THE ROUTLEDGE COMPANION TO DRAMATURGY

Routledge, 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.” This collection focuses on contemporary dramaturgical practice, bringing together contributions not only from academics but also from prominent working dramaturgs. The inclusion of both means a strong level of engagement with current issues in dramaturgy, from the impact of social media to the ongoing centrality of interdisciplinary and intermedial processes.
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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. Rather, it claims attention to and evokes interest for the variety of a concept and a profession that not only covers crucial aspects of the field, but also implicitly highlights the richesse of dramaturgy as a field of study and therefore advocates theatre, performance and media studies as important disciplines that have a long history whose end is not in sight.
Journal of Contemporary Drama in English, April 2017

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. Its sections take into account world dramaturgy; dramaturgy and globalization; the dramaturg as mediator and context manager (contexts being transculturalism, translation, adaptation, and contextualisation); dramaturgy in other art forms, such as film, dance, musical theatre, and gaming; the dramaturg in public relations, among others. As well as this, not only are these essays multifarious in scope, but they are also manifold in their written form. Its first section focuses on world dramaturgy and it was particularly satisfying to see the focus was not solely on Europe and North America, but also dramaturgical practices in Syria, Australia, India, Brazil and Latin America. Thus, the collection is at times instructive and often self-reflective. It functions as an introduction to dramaturgy in theory and practice, as well as facilitating a conversation about the profession and even acting as a survey of recent practice. To me, Romanska’s collection is a statement as to where contemporary dramaturgical practice is at present, whilst also envisioning its future(s). With its compiling of multiple voices, techniques, perspectives, and techniques into one compendium – once again, facilitating a conversation seems appropriate in this context – it is a singular, vital, and necessary contribution to the dramaturgical practice is at present, whilst also envisioning its future(s). With its compiling of multiple voices, techniques, perspectives, and techniques into one compendium – once again, facilitating a conversation seems appropriate in this context – it is a singular, vital, and necessary contribution to the field.
 Platform: Postgraduate Journal of Theatre Arts, Autumn, 2016

The book makes a virtue of its eclecticism and allows both term and role to appear across an array of contexts, conceptualisations, and performance practices. Some of the more practical, methodological accounts of dramaturgical work address areas that are underrepresented in other publications. It is an indispensable resource for anyone serious about dramaturgy.
Contemporary Theatre Review, October 2016

With eighty-five essays, The Routledge Companion to Dramaturgy offers comprehensive coverage of dramaturgical theory and practice. The wide range of essays emphasizes versatility and adaptability and the continuing relevance of analytical research processes in professional theatre and education. Contributors address practice from new play development to video game storyboarding, from composition in the university classroom to immersive theatrical experiences in prison barracks, and for performances with dance or puppetry. The Routledge Companion to Dramaturgy will prove highly useful in theatre and performance practice, education, and scholarship. Artistic directors, directors of individual productions, and early career and long-time dramaturgs will find support for their artistic missions and new ideas for audience development and outreach. At the college level, undergraduate students will benefit from the insights into text analysis and applications of performance history, while educators will find pedagogical encouragement and inspiration. Finally, scholars of performance and theatre will appreciate the wide-ranging coverage of dramaturgical theory in the rehearsal room and literary classroom.
Theatre Survey, May 2016

The book offers an impressive range of voices and insights into dramaturgical practice in the form of short articles (four to five pages) structured into meaningful divisions. It certainly serves its purpose as a primary sourcebook
Theatre Research International, October 2015

A timely gift to the world of contemporary theatre. As the newest of collaborative roles in theatremaking, dramaturgy is well established in some performance cultures and still viewed with suspicion in others. 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, July 2015

