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 SPRING 2016 


This assignment sought to activate the knowledge gained in the undergraduate theater history course by animating research for production. As such for this multi-part, long term research project, participants engaged in the deep activites of historical research in order to exert its informational benefits on artistic practice.


Each participant chose one play from the course syllabus to engage. Participants then embarked on a scaffolded research agenda that asked them to: provide research essays on the following "sections" of a preliminary dramaturgical notebook:


  • A play summary, and playwright biographical information;

  • A historical context essay for their selected play that included strong inclusion of visual and media materials;  

  • A production history for their play, again, with visual support required.


While participants wrote traditional essays for these sections, they were also required to transpose their deep historical research into a conceptual project that imagined how their selected play could be staged in our contemporary moment. This imaginative conception was completed as a 5-7 page essay that addressed the following questions in order to fully flesh out their ideas:  

  • What overarching concept or driving ideas organize the aesthetics of your production? And why?

  • As this is a play from a different era, what are the contemporary ideas that your staging of this play will speak to for our contemporary moment? And why? In total, please describe, conceptualize, and justify your production concept.  

  • Why this play now?

  • Staging choices/style - what would be unique in your approach to this play overall? What is new about your production of this play?)

  • Acting/presentational choices - what will the physicality of your actors be like?)

  • Scenic/Setting choices - what is the environment you would create?)

  • Costume choices - would your costumes be true to the play’s period, amended in some fashion, set in a different historical era or “non-traditional” in some other manner?)

  • Metatheatrical/deconstructive choices or additions for staging this play.

  • Describe any other innovative revisions or amendments you would make for the performance of this work in our contemporary era, i.e., rearranging audience participation, site specific, use of new media (video/live fliming, texting, ???)


​The project culminated in approximately 11-15 written pages transposed into the form of an engaging Digital Dramaturgy Notebook. These notebooks were required to be geared towards an imagined production team (collaboraters) that would make use of the dramaturgical research. Use of links and various digital possibiiities for a digital platform were highly encouraged. Provocative creativity with the elasticity of a digital platform (hyperlinks, digiital materials, and strong visuality) was also strongly encouraged.   


Participants were also required to offer 5-7 minute final presentations of their digital dramaturgy notebook as an in-class presentation.​


  • Each written portion of this assignment received a letter grade upon its completion. Upon the project’s completion at the end of the term, I assigned a grade to the project in its totality as a digital dramaturgy notebook in terms of its overall content, presentation, and quality.

  • ​Digital Dramaturgy Notebooks constituted 30% of each participant’s total grade for the course. 



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