(It's dramaturgy, not thaumaturgy.)
Main Entry: thau·ma·turg
Etymology: French, from New Latin thaumaturgus, from Greek thaumatourgos working miracles, from thaumat-, thauma miracle + ergon work — more at Theater, Work
The official blog of the Dramaturgy Department at Baltimore's CENTERSTAGE. For posts related to our current and upcoming shows, click the links to the right. Alternatively, you could begin at the beginning, and explore our posts in chronological order.
Play It Again And Again, Sam
We’re all seduced by repetition, music research suggests — 90 percent of the music we listen to, we’ve heard before. Beyond music, this bias toward familiarity holds up in every culture. What gives?
Four Tropes: Chekhov’s Gun (3/4).
Chekhov’s gun is a metaphor for a dramatic principle concerning simplicity and foreshadowing. It suggests that if one shows a loaded gun on stage in the first act of a play, it should be fired in a later act; otherwise, the gun should not be shown in the first place. The principle was articulated by Russian playwright Anton Chekhov and reported in various forms.
"Chekhov’s gun" is often used as an example of foreshadowing, with the sight of the gun preparing the audience for its eventual use. But the primary point of Chekhov’s advice was to caution against including unnecessary elements in a story or its staging. Failure to observe the rule of "Chekhov’s gun" may be cited by critics when discussing plot holes. The deliberate defiance of this principle may take the form of a red herring: something which the audience is meant to assume will be important to the plot’s outcome, but ultimately is not.
more insights from Mr Chekhov
Midway thru workshop of new piece, KJ Sanchez makes sense of structure. Or prepares for Origami Fest. #newplay
Age-ism, Classism, and the Future of New Play Development or “Watch The Throne” | HowlRound
"Because the indisputable fact is, you guys are in charge, and I’m not. You guys work for the organizations and theaters, which are in a position to not only help me and other new artists from my generation, but essentially give us our starts. And how can you even begin to do that, if you know nothing about all of the stuff that my generation likes and says and does, or worse think those things are not only trivial and stupid, but something to actively fight against?"
To put it more radically, the true horror of life, the essence of drama, lies in the lack of dramaturgy. If there were a dramaturge or demiurge, if we (truly) believed that someone else was writing the play, that someone else was handing out the roles, this would mean we would be sure that our existence had meaning, that there was a play in it somewhere. Armed with this knowledge, neither our personal apocalypse nor the shared one is frightening: it’s simply the writing on the wall. But what if there’s nothing written about us anywhere? What if no one writes us? If no one is watching?
We have nothing else to use against the Apocalypse besides our personal history, without being sure that there are eyes and ears ready to hear us out. So we feel our way with words, like children in the dark. The only thing we know is that as long as we are telling stories, we’re alive. Even if they are stories about the end.”
~ Georgi Gospodinov
[Thanks to @belle_kelle for the quotation]
There is no shame in not knowing; the shame lies in not finding out.
Russian proverb (via myfotolog)
Or, dramaturgy proverb…
(Source: wasbella102, via myfotolog)
New App Helps Actors Learn Lines
Samuel French has teamed up with MyTheaterApps.com, the developer of Scene Partner, an App that helps actors learn their lines using their own scripts or by choosing from a growing collection of Publisher e-Scripts—the authorized Acting Editions designed specifically for use with Scene Partner. The first wave of select Samuel French titles are available in the Scene Partner webstore for iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch). Apps for other Smartphones and Android devices coming soon.
What is Scene Partner?:
Scene Partner is an app for Apple devices that allows actors to listen to their lines, their cues, or a whole scene to help them learn their lines faster. Actors can listen to a variety of prerecorded voices – available in different dialects as well – or they can record themselves and their cast mates! Each role can be isolated, so every actor can follow their track through the show or they can customize their track by making their own French Scene Breakdown. Everyone stays on the same page, with real time syncing of any cuts or edits to the script!
-from Anne Hamilton, Hamilton Dramaturgy
Marisa Wegrzyn’s MUD BLUE SKY explores unlikely friendships. As prodturg Kellie Mecleary shows in her program piece. But here is a remarkable short video that shows a score* of unlikely friendships forging, in real life, right before our eyes. So unlikely, yet so ordinary. Hard to imagine, and right at hand.
*not using “score” with any pretense of numerical or linguistic accuracy…
#CSMud #newplay @howdymarisa
A random ball pit is set up in the middle of a city
And this is what happens as people approach it.
this made me so happy.
I couldn’t stop smiling
This made me smile so much.
This is amazing.
Would you be surprised if I told you that, according to the Bechdel Test website, only 5 of IMDB’s Top 250 passed all three Bechdel criteria in 2010? Are we really asking too much of the film industry to include two women, who talk to eachother, about something besides a man? Surely this is the bare minimum of female representation we should expect from films. Women populate more than half of the world and yet we are still so often consigned to being the ‘love interest’ whose lives centre wholly around the male protagonist even to the point where the majority of mainstream films in our cinemas seem to find it impossible, in their entire run-time, to imagine a world in which a woman conducts a conversation that is not about a man.
It’s important to note that just because a film passes the test (or does not), that does not necessarily make it feminist (or not feminist). However, it is a useful gage and is a wheel-turner for other critical questions and thinking.
For a great example of this working in practice, check out Marisa Wegrzyn’s spanking-new play, MUD BLUE SKY, at centerstage!
Hansberry family house, Chicago’s South Side; source of conflict, center of legal battles, and inspiration for A RAISIN IN THE SUN. Fitting sign.
1960 demographic map of Chicago, against which take place RAISIN IN THE SUN, CLYBOURNE PARK, and BENEATHA’S PLACE, the 3 pieces of #CSRaisin RAISIN CYCLE at centerstage.
Explore "our" America
have you watched the latest MY AMERICA videos? well, here you can explore them and the project from various angles, through prisms thematic, personal, or geographic - and follow some oblique tangents too!