In this valuable new book Brown builds upon the practice of existing professional dramaturgs across the United States by clarifying how a dramaturg can play an active role in the development and creation of a production for the stage. Brown's book demonstrates how at every phase of the production process the dramaturg can play a significant role in transforming "heady ideas" into stage language and action that the other collaborators--directors, playwrights, actors, designers---can deploy in their creative explorations. The Art of Active Dramaturgy is a useful tool for those at a formative stage as a dramaturg learning a set of skills and for those unfamiliar with the complexity of the dramaturg's process and her potential impact on the artistic event being created.
--Mark Bly, Senior Dramaturg, Alley Theatre
The Art of Active Dramaturgy serves a truly useful function in introducing newcomers to the work of a dramaturg and offering ways for a student or anyone new to the practice a pathway towards tackling the role with confidence and a strong set of tools. But beyond that, it also takes what is often a murky and abstract set of tasks and outlines them with great clarity and through actionable steps, yet in a way that never simplifies or codifies the mysterious nature of art making. I will recommend this book to students but will also use it in my own practice--in training young emerging dramaturgs who work in our department as interns, but also in refreshing and focusing my own approach to reading new plays and working with playwrights on advancing their work.
--Tanya Palmer, Director of New Play Development, Goodman Theatre
Lenora Inez Brown is the former Head of Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism at The Theatre School, DePaul University. She has served as a dramaturg at numerous new-play workshops and festivals including The Sundance Theatre Labs 2000 and 2001, South Coast Repertory's The Pacific Playwright Festival, The Goodman Theatre's New Stages Series, The Bonderman Festival at Indiana Repertory Theatre, and New Visions/New Voices at The Kennedy Center. She helped initiate Madison Rep's new play festival, which included the premiere of Sarah Ruhl's Eurydice. She was the dramaturg for the 1999 Tony(R) nominated musical It Ain't Nothing But the Blues. She holds a BA from Dartmouth College and an MFA in Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism from the Yale School of Drama.show more