The Thaumaturgy Department

(It's dramaturgy, not thaumaturgy.)


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:
Next to Normal
It's A Wonderful Life
One Night in Miami
Herzog Rep
After the Revolution
4000 Miles
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.


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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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]

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"Once upon a time…." Indeed.



(Source: alexfisherson)

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I believe that the magic and power of a story can encourage and fascinate you. In prehistory, outside the cave it was dark, but inside they had a fire and somebody was good at telling stories. Every time I write, I think of the cave. We are one group, outside it’s dark and wolves are howling, but I have a story to tell.

-Haruki Murakami (via wasarahbi)

And AFTER THE QUAKE opens at Rorschach theatre in DC… Serendipitous syncronicity indeed.

(via tonytakitani)

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