The Thaumaturgy Department

(It's dramaturgy, not thaumaturgy.)

Gavin
CENTERSTAGE
Baltimore
Maryland
USA

thaumaturg
Main Entry: thau·ma·turg
Pronunciation: \ˈthȯ-mə-ˌtərj\
Function: noun
Etymology: French, from New Latin thaumaturgus, from Greek thaumatourgos working miracles, from thaumat-, thauma miracle + ergon work — more at Theater, Work

2014-2015 Season:
Amadeus
Next to Normal
It's A Wonderful Life
One Night in Miami
Herzog Rep
After the Revolution
4000 Miles
Marley
Play Labs

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.

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samplings from the lobby for Colman Domingo’s WILD WITH HAPPY that recently closed at Baltimore’s Center Stage - including an interactive road-tripping map that invited audiences to share their best & worst travel memories. some real doozies found their way onto green (happy times) or red (road rage) cards.



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Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny. Lao Tzu
Perhaps a rubric of sorts for theatrical writing? A dramaturgy to link character, action, intention.


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I told Miyazaki I love the “gratuitous motion” in his films; instead of every movement being dictated by the story, sometimes people will just sit for a moment, or they will sigh, or look in a running stream, or do something extra, not to advance the story but only to give the sense of time and place and who they are.

"We have a word for that in Japanese," he said. "It’s called ma. Emptiness. It’s there intentionally.”

Is that like the “pillow words” that separate phrases in Japanese poetry?

"I don’t think it’s like the pillow word." He clapped his hands three or four times. "The time in between my clapping is ma. If you just have non-stop action with no breathing space at all, it’s just busyness. But if you take a moment, then the tension building in the film can grow into a wider dimension. If you just have constant tension at 80 degrees all the time you just get numb.

Rogert Ebert, on Hayao Miyazaki (via elucipher)

Great storytelling observation. The dramaturgy of contrast: of movement defined by stillness, sound by silence, commotion by subsiding, presence by absence.

(Source: improv-is-easy, via historyismymuse)



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Anonymous said: How many dramaturgs does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

dramaturgytea:

Two - One to research everything about lightbulbs, the context of this lightbulb, ponder ‘why this lightbulb now?’, suggest edits for the lightbulb, investigate appropriate lightbulbs for the era, and finally screw the damn thing in. And one to casually mention that the lightbulb should actually be a candelabra.



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the central paradox of theater is that something which starts off complete, as true to itself, as self-contained and as subjective as a sonnet, is then thrown into a kind of spin dryer which is the process of staging the play; and that process is hilariously empirical Tom Stoppard, “Pragmatic Theatre,” Sept 23, 1999
http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/1999/sep/23/pragmatic-theater/


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upstages:

dramaturgytea:

'Let me just look up this one fact.'

#DramaturgProblems

indeed…

upstages:

dramaturgytea:

'Let me just look up this one fact.'

#DramaturgProblems

indeed…



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the-library-and-step-on-it:

LITERATURE MEME:
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

the-library-and-step-on-it:

LITERATURE MEME:

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



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