I took a huge jump into the unknown when I signed on to becoming the Dramaturg for the new play, Baltimore, by Kirsten Greenidge. However, I was so interested in being a part of the process that I pushed aside that unknown, telling myself it was a new learning opportunity for something I could find I’m good at!
My Definition of a Dramaturg before beginning the process:
I research the world of the play and provide the actors and crew with information regarding events that occur or are mentioned in said world. For the audience, I create a display that shows some of this information so that they can be informed as well.
My Current Definition of a Dramaturg:
I research the world of the play in its entirety and provide the actors and crew with information regarding events that occur or are mentioned in said world; a mix of information plain and clear, with thought provoking articles and opinions surrounding subjects discussed in the play. I tend to questions asked by all members of the process and share information given to me by members. I assist the Sign Language interpreters as they tackle finding appropriate translations for the play that will provide non-hearing audiences with the same effects that hearing audiences will receive. I create a display for the audience that prepares them for what they are about to experience. The display starts to drop in aspects of the play that the Playwright, Director, and I believe will help the audience receive the play best. It is interactive, giving the audience the opportunity to respond in varying ways. Curate talkback facilitators and guests that will give the audience something to grasp onto which helps bring the play outside of the theatre and into their physical world.
I’m sure I will learn even more as opening night ascends! This experience has expanded my knowledge of a role in the theatre I didn’t know existed before coming to college and had poorly understood before joining the Baltimore team. I am also finding that I quite enjoy taking in the needs of the audience from this angle.
Here’s to jumping headfirst into unknown experiences and coming out a better artist!