And more to the point, what is dramaturgy?

A theatrical tradition stretching back to nineteenth-century Germany, dramaturgy (from the Greek drama/tourgos, or ‘to make action’) is active, deep, applicable research focused on contextualising and deepening a theatrical performance, script, or event. subTEXT Dramaturgy & Research works to extend the process of dramaturgy to include research solutions across industries, far beyond its traditional theatrical boundaries.

This expansion of dramaturgy is practical, and is based on the modern relationship between a dramaturg and a playwright. In the development of a new play, a dramaturg may work with a writer on narrative, character, logic, concept, storytelling, and even the editing of dialogue. In some cases, research is incorporated to contextualise the world of the play. There is no standardised dramaturgical method: it is a tailor-made one-to-one interaction based on the playwright, the dramaturg, and the project, that can extend from initial idea to final production. Expanding on this dramaturgical relationship acknowledges the highly adaptable nature of the field into other fields and disciplines: past projects include the dramaturgy of comic book scripts (“Kill Shakespeare”), the dramaturgy of film-to-television adaptation (Melbar Productions/CBC), and the dramaturgy of gaming narratives (Industry Corp/Stratford Festival). As digital storytelling expands, and as video games increasingly embrace intricately structured, emotionally involving narrative — whether that story is immutable or configurable — so too has dramaturgy become an integral part of the development process.

With subTEXT Dramaturgy & Research, your project – whether it requires narrative interaction or research depth – is afforded dramaturgical rigour and personalised attention. Contact us below to set up a consultation to discuss how we can work together, in a widely adaptable range of fields.


subTEXT Research Dramaturgy was founded in late 2016 to respond to the wide range of applications possible for the versatile field of dramaturgy. Led by a growing group of industry professionals, subTEXT believes dramaturgy is not useful solely in the theatre: the research, development, and consulting potential in fields reliant on storytelling, research, and content construction offers an untapped approach to the structure of any field. We have extensive experience working through dramaturgical models in theatre, film, comic books, and video games, and offer incisive, deep research on made-to-order topics, tailored to your needs.

As you work with subTEXT, you will begin with a one-on-one research consultation, where your personal needs will be assessed, and your research goals will be established. For ease of efficiency and continuity, your case file will be housed in its own password-protected webpage, wherein links, research materials, and documents are stored and presented for your business needs. Whether it be contextual historical research for a film production; a narrative analysis for a video game; pre-production research for a theatrical performance; story editing for a comic book; or general historical research for your specific project, subTEXT’s tailored research services will be right for you.

Contact us to set up a free consultation. As our services are exclusive and tailored to you, please note that availability is scheduled and lead times may vary. While we are based in Toronto, Canada, our services are adaptable to clients and scenarios world wide.

Past uses of subTEXT services include: Classical Production Dramaturgy, Video Dramaturgy, Comic Book Dramaturgy, Video Game Dramaturgy, and Copywriting.