Magda Romanska



Romanska is an Associate Professor of Theatre Studies and Dramaturgy at Emerson College in Boston, MA, and the Executive Director and Editor-in-Chief of, the largest global digital theatre portal. Her research focuses on theatre, transmedia, new media dramaturgy, and posthumanism. She has taught at Harvard University, Yale School of Drama, Cornell University, and Emerson College. Romanska is the author or editor of four critically acclaimed theatre books, including The Post-traumatic Theatre of Grotowski and Kantor, Reader in Comedy: An Anthology of Theory and Criticism; and The Routledge Companion to Dramaturgy, a leading handbook of dramaturgy. Her fifth book, an edited anthology, TheatreMachine: Tadeusz Kantor in Context is forthcoming from NUP. She is currently completing two book projects: The Bionic Body: Technology, Disability and Posthumanism, and Transmedia Dramaturgy: Multiplatform and Networked Performance. She is the sole editor of a ten-volume series on dramaturgy to be released within the next two years from Routledge. Her research has been recognized with two international awards from the American Society for Theatre Research and the Polish Studies Association. She is a playwriting fellow at Lark Theatre in NYC and a Research Associate at the Center for European Studies at Harvard University. She graduated with honors from Stanford University and earned her Ph.D. from Cornell University’s Department of Theatre and Film.


  • Romanska and Ackerman’s Reader in Comedy is a very ambitious project, which draws on a range of sources from antiquity to the twenty-first century to compile an authoritative volume of works about comedy. The editors have created [anthology] with remarkable breadth.

    Studies in Theatre and Performance
  • An impressive cast of notable contributors offers their definitions of comedy and its historical contexts, themes, narrative structures, plots, character types and tropes. As a valuable precis of historical writings on comedy, Reader in Comedy is a full, rich and highly informative anthology that can be dipped into time and time again.

    Comedy Studies
  • The editors of Reader in Comedy: An Anthology of Theory and Criticism have created a temporally expansive analysis of western comic theory. It is a substantial anthology that interweaves performance studies, drama, literature, and critical theory. Romanska and Ackerman have curated a collection that charts continuity in comic theory without diluting historical specificities. Each introduction to the chapters succinctly contextualizes the comic theory of its time and also links the annotated texts to previous chapters.

    Modern Drama
  • It is not overstating the case to say that this volume will for sure be the book of reference for students, scholars, and dramaturgs in the fields named above if it comes to questions of dramaturgy. The Routledge Companion to Dramaturgy goes far beyond a conventional handbook on dramaturgy as a way to structure a text to be staged.

    Journal of Contemporary Drama in English
  • The Routledge Companion to Dramaturgy honours the diverse and varied nature of dramaturgical practice. The range of this book is, as stated, quite extensive: its depth is impressive. Romanska’s collection is a statement as to where contemporary dramaturgical practice is at present, whilst also envisioning its future(s). It is a singular, vital, and necessary contribution to the dramaturgical practice is at present, whilst also envisioning its future(s).

    Platform: Postgraduate Journal of Theatre Arts
  • The Routledge Companion to Dramaturgy is an indispensable resource for anyone serious about dramaturgy.

    Contemporary Theatre Review
  • With eighty-five essays, The Routledge Companion to Dramaturgy offers comprehensive coverage of dramaturgical theory and practice.

    Theatre Survey
  • Richly documented chapters interweave primary sources, critical commentary, and contemporary theory (for example, Adorno, Agamben, Bettelheim, Améry) on each topic. Through its argumentation and design, The Post-traumatic Theatre of Grotowski and Kantor demonstrates a sophisticated dramaturgical strategy for re-historicizing and recontextualizing theatre and performance events

    Theatre Journal
  • A timely gift to the world of contemporary theatre. The Routledge Companion is a testament to this much-misunderstood practice, and will greatly assist the recognition and consolidation of dramaturgy as an art.This impressively varied volume includes, in its 8 parts, 85 essays that shine different forms of light on dramaturgical theory and practice. Romanska’s intro is magisterial, managing to address, with astuteness and depth, what dramaturgy was, is, and can be.

    American Theatre
  • Non-Polish-speaking scholars of Grotowski and Kantor will be grateful for Romanska’s work. She opens up areas of these two productions which have been unavailable.

