Post-Dramaturgy Trauma is a real thing. It is truly disheartening how many playwrights feel that their work with dramaturgs has resulted in stress, self-doubt, and inability to write. Too many dramaturgs feel that bombarding a vulnerable writer with a lengthy list of notes designed to ‘fix’ a work is the best way to develop new plays. Nothing could be further from the truth. New Play Development is not about ‘noting’ a playwright into submission, nor is it about creating the version of the play that the dramaturg thinks should be written. Piling notes on a playwright is a surefire way to make a dramaturg feel they’ve earned their fee, but doesn’t take into account the reason playwrights look to us in the first place: questions in world building, reminders of story, and suggestions for solutions to trouble spots. We’re not there to make you feel bad about yourself.
Above all things, New Play Development dramaturgy is a conversation.
Playwriting can be such an isolating experience that it becomes difficult to see exactly what the play has to offer, whether it be in terms of narrative, characters, or structure. Dramaturgy consultancy beyond the traditional workshop-to-production mode offers playwrights with a fresh set of eyes and an opportunity to answer the questions that emerge.
With more than a decade of experience as a new play reader, evaluator, and developer, I offer tailored dramaturgy feedback that matches to your needs. Before there can be an impactful workshop, there needs to be an insightful conversation. I aim to help playwrights move from their second draft to their fourth draft, at which point a workshop or production is much more effective.
For more information on past development and rates for NPD consulting anywhere in the world, please feel free to reach out for a no-obligation conversation.