Researching A Play's Contexts

Research moves from attemps to understand the structure of a play, its dramaturgy, to ways of exploring historical and critical contexts that inform and energize that dramaturgy. Research asks how we can apply a knowledge of the liberal arts to the process of making a play. Here, for example, is one way of imagining these categories:

Eboni Ola Treco and Garrit Guadan in Angels in America, A Gay Fantasia on National Themes:
Part I, Millennium Approaches;
Photographs by Ross Mulhausen, Fall 2004, © University of Puget Sound

Area A: Worlds of the Play

Area B: The Author and His/Her Worlds

Area C: Our World and the Worlds of the Play

Area D: Production History

Area E: Drama Criticism

Area F: Images and Sounds

Area G: Sources, Influences & Analogues

Lori Ricigliano has created a separate site on the UPS server, Dramaturgical Research. This sister site to Dramaturgy Northwest briefly explains each of these seven categories and then directs researchers toward useful libary resources.

Links to Puget Sound library databases will only work for on campus users, but this sister site will still suggest ways of pursuing dramaturgical research as it branches out from the playscript into surrounding fields of interest. Although Lori's site focuses on library resources, Research, of course, can and should extend from there: interviews, field trips, etc.

Dramaturgical Research also include links to online dramaturgy resources created for several Puget Sound productions including The Seagull (1996), Vinegar Tom (1999), Three Sisters (2000), and Henry V (2001).

Lori Ricigliano is the Associate Director Information and Access Services, Library, Univ. of Puget Sound. She has frequently work as an associate dramaturg on university productions.


Geoff Proehl

What is Dramaturgy Northwest?