The Student Dramaturgy Initiative
A dramaturg can be a vital member of the theatre production team, whether it is the production of a new play or a “classic” play performed hundreds of times. Working with the playwright of a new play, the dramaturg can help the playwright shape the work for audience and can also function as a liaison between the playwright and the other members of the production team. Working on an established play, the dramaturg can do research to assist the director and designers to achieve the vision of the play they want and to provide the actors with information and insights to help them in character development. In short, the dramaturg can help all members of the production team in many different ways to develop a more fully realized production.
In recognition of the important role dramaturgy can play in college productions , the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of America (LMDA), the Association for Theater in Higher Education (ATHE), and the KCACTF have created a partnership to support dramaturgy by students. Together these groups sponsor an award presented in each KCACTF region to recognize the work of student dramaturgs. Winner of the scholarship in each region receives a year’s membership in both LMDA and ATHE. In addition, the student is invited to the Kennedy Center where he or she has the opportunity to work with professional dramaturgs at the national festival.
In addition to competing for the award, student dramaturgs have the opportunity to meet with a professional dramaturg and have their work critiqued. This gives the student dramaturgs the opportunity to learn more about their craft and to leave the festival with insights they can apply to future dramaturgical projects.
LMDA/ACTF/KCACTF Student Dramaturgy Award
This award is designed to recognize contributions by student dramaturgs to the conception, development and production of theater within their colleges and universities, or to educational projects in dramaturgy. The philosophical foundation of this award – like that of dramaturgy itself – rests in the belief that art benefits from examination on the parts of both artist and audience, and that creative inspiration accompanied by analysis and reflection is most likely to lead to productions and projects that fulfill the spiritual, social and personal potential of the theatrical event.
Also inherent in the guidelines is the belief that the dramaturg should participate fully and uniquely in the collaborative act of making theater and in promoting social discourse around the theatrical event. To validate the significance of the dramaturg’s contributions – and to raise awareness of dramaturgy in the academic field – a letter of nomination from a faculty member is required.
- Distinctiveness: what is creative about the dramaturg’s approach and/or analysis?
- Contextualization: how is the production or project enhanced by dramaturgical analysis or research; alternatively, how is the academic project in dramaturgy imaginatively projected into a larger social, political, academic or artistic setting?
- Impact: in what way are the audience, artists or institution enriched by dramaturgical ideas and execution?
- Ethics: how are issues that might be raised by the terms of the collaboration or changing responsibilities dealt with and/or resolved?
- Significance: how does this project inform, challenge or advance the field of dramaturgy, in general and/or within the student’s school?
WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
Undergraduate and graduate students who work specifically as the dramaturg on a production or workshop, or who submit work created for a dramaturgy class are eligible. If the project is a workshop or production, the student must be credited as the dramaturg. A student who also writes, directs, designs, performs in, or otherwise collaborates on a project will be responsible for articulating the boundaries of the dramaturgical work and speaking on its behalf. The student need not be enrolled full-time to submit work for this award. Projects must be completed (plays closed, workshops completed, projects turned in) by December 11, 2016 to be eligible. Projects completed after December 11, 2016 may be submitted for this award the following year. Students who wish to be considered for the award must attend the Festival and be present at the portfolio review session during the Festival. Students are strongly encouraged to seek support from their programs.
Fill out the application form, identifying the dramaturg and the project and include two statements written by the dramaturg
- Enclose a letter of nomination from a faculty member. If you wish, you may include more letters of support from persons directly related to the project — collaborating artists or audience members for a workshop or production, or fellow students/teachers in a classroom project.
- Include a representative selection of supporting material that shows examples of your work, such as study guides, research packets and program notes, along with an explanation of how these items are related to your work on the production.
- Compile all application materials (the entry form, statements written by the dramaturg, letters of nomination and supporting material) in a binder.
- Submit 1 copy of the binder at the festival.
**To be considered for the dramaturgy award, student dramaturgs must attend the portfolio review at the Festival.**
Dramaturgy applications can be submitted throughout the year.
Entries must be submitted by December 11, 2016.
Questions about the Student Dramaturgy Initiative or dramaturgy in general can be addressed to Lisa Wilde, Region II Chair of the Student Dramaturgy Initiative.