Presence of Minds: The Importance of Active Exploration and Response in Dramaturgy
Petty, Christopher Michael
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This thesis is the result of a period of research aimed towards identifying and analyzing the methods by which a number of dramaturgs engage with projects that necessitate unique and innovative approaches. Upon examination, these experiences provide concepts and ideas that can have a larger application for the dramaturgy of any project, and open up the potential for an expanded dramaturgical practice. The main ideas derived from this analysis are: the necessity for the dramaturg to be present and active in rehearsals, the ability of a dramaturg to give responsive and creative input that moves beyond purely scholarly concerns, the value of providing response that is non-prescriptive and exploratory rather than explanatory, and the importance being able to aid creative exploration of the significances and associations that arise in a project while understanding where the integrity of the piece lies. While none of these methods are necessarily new or uncommon, it is valuable for any dramaturg to be familiar with them and understand their effectiveness when engaging with the dramaturgical process of any project.