From ennui to enthusiasm : a playwright’s exploration of dramaturgy

Brown, David Ian (2010) From ennui to enthusiasm : a playwright’s exploration of dramaturgy. PhD by Creative Works, Queensland University of Technology.


In contemporary Australian theatre there seems to be no precise, universally accepted methodology that defines the dramaturgical process. There is not even agreement as to how a playwright might benefit from dramaturgy. Nevertheless, those engaged in creating original works for the Australian professional theatre have, to varying degrees, come to accept dramaturgical process as something of a necessity. Increasingly, dramaturgical process is evident in the development of new plays by state, flagship and project-based professional theatre producers. Many small to medium theatre companies provide dramaturgical assistance to playwrights although this often occurs in an ad hoc fashion, prescribed by economic restraint rather than artistic sensibility. Through an exploration of the dramaturgical development of two of his plays in several professional play development contexts, the researcher examines issues influencing contemporary dramaturgy in Australia. These plays are presented here as examinable components (weighted 70%) of the research as a whole, and they function in symbiotic relationship with the exegetical enquiry (weighted 30%). The research also presents the findings of a small-scale experiment which tests the hypothesis that a holistic approach to developing new plays might challenge conventional views on dramaturgical process. In terms of its overall conclusions, this research finds that while many playwrights and theatre professionals in Australia consider dramaturgy a distinct and important component of the creative development process, there exist substantial inconsistencies in relation to facilitating dramaturgical models that provide quality artistic outcomes for playwrights and their plays. The study presents unique qualitative and quantitative data as a contribution to knowledge in this field of enquiry, and it is anticipated that the research as a whole will be of interest to a variety of readers, including playwrights, dramaturgs, other theatre practitioners, students and teachers.

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ID Code: 37301
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD by Creative Works)
Supervisor: Makeham, Paul & Bray, Errol
Keywords: playwright, dramaturg, holistic, theatre, aesthetic, dramaturgy
Divisions: Past > Schools > Drama
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 27 Sep 2010 05:08
Last Modified: 26 Feb 2014 05:33

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