I recently met David Lane at a workshop I was leading in ‘Alternative Dramaturgies’ at the Tobacco Factory in Bristol. We were looking at how a script ends up being the shape that it is, considering some of the other dramaturgical elements involved in making a blueprint for live performance outside dialogue, characterisation and action. My interest was in exploring the organisational principles which might inform process and the dramatic structure, including aspects such as logic, tempo rhythm, metaphor, poetic/dramatic schema, and so on…
This exploration of dramaturgy continued this morning, when David sent me an email about his involvement in Hannah Silva’s The Disappearance of Sadie Jones, currently in production at Exeter’s Bike Shed Theatre. David and Hannah were in discussion earlier this week about process and dramaturgy, and a transcription of that conversation is available on Hannah’s blog, at the link, below. David wrote:
‘Our hope is that it not only creates a useful window on the work of the dramaturg but also opens up some vital questions about how new plays are developed, why progressing our dramaturgical thinking around what a play is might be useful, and how embracing different development processes for writers might entertain a broader range of new plays being produced.’
I fully support this and feel wider discussion is necessary. Lyn Gardner, Suzanne Bell, Fin Kennedy, Dawn Walton, David Eldridge and myself came to similar conclusions about the necessity for more flexible developmental processes for writers in our panel discussion at West Yorkshire Playhouse’s festival last Spring. Perhaps if we keep having these discussions, and publicising the debates, change may happen…?
(I’m hopeful…We’re playwrights and dramaturgs… we’re optimistic…we know about change…)