    New Theatre Quarterly
  • [With The Post-traumatic Theatre of Grotowski and Kantor] the task, which the author sets out and performs, starting from such a clearly defined research perspective, is both remarkable and impressive in its momentum and size.

    Performer is the largest and the most diverse global theatre portal. Since launching in 2016, has developed 20 thematic sections. With over 140 Regional Managing Editors around the world, covering theatre in over 75 countries, published 1,500 articles so far. In addition to its original content, filters through more than eighty sources, around six hundred articles and thousands of pages of theatre news every day. is the brainchild of Magda Romanska, a writer and dramaturg from Boston, and Beatriz Cabur, a theatre director and playwright living in London and working worldwide.



news, events, and appearances


June 2018

CORNELL UNIVERSITY, NY Drama Across Borders: The Politics & Poetics of Contemporary Theatre in Translation

A Site-Specific Conference at Cornell University and The Cherry Artspace, May 11–12, 2018

NEW YORK YNIVERSITY, NY Posthuman Ethics - Global Symposium

Peper: "On Dignity” - April 2018

Duke University Department of Theater

Guest lecture: “The Bionic Body: Technology, Disability and Humanism” - Fall 2018


Discussant: Justice, Guilt, and the Law Panel The Research Network for Postsocialist Cultural Studies - March 2018


Plenary session: Bodies and Theories of Performance - November 2017

The Apothetae and Lark Theatre, NYC Playwriting Fellowship

The Apothetae and Lark Playwriting Fellowship for writers with a disability, supported by the Time Warner Foundation September 2017

BROOKLYN COLLEGE, NY Disability and Performance Conference

Guest panelist: Evolving Perspectives and Practice Symposium - April 2017


Paper: "The Bionic Body: Technology, Disability, and Humanism"- November 2016

TUFTS UNIVERSITY, MA The Embodied Scholar Panel

Negotiating the Reception of Marked Bodies in Performance - April 2016


Guest panelist: Jesters and Fools: A History of Wit and Whimsy - April 2016


Guest panelist: The Rosenbergs – Studio Series panel on a new opera - April 2016

HARVARD UNIVERSITY, MA The Institute for Advanced Theatre Training

Northeastern MFA Dramaturgy Retreat - January 2015

New Books Network Eastern European Studies

Podcast on The Post-Traumatic Theatre of Grotowski and Kantor - June 2015

FREIE UNIVERSITÄT, BERLIN Performance Philosophy Network Symposium

Invited panelist: Thinking Through Tragedy and Comedy - December 2014

HARVARD UNIVERSITY, MA The Mellon School of Theatre and Performance Research

“What Gets Performed: The Life of the Dramatic Repertoire." Invited panelist: Dramaturgy Round-Table - June 2015

Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of Americas Conference Chair

LMDA held its 2014 annual international conference was located in Boston’s historic theatre district and hosted by Emerson College and Suffolk University - June 2014

STANFORD UNIVERSITY, CA Department of Theatre and Performance

Guest lecture: “Of Drammatology: Form and Content in Performative Exchange" - October 2014

Harvard University Theater and Performance Colloquium

Invited Guest Lecture: “Of Drammatology: The Post-traumatic Sign in the Works of Tadeusz Kantor” - 2013

Yale University Interdisciplinary Performance Studies at Yale

Invited Guest Lecture: “Of Drammatology: Form and Content in Performative Exchange” - 2013

Yale University Interdisciplinary Performance Studies at Yale

Symposium: Poetry as a Practice of Encounter - 2013

current opera projects


White Snake Projects

Videogame Transmedia Opera
Composer: Dan Visconti
Creator and Librettist: Cerise Lim Jacobs
Co-Librettist: Pirate Epstein
Dramaturg: Cori Ellison
Transmedia Consultant: Magda Romanska

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The Rosenbergs An Opera

Boston Playwrights' Theatre

"This was an incredibly powerful representation of the human experience." – The Boston Musical Intelligencer
"The Rosenbergs is small in scope but large in ambition; it is an accomplished and moving work that demands attention." – The Arts Fuse
Music: Joachim Holbek
Libretto: Rhea Leman
Directed by Dmitry Troyanovsky
Musical Direction by Cristi Catt
Dramaturg: Magda Romanska

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reviews, interviews, and mentions

American Theatre logo
2010-08-25 THR Sketch
Cultural Weekly