Welcome to Dramaturgy in Region 4! All participants in this year’s Dramaturgy program will be considered for the LMDA/KCACTF Student Dramaturgy Award, take part in professional development workshops led by a nationally-recognized dramaturg, and serve as dramaturgs in the ten-minute play festival.

Who Is Eligible? Undergraduate and graduate students who work specifically as the dramaturg on a production or workshop, or who submit work created for a dramaturgy class. If the project is a workshop or production, the student must be credited as the dramaturg. The student does not need to be enrolled full-time to apply.

How Do I Apply? Interested students should send a completed application in one large PDF file by January 19, 2018. The following materials should be included in the application:

  1. A title page identifying the dramaturg, the project, and the school. Please include your address, phone number, email address, and date of the project.
  2. Two personal statements written by the dramaturg: one delineating the project and its challenges and the other detailing the process from start to finish.
  3. A letter of nomination from a faculty member. If you wish, you may also include letters of support from persons directly related to the project or other individuals who are familiar with your work as a dramaturg.
  4. A dramaturgical packet or protocol that showcases the student’s research and work for the production. Suggested items for inclusion can be found at this link:  http://www.kcactf4.org/Files/Dramaturgy/How_to_prepare_a_dramaturgy_casebook.pdf

All materials and questions should be sent by email to Marshall Botvinick, KCACTF Region 4 Dramaturgy Coordinator:

Marshall Botvinick
University of North Carolina at Wilmington

LMDA/KCACTF Student Dramaturgy Award

The LMDA/KCACTF Student Dramaturgy Award is designed to recognize contributions by student dramaturgs to the conception, development, and production of theater within their colleges and universities or to educational projects in dramaturgy. The philosophical foundation of this award – like that of dramaturgy itself – rests in the belief that art benefits from examination on the parts of both artist and audience, and that creative inspiration accompanied by analysis and reflection is most likely to lead to productions and projects that fulfill the spiritual, social and personal potential of the theatrical event.

Award Criteria

  • Distinctiveness – What is creative about the dramaturg’s approach and/or analysis?
  • Contextualization – How is the production or project enhanced by dramaturgical analysis or research; alternatively, how is the academic project in dramaturgy imaginatively projected into a larger social, political, academic or artistic setting?
  • Impact – In what way are the audience, artists or institution enriched by dramaturgical ideas and execution?
  • Ethics – How are issues that might be raised by the terms of the collaboration or changing responsibilities dealt with and/or resolved?
  • Significance – How does this project inform, challenge or advance the field of dramaturgy, in general and/or within the student’s school?

What Should I Expect at the Festival?

Dramaturgy participants will be busy. Every day will feature both morning and afternoon workshops with our guest dramaturg Heather Helinsky. Students will also discuss their casebooks with our respondent in a 30-minute, one-on-one session. Finally, students will participate in the NPP Ten Minute Play Festival, helping with the new play development process and authoring a program note. Plan on arriving for the first meeting on Tuesday evening at 7pm. A detailed schedule of dramaturgical activities will be distributed to all participants after the application deadline.

Who Is Our Respondent?

Heather Helinsky has been a working dramaturg for the past ten years, currently based in Philadelphia but a good portion of her career has also been in Pittsburgh, NYC, Boston, and D.C.  She’s been the resident dramaturg at the Great Plains Theatre Conference since 2010. For the past six seasons, she’s read and evaluated scripts for The O’Neill, PlayPenn, Great Plains Theatre Conference, Jewish Plays Project, Philly Young Playwrights, and Sundance Theatre Lab. She has been the Literary Manager of the Pittsburgh Public and PICT Classic Theatre. As a service to the Philadelphia theatre community, she has been a Barrymore voter for two seasons.  Nationally, her dramaturgical work has been seen at the Accessible Theatre, American Repertory Theatre, the Apothetae, Arizona Repertory Theatre, Athena Project Festival, Borderlands Theatre Company, City Theatre, Denver Center, Great Plains Theatre Conference, The Kennedy Center, The Lark, Miracle Theatre, Moscow Art Theatre’s American Studio, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Phoenix Theatre, Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre, Pittsburgh Public Theatre, Plan-B Theatre, Plays and Players of Philadelphia, PlayPenn, Salt Lake Acting Company, Telluride Playwrights Festival, Unexpected Stage, Woolly Mammoth, and the 6NewPlays collective in San Francisco. This season, she is the production dramaturg for the world premiere of Tira Palmquist’s TWO DEGREES at the Denver Center and Andrea Hart’s premiere of Dark is a Different Beast in San Francisco. For the Kennedy Center, Heather has mentored student dramaturgs, regionally and nationally, since 2012, and reads for the David Mark Cohen award. She has served as a Visiting Professor of Dramaturgy at Carnegie Mellon (’12-’13), University of Arizona (’07-08), Lesley University (’15-’16) and Brooklyn College (’15).  She acquired her MFA in Dramaturgy and Theatre Studies from the A.R.T./MXAT Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard.