2017 Dramaturgy Driven Grant

The Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas (LMDA) is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2017 Dramaturgy Driven Grant: Amy Jensen.  This round of grants saw twenty-six applications and the selection process was overseen by LMDA’s Vice President of Grants and Awards, Brad Rothbart.

 

Amy will be working on Dramaturging Reading Aloud. