THEATRE AND PERFORMANCE SCHOLAR, WRITER, AND DRAMATURG
Magda Romanska is an award-winning theatre and performance scholar, dramaturg, and playwright, with over 15 years of teaching, production and publishing experience in the dramatic arts. She has taught 30 different courses on theatre, performance and transmedia, including at Harvard University, Yale School of Drama, Cornell, and Emerson College. She worked on over 30 theatre and opera productions (as dramaturg, playwright, and director). She is the author of five critically-acclaimed theatre books and dozens of articles on theatre and performance. Currently, she is an Associate Professor of Theatre Studies and Dramaturgy at Emerson College in Boston, MA and the Executive Director and the Editor-in-Chief of TheTheatreTimes.com, the largest global online theatre portal. In this capacity, she manages the work of over 120 Regional Managing Editors around the world, covering theatre in over 70 countries. Romanska received her B.A. from Stanford University and her Ph.D. from Cornell University’s Department of Theatre. Her current research focuses on theatre, transmedia, new technologies, and posthumanism. She is a playwrighting fellow at Lark Theatre in NYC.
Fields: Dramatic Theory, Dramaturgy, Theatre and Transmedia Studies, Posthumanism, Disability Studies, and Polish Studies.
Magda Romanska’s scholarship has been recognized with two international awards: the Gerald Kahan Scholar’s Prize from The American Society for Theatre Research and the Aquila Polonica Article Prize from The Polish Studies Association. She is the author of five books: The Post-traumatic Theatre of Grotowski and Kantor (2012), The Routledge Companion to Dramaturgy (2014), Boguslaw Schaeffer: An Anthology (2012), and Reader in Comedy: An Anthology of Theory and Criticism (co-edited with Alan Ackerman, 2016). The Theatre of Tadeusz Kantor (co-edited with Kathleen Cioffi) is forthcoming in 2017.
She has published dozens of articles / essays / book chapters on theatre and performance. Her book chapters are anthologized in International Women Stage Directors (2013), Re-writing Chekhov: The Text and Its Mutations (2012), The Sacred Tropes (2009), The Cultural Politics of Heiner Muller (2008), and Ghosts, Stories, Histories (2007). Other contributions include entries for The Oxford Encyclopedia of African American History (2009), The International Encyclopedia of Revolution and Protest (2009), and The Columbia Encyclopedia of Modern Drama (2007).
Romanska’s current research project, The Bionic Body: Technology, Disability and Humanism, focuses on the idea of dignity as a dramatic and narrative concept in the context of posthuman aesthetics. The project investigates our perceptions of what is and isn’t a ‘human’ body—and challenge even the very need for such a category (within both secular and sacred discourses). Drawing on interdisciplinary research, the project grapples with fundamental questions of what it means to be (and to perceive oneself as) human (or unhuman): ontologically, aesthetically, philosophically, and dramaturgically.
Romanska is also editing a collection of essays titled Postcolonial Approaches to Central and Eastern European Theatre, which analyzes Central and Eastern European theatre and history through the prism of colonial theory. In the past, Romanska has served on the editorial boards of Theater Magazine, the Yale Journal of Law and Humanities, the Journal of Law and Theatre, 2b, An International Journal of Ideas, an interdisciplinary bilingual journal of socio-political theory and humanities, and Diacritics, a review journal of criticism and theory. She was also a founding editor of Palimpsest: Yale Literary and Arts Magazine. Currently, she’s on editorial boards of European Stages, Dramaturgies, The Cosmopolitan Review, Polish+Studies.Interdisciplinary, and The Polish Theatre Perspectives.
Romanska’s scholarship has been widely praised and reviewed including in New Theatre Quarterly, Theatre Journal, Theatre Research International, Theatre Survey, Theatre Annual A Journal of Performance Studies, Theatre Research International, American Theatre, Performer, Theatralia, The Cosmopolitan Review, Choice, and others.
