In practice, I see dramaturgy as creative midwifery.
There is something inside your head. You need to get it out. A dramaturg can serve as the support you need to birth an idea, a script, a production - helping you to chaperone it into the world so it becomes an actualized artistic offering.
Martha Graham said, "There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open."
In service of this aim, I have served as a first reader, a thought partner, a sounding board for ideas, an historical expert, a researcher, a story-structure analyst, a deadline-maker, an editor, a contributing writer, an audience advocate, an outside eye. Every artist needs something different to bring their work into the world and I provide what support is needed to help make someone else's idea a reality. In short, I believe my task as a dramaturg is to help other artists keep the channel open.
To read an interview with me about a piece I am currently dramaturging, "The Momversations Project," click here.
Opposite: Presenting as part of a panel on Radical Parent Inclusivity in The Momversations Project rehearsal and production process at the National Women's Theater Festival in July, 2022.