Romanska has put together a robust, impressively comprehensive volume that covers the ever broadening scope of contemporary dramaturgy within a global context. There is no attempt to define dramaturgy here; instead the intent is to explode open what possibilities the notion of dramaturgy holds in practice and in scholarship. With 85 essays—covering topics from production dramaturgy, translation, season planning, play analysis for nonconventional drama and performance, dramaturgical skills and strategies to the use of social media and new paths for audience outreach—this volume reveals the established, emerging, and imagined ideas of what dramaturgy is and could be. It includes essays that provide global perspectives from the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Africa. The contributors range from those who have long been invested in the conversation (for example, Elinor Fuchs, Mark Bly, Anne Bogart, and Ann Cantaneo, to name but a few) to new, fresh voices. The volume is destined to become a goto reference for practitioners and students of dramaturgy, along with directors, critics, playwrights, and theater scholars.
Choice Magazine, May 2015

Romanska attempts to provide a map of contemporary dramaturgical practice and theory, bringing together practising dramaturgs and academics who provide a range of perspectives in their contributions. Romanska has set herself a formidable task in editing this volume.  [The book provides] a wide range of working methods in postdramatic theatre outlined in clear terms.
Theatralia, February 2015

This collection demonstrates the considerable breadth and depth of dramaturgy today. Giving voice to a generation, it is bound to become the major reference point in the field for years to come.
Martin Puchner, Drama and English, Harvard University

In this country, the very notion of “dramaturgy” troubles many and confounds more. Indeed, to be a dramaturg is to be continually forced to define your profession; to be a good dramaturg demands a willingness constantly to redefine yourself. With this exquisitely curated volume, Magda Romanska has gathered perspectives as sophisticated as they are varied from an impressive cohort of international scholars and practitioners, veterans and young lions, keepers of the flame and visionaries. The result doesn’t seek a definitive answer to ‘What is dramaturgy?;’ it simply renders the question entirely beside the point. The Routledge Companion to Dramaturgy cracks the entire discipline open for examination and, what’s much more, for new avenues of exploration.
Catherine Sheehy, Chair of Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism Department, Yale School of Drama

This collision of international and American points of view on dramaturgical scholarship and practice will be invaluable to today’s artists, teachers and students. In a field of study which has long eluded easy definition, this marvellous compendium of essays makes the case that we should stop trying to pigeonhole dramaturgy and rather ask how we as artists and scholars can use our knowledge to make a more vital theatre for a rapidly globalizing culture. This book can and should inspire established and emerging professionals to see dramaturgy as a platform on which to seize agency as generative artists and original thinkers.
Christian Parker, Head of Dramaturgy Concentration, Columbia University

With its 85 contributions by leading theoreticians, practitioners and scholars, The Routledge Companion to Dramaturgy will become a basic handbook and a critical source of inspiration for practicing artists as well as researchers in the performing arts. As Magda Romanska, the editor of this monumental volume claims in her Introduction, “How dramaturgy and dramaturgs define themselves and their profession in the next decade will be essential not just for the future of their field but for theatre itself and for its potential to participate in the new information age. Looking at dramaturgy as the liminal space between theory and practice, which is at the same time analytical and creative, this companion will serve as a basic map for this ongoing and future project, by (1) presenting a complex and multi-faceted picture of the dramaturgical strategies that have been and most likely will continue to be applied to the more traditional forms of drama and theatre; by (2) posing fundamental questions that will continue to open up new horizons for post-dramatic, avant-garde performance practices and experimentation; by (3) exploring the role of dramaturgy within popular, more commercially oriented forms of entertainment; and by (4) confronting the challenges and potentials of the more recent artistic expressions based on innovative ‘new media’ technologies.

This inclusive approach contains much more than any individual can conceivably cover, but as a whole it offers an overview of a field which has become essential for the practice as well as the research and conceptualization of the performing arts. The international scope of the contributions within these fields is impressive, presenting the readers with a wide variety of socio-ideological contexts from which a very complex, sometimes even disturbing, but still, always very stimulating picture of the state of the arts emerges. And even if dramaturgy is obviously not ‘one’ cohesive, unified field, it has become a crucial key to the ‘thing’ that will no doubt ‘appear again tonight’, at a theatre near all of us.”
Freddie Rokem, dramaturg and author of Philosophers and Thespians: Thinking Performance, Tel Aviv University

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