Sensibility: Dramaturgy As A Way Of Working And Thinking

"The idea of a dramaturgical sensibility suggests that dramaturgy is not so much a matter of how to do it as it is about the development of an interconnected set of ideas, attitudes, feelings, skills, and behaviors: in short, an education."
Dramaturgy in American Theater 39.

Dramaturgy And Meaning: "The reluctance to accept dramaturgy and dramaturg as English words reflects a deeper resistance to thinking about the theatrical process as a whole. . . .

The main job of a dramaturg is to keep asking why. Why are we doing this play? Why this season? Why here? Why does our theatre exist? Why do we exist?

[E]verybody . . .concentrates on the mechanics of how to get it done, hoping that the why will take care of itself. Yet, as Dr. Victor Frankl has pointed out it works exactly the other way around. He observed that only those survived the Nazi concentration camps who knew why they wanted to live; those who could not find meaning in their life died faster than those from whom they stole bread. In order to find the "how," we must first know the "why."

Meaning is central to human existence and art."
Peter Hay. "American Dramaturgy: A Critical Reappraisal." Performing Arts Journal 7.3 (1983): 13-14; Dr. Victor Frankl. Man's Search for Meaning: An Introduction to Logotherapy. Boston: Beacon Press, 1959.

Geoff Proehl
Contact: gproehl@ups.edu

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