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Home :: Archive :: 1996 :: April ::
Re: Dramaturg(e)s
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0313.  Wednesday, 24 April 1996.

(1)     From:   T. Fred Wharton <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 23 Apr 96 15:49:08 EDT
        Subj:   Dramaturg(e)

(2)     From:   Robert Lloyd Neblett <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 23 Apr 1996 15:17:31 -0500 (CDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0310 Dramaturg(e)s

(3)     From:   Roger Gross <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 23 Apr 1996 15:22:59 -0500 (CDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0310 Dramaturg(e)s

(4)     From:   Gavin H Witt <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 23 Apr 96 23:17:57 CDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0310 Dramaturg(e)s


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           T. Fred Wharton <
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Date:           Tuesday, 23 Apr 96 15:49:08 EDT
Subject:        Dramaturg(e)

While drama scholars use "dramaturge," from the French, meaning "writer of
plays," producers and actors usuaully use "dramaturg" from the German, meaning
"director or editor of plays" (Langenscheidt). I've most often heard theatre
people using "dramaturg" to describe an adapter of a play-text.

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robert Lloyd Neblett <
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Date:           Tuesday, 23 Apr 1996 15:17:31 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: 7.0310 Dramaturg(e)s
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0310 Dramaturg(e)s

RE:DRAMATURGS

The term "dramaturg" in its contemporary sense is actually derived from the
German theatre of Lessing's day.  Pronounced with a hard "g" at the end.  Only
recently acquisitioned by the American theatre as a position of value in
production staffs, it is not surprising that the American Heritage Dictionary
has not updated its entry yet.

Robert L. Neblett

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(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Roger Gross <
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Date:           Tuesday, 23 Apr 1996 15:22:59 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: 7.0310 Dramaturg(e)s
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0310 Dramaturg(e)s

Bill G. asks about dramaturgs.

I'll be happy to answer because I are one.

And I teach them.

Those of us in the American sector of the dramaturg racket spell and pronounce
it without the 'e' on the end.  Because that is our habit, we are, of course,
irritated when people spell or pronounce it 'dramaturge' and we wonder why they
aren't literate.

The real problem with the word is that we have no verb form.  I can't bear to
think that I am dramaturging.  But I do it anyway.

The 'urge' reappears, of course, when we say that we are experts in dramaturgy.
 We are inconsistent?  Very well, we are inconsistent.

The best thing in my life right now is that I am about to begin my annual three
weeks of all-day, all-night dramaturging at the wonderful Mount Sequoyah New
Play Retreat.

Enjoy.
Roger Gross
U. of Arkansas

(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gavin H Witt <
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Date:           Tuesday, 23 Apr 96 23:17:57 CDT
Subject: 7.0310 Dramaturg(e)s
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0310 Dramaturg(e)s

Regarding the "side issue" of dramaturg/e, a few comments.  This has long been
an issue of some contention, and has recently occasioned much discussion among
the members of the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas. As
witnessed by the title of the group, they rather strongly advocate the use of
the e-less spelling, pronounced with a hard "g" as in "Pittsburgh" for the
primary reason that this descends from the German version of the word and the
role of the dramaturg--developed by Lessing and other Germans and only more
recently introduced into the U.S.--rather than the French (dramaturge) which
connotes more genericall a playwright.  Literally the word derives from the
Greek  for "play-shaper" so both derivations are understandable.  When
discussing the role of one responsible for literary management, interpretive
work, production research, working with a playwright, advising directors, or
other myriad similar but ill-defined jobs, one is talking about a Dramaturg.
Something more people should do.  Thanks for asking--hope this helped clarify
anything.

Incidentally, LMDA has an informal listserv operated by a member.  If anyone on
this list would like that address, email me and I'd be happy to provide it.

Gavin Witt
Dramaturg, Court Theatre, Chicago

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