Byongsok Chon

chapter 22|4 pages

The dramaturgical bridge

Contextualizing foreignness in multilingual theatre
ByDebra Caplan

chapter 23|6 pages

Reading and (re)directing “racial scripts” on and beyond the stage

ByFaedra Chatard Carpenter

chapter 24|7 pages

Transcultural dramaturgy methods

ByJudith Rudakoff

chapter 25|5 pages

The dramaturgical process and global understanding

ByRobyn Quick

chapter 26|3 pages

European dramaturgy in the twenty-first century

A constant movement 1
ByMarianne Van Kerkhoven

part III|55 pages

Dramaturgy in Motion

chapter 27|4 pages

Dramaturgy on shifting grounds 1

ByHans-Thies Lehmann, Patrick Primavesi

chapter 28|6 pages

Dramaturgy as skill, function, and verb

ByLawrence Switzky

chapter 29|7 pages

Interactual dramaturgy

Intention and affect in interdisciplinary performance
ByBruce Barton

chapter 31|5 pages

Who is the dramaturg in devised theatre?

ByTeresa Stankiewicz

chapter 32|5 pages

Finding our hyphenates

A new era for dramaturgs
ByJessica Kaplow Applebaum

chapter 34|5 pages

Dramaturgy as training

A collaborative model at Shakespeare's Globe
ByAmy Kenny

chapter 35|4 pages

The art of collaboration

On dramaturgy and directing
ByAnne Bogart, Jackson Gay

chapter 36|5 pages

Dramaturgy in action … even if it's not as a dramaturg

ByThomas A. Oldham

part IV|49 pages

Dramaturgs as Artistic Leaders and Visionaries

chapter 37|5 pages

Dramaturgs as artistic leaders

ByLester Gideon

chapter 39|5 pages

On dramaturgy and leadership

ByVicki Stroich

chapter 40|4 pages

Leadership advice to a dramaturgy student

ByAnne Cattaneo

chapter 41|6 pages

Season planning

Challenges and opportunities
ByEdward Sobel

chapter 42|5 pages

The dramaturg's role in diversity and audience development

ByJulie Felise Dubiner

chapter 43|5 pages

Guthrie Theater's debt to women and diversity

ByMarianne Combs

chapter 44|6 pages

Reimagining the literary office

Designing a department that fulfills your purpose
ByJanine Sobeck

chapter 45|5 pages

The National New Play Network Collaborative Literary Office

New tools for old tricks
ByJason Loewith, Gwydion Suilebhan

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
ByKatalin Trencsényi

chapter 47|6 pages

Lost in translation

ByHonegger Gitta

chapter 48|6 pages

The dissemination of theatrical translation

ByAdam Versényi

chapter 49|6 pages

Literary adaptation for the stage

A primer for adaptation dramaturgs
ByJane Barnette

chapter 50|4 pages

Intermingling literary and theatrical conventions

ByTomasz Wiśniewski

chapter 51|4 pages

Research strategies in dramaturgical practice

ByMatt DiCintio

chapter 52|5 pages

Dramaturg as context manager

A phenomenological and political practice
ByGraça P. Corrêa

chapter 53|4 pages

New play explorations in the twenty-first century 1

ByMark Bly

chapter 54|5 pages

Thinking like an actor

A guide for the production dramaturg
ByAndrew Ian Carlson

chapter 55|5 pages

The youth respondent method

New work development of Theatre for Young Audiences
ByKristin Leahey

part VI|61 pages

Dramaturgy among other Arts

chapter 56|6 pages

Complex in-betweenness of dramaturgy and performance studies

ByMarin Blažević

chapter 57|7 pages

The dramaturg(ies) of puppetry and visual theatre 1

ByDassia N. Posner

chapter 58|6 pages

A method for musical theatre dramaturgy

ByBrian D. Valencia

chapter 59|6 pages

Borderless dramaturgy in dance theatre

ByVessela S. Warner

chapter 60|5 pages

The role of the dramaturg in the creation of new opera works 1

ByAndrew Eggert

chapter 61|5 pages

Dramaturgy and film

ByGerry Potter

chapter 62|6 pages

Phronesis for robots

(Re)covering dramaturgy as an interdiscipline
ByMichael Chemers

chapter 63|5 pages

Dramaturgical design of the narrative in digital games 1

ByKlaus P. Jantke

chapter 64|6 pages

New media dramaturgy

ByPeter Eckersall, Helena Grehan, Edward Scheer

chapter 65|7 pages

The science of dramaturgy and the dramaturgy of science

ByJules Odendahl-James

chapter VII|68 pages

Dramaturg as Systems Analyst

Dramaturgy of postdramatic structures
ByMagda Romanska

chapter 66|6 pages

Postdramatic dramaturgy

ByGad Kaynar

chapter 67|6 pages

Teaching deconstructively 1

ByBarbara Johnson

chapter 68|5 pages

EF's visit to a small planet: Some questions to ask a play 1

ByElinor Fuchs

chapter 69|6 pages

Dramaturging non-realism

Creating a new vocabulary 1
ByTori Haring-Smith

chapter 70|6 pages

On dramaturgy in contemporary dance and choreography

BySandra Noeth

chapter 71|6 pages

Research, counter-text, performance

Keywords for reconsidering the (textual) authority of the dramaturg 1
ByD. J. Hopkins

chapter 72|5 pages

The bead diagram

A protean tool for script analysis
ByShelley Orr

chapter 73|7 pages

Method for a new dramaturgy of digital performance

ByJodie McNeilly

chapter 74|10 pages


What dramaturgs should learn from mathematicians
ByMagda Romanska

chapter 75|9 pages

Parallel-text analysis and practical dramaturgies 1

ByToby Malone

part VIII|58 pages

Dramaturg as Public Relations Manager

chapter 76|7 pages

Dramaturgy and the immersive theatre experience

ByCatherine Bouko

chapter 77|6 pages

Barrack-dramaturgy and the captive audience

ByAndrás Visky

chapter 78|7 pages

Framing the theatrical experience

Lobby displays
ByMiriam Weisfeld

chapter 79|5 pages

Dramaturg as public relations manager

ByKatie Rasor

chapter 80|6 pages


Asking good discussion questions
ByJodi Kanter

chapter 81|5 pages

Talkbacks for “sensitive subject matter” productions

The theory and practice
ByMartine Kei Green-Rogers

chapter 82|5 pages

Dramaturgies for the digital age

ByIlinca Todoruţ

chapter 83|6 pages

Digital engagement

Strategies for online dramaturgy
ByTanya Dean

chapter 84|6 pages

Digital dramaturgy and digital dramaturgs

ByLaRonika Thomas

chapter 85|3 pages

Can technology save theatre?

Tweet seats, YouTube auditions, and Facebook backstage? 1
ByRandi Zuckerberg