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The Value of Dramaturgs

Venue: Online

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The definitions of dramaturgy are vast and ineffable, and the work of dramaturgs is often invisible. And yet dramaturgy is integral to the development and production of all live performing arts. This online panel discussion brings together dramaturgs and artists to highlight the value of dramaturgy and the people who practise it.

This collaboration between the Centre for Contemporary Theatre and the Dramaturgs’ Network is a panel discussion exploring issues of pay, employment, and professional development in the sector.

Beth Steel’s plays include Till the Stars Come Down (National Theatre, 2024; nominated for Best New Play at the Olivier Awards), The House of Shades (Almeida Theatre, 2022; shortlisted for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and the WGGB Award for Best Play), Labyrinth (Hampstead Theatre, 2016) and Wonderland (Hampstead Theatre, 2014; Evening Standard Charles Wintour Award for Most Promising Playwright).

Pooja Ghai is an award-winning director, dramaturg, actor and mentor. She is Artistic Director of Tamasha and Co-Chair of Stage Directors UK. Her credits as director include The Empress (RSC Swan and Lyric Hammersmith), Lions and Tigers (Sam Wanamaker Playhouse; winner of Best Director, Eastern Eye Arts, Culture and Theatre Awards) and Rapunzel (Theatre Royal Stratford East). She focuses on “giving voice to under-represented groups, telling stories that explore our shared histories; our colonial and post-colonial experiences, and stories that redress the balance of the whitewashing of history.”

Lynda Lorraine is a British Anglo-Filipina Artist who works with space, time and the humanity of the Filipino diaspora. Telling our diverse stories through portraiture, writing, movement and body works. Using art to break free from our erased and disconnected history, tearing apart the bleak simplistic stereotypes of us to reveal a vibrant, complex and robust people in and of our shared homeland, the Philippines.

Dr Laura Kressly (she/her) is a London-based, American freelance dramaturg, theatre critic and educator who originally trained and worked as an actor and director. She has worked as a developmental dramaturg, both formally and informally, since 2006. Recent production dramaturgy credits include new plays at VAULT Festival, the Blue Elephant and Camden Fringe. She is a script-reader for the Bruntwood Prize and a judge for the Off-West End Awards.

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