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Dramaturgy and archives

Defined for the Theatre & Performance Program, UWaterloo.

'Dramaturgy', that is drama-ergon, the 'work of the actions' in the performance.                                                                                     Eugenio Barba

Dramaturgy as a discipline is defined in many ways, but perhaps the one attribute that exists in all forms of dramaturgy is the pursuit of meaning and impact in the act of creating theatre. Dramaturgs support new work development (plays and other performance scores); dramaturgs are the contextual lifeblood of any production, offering support, research, resistance, and ingenuity to the producer, director, designer, stage management, and actors, in order to improve the collaborative process and creative impact of the production.

Dramaturgs are often engaged in outreach programs, facilitating educational initiatives in support of the work of a given production or season of a theatre. Dramaturgs are educators and advocates for the work of theatre in our contemporary society; the work of the dramaturg is to reveal how theatre offers a unique and important encounter – among embodiment, representation, reflection, and agency – and this is a pursuit of the public good.