Creating National and International Initiatives

It’s always possible to take a broader look at what’s happening in the world at large and create a structure for a new program that is needed at a specific time or for an urgent, world-shaking event.  Creating structure and gathering people together are hallmarks of the dramaturg’s art.  Here are two examples that I kickstarted.

TCG: Theatre Communications Group > Events > Event Archives > Other Events & Programs > Shinsai

Read about the impact of SHINSAI in the financial report from the Japan Playwrights Association (PDF).. Shortly after the devastating 2011 earthquake in Japan, actor James Yaegashi, whose family is from a nearby area, called friends in the New York theatre to say, “We as a theatre community have to do something to help our fellow artists on the other side of the world.”

And most recently – just out of the gate:

Legacy Playwrights Initiative

The industry-wide Legacy Playwrights Initiative is a program devoted to the of rediscovery and advocacy for of important elder playwrights whose writing has fallen out of the public eye. The…

One program that I played a major role in creating over 30 years ago was the National Theater Translation Fund, which aimed to collect manuscripts and publications of plays translated into English from other languages, cultures and countries.  The NTTF also awarded grants to new translations of plays and began creating an African play translation program.  Unfortunately, after several years, the NTTF shut down because it was unable to find a home for the collection of play translations.

About Dramaturgy on Wikipedia

Here in the US, dramaturgs are just beginning to make a record of the field.  ​You can see from the current Wikipedia site on dramaturgy that exists now - reproduced on the left - how incomplete and full of errors it is.  A large group of 45 working dramaturgs recently compiled a document of the profession here in the US, entitled “American Dramaturgy” for Wikipedia, with information through the lockdown in 2020.  It requires further additions, links and personal websites to be completed and become an active Wiki site. It is attached here.  Help completing it would be appreciated! ​ Three important US dramaturgs who made a lasting contribution to dramaturgy in the US have died in the last few years - Michael Lupu of the Guthrie Theater,  Robert Blacker of the La Jolla Playhouse and long-time head of the Sundance Theater Lab, and Doug Langworthy of the Denver Theater Center.
Please email me if you would like to be a part of getting this new and accurate document live.  We anticipate that once it becomes a real site, it can be added to  going forward once the theater fully reopens post-Covid. We have the history, but not the getting it onto wikipedia knowledge.

Wikipedia page

Wikipedia page model Draft 1.pdf