A dramaturge or dramaturg is a professional position within a theatre or opera company that deals mainly with research and development of plays or operas. Its modern-day function was originated by the innovations of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, an 18th-century German playwright, philosopher, and theorist about theatre.
One of the dramaturg's contributions is to categorize and discuss the various types and kinds of plays, their interconnectedness and their styles. The responsibilities of dramaturg vary from one theatre company to the next. They might include the hiring of actors, the development of a season of plays with a sense of coherence among them, assistance with and editing of new plays by resident or guest playwrights, the creation of programs or accompanying educational services, helping the director with rehearsals, and serving as elucidator of history or spokesperson for deceased or otherwise absent playwrights. At larger theatres, a casting director hires the actors, a literary manager helps with play selection and editing/workshopping, and the dramaturg works on the historical and cultural research into the play and its setting. A dramaturg will create a workbook for the director and actors (usually these are different) and work extensively with the director prior to the first rehearsal.
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