The Dramaturg’s role in a Production, or: Basic Expectations for Your Dramaturg by Celise Kalke


  1. A thorough text/story analysis.
  2. Research into the prior productions of the text as needed.
  3. Historical research of various sorts.
  4. Attendance at (at least) one quarter of the rehearsals, the first read-through, and as many run-throughs as possible.
  5. Oral or written notes for the director.
  6. Attendance at some pre-production meetings.
  7. A loyalty to the basic mission and ideas of the production and the text. Maintaining that loyalty in the midst of technical difficulties.
  8. Program contributions.
  9. Flexibility.

Other supplementary jobs for the dramaturg, especially in an institution. 

  1. Advising the marketing team.
  2. Working with the education staff.
  3. Participation in post-play discussions.
  4. Input on press releases.
  5. Text work — ranging from true adaptation to suggesting cuts. Keeping a copy of the script as performed (working with the stage manager).
  6. Historical research in conversation with the sound, light and set designers.
  7. Text work with the actors – especially on poetic drama.
  8. Active collaboration with the director during the rehearsal process — A vocal presence in rehearsals.
  9. Play selection.
  10. Organizing readings of new plays.
  11. Rooting and keeping logs of collaborative writing/performances.
  12. Keeping track of research materials — both those provided by the dramaturg and those brought in by other people.

© Copyright 1996, Celise Kalke. All rights reserved.