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A Message To My New Dramaturgical Mentee

As part of a local theatre company’s recent fund-raising trivia night I offered as a prize my dramaturgical services for 6 months. This is what I wrote to the winner:

Congratulations!  I am yours for at least 6 months!

The bottom line is I am here for you.  A sounding board, a resource – that ideal audience member who is seeing the play in their mind’s eye and responding to it.  I’ll also be someone to bounce ideas off no matter how crazy or out there they might be.  (I will probably also bounce some ideas back – to challenge you, provoke you, make you dig deeper into what you’ve written.)

I’m looking forward to reading what you have and getting into providing whatever help/assistance/advise/criticism/support I can.  Please remember that as much as I might have ideas about what I think you might need, I’m sure you have ideas, too, so please don’t be backward in coming forward and identifying exactly what you might want from me e.g. “Can you read this and tell me if you think I should keep the fifth spear carrier from the left.”

The other thing to remember – which I think is very important – is that I won’t be doing any of the actual writing myself.  That’s your job.  The learning comes from the doing, and no matter what I say you’ll still be the one at the coal face, with keyboard and screen punching out the words.  I can point you down a path, but you will be the one to decide if you walk it.

The key to dramaturgy is twofold, I think: the development of scripts, and by extension the development of the playwright.  The two go hand-in-hand.  I can’t wait to see where we wind up in 6 months’ time!

Let the adventure begin!

I haven’t received any scripts as yet, but I’m sure they’ll come!