You may follow her research on Academia.edu
Magda Romanska is the author of The Routledge Companion to Dramaturgy (2014). With 85 articles by 90 leading theoreticians, practitioners and scholars, it is the most comprehensive anthology of dramaturgy to date, hailed as “exquisitely curated,” “monumental volume.” Click here to read the reviews.
Romanska served as the dramaturg at Boston Lyric Opera, Yale Rep, and ArtsEmerson. Her recent dramaturgical credits include: consulting on The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Disney Theatricals/La Jolla Playhouse), Boston Lyric Opera’s La Boheme, The Love Potion, La Traviata, I puritani, Rigolleto, Lizzie Borden, Don Giovanni, Katya Kabanova, and The Magic Flute; Iphegenia at Aulis (Yale Rep), Marat/Sade, Hamlet, Macbeth, Amadeus, The Maids, The Three Sisters and Café Variation (a co-production of SITI Company and Arts Emerson, directed by Anne Bogart). Click here to view selected dramaturgy portfolio.
Romanska has taught a variety of dramaturgy courses at Harvard, Yale School of Drama, and Emerson College, including Principles of Dramaturgy, Transmedia and Multimedia Dramaturgy, Literary Office Management, and Digital and Social Media Dramatugy. In 2008, she launched the Dramaturgy Program at Emerson College. Since its inception, Emerson students have won three LMDA/KCACTF National Dramaturgy Awards and five Regional KCACTF Dramaturgy Awards.
In 2014, Romanska chaired the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of Americas (LMDA) Conference in Boston. The conference brought together over 160 international dramaturgs, who participated in a total of 21 panels and discussions. This was the largest conference gathering in the organization’s 30-year history. Below are some press articles about the conference:
“International Dramaturg Conference at Emerson” – Emerson College News
“LMDA 2014 Showcases Digital Networks” – TheTheatreTimes
“Dramaturgs Take Lead” – TheTheatreTimes
Romanska’s other press interviews and articles about dramaturgy:
“Building the Future for Opera in a Digital World” – In The Wings
“Meet the Dramaturg: Interview with Magda Romanska” – In The Wings
“Offstage, Dramaturgs Are Playing a Prominent Role” – The Boston Globe
“Interview with the Dramaturg: Magda Romanska” – APPEX
“Dramaturgs Hit Historical Note” – The Berkeley Beacon
Magda Romanska is the Executive Director and Co-Founder (with Beatriz Cabur) of TheTheatreTimes.com.
The Theatre Times is a non-partisan, global portal for theatre news. With over hundred Regional Managing Editors around the world, TTT is the largest theatre news source online, covering theatre in over 70 countries.
In addition to original content, The Theatre Times filters through more than eighty sources, around six hundred articles and thousands of pages of theatre news every day. Combining premium content with ease of use, The Theatre Times provides a high-performance experience that readers can trust. Curating a steady stream of the top theatre information, The Theatre Times is a leading destination for theatre audiences and professionals worldwide.
Here’s Magda’s editorial which explains the concept behind the platform: https://thetheatretimes.com/theatre-times-now/
You can listen to OnTap podcast, which calls TTT a ‘heroic project’ (starting at 26min):
THE INSTITUTE FOR TRANSMEDIA ART AND PERFORMANCE
Magda Romanska is a Co-Founder (with Loudon Stearns) of The Institute for Transmedia Art and Performance, a Boston-based, inter-institutional research and performance lab focused on the intersection of new media technology, including video mapping and social media, and live, multi-location, and immersive events.
The Institute serves as a developmental hub for experimental multimedia performance as well as an academic research and teaching resource. Combining the human capital and resources from all participating institutions, the Institute aims to explore and contest interdisciplinary and transhuman boundaries and challenges involved in the growing interaction of human and technological worlds. The Institute’s goal is to focus solely on contemporary themes and subjects, through creative and research projects that tackle modern problems, philosophically, aesthetically, and dramaturgically. The increasing movement among contemporary theatre, dance and opera companies toward large-scale, site-specific and multi-site multimedia engagements underscores the Institute’s vital role in supporting the research and development of these types of productions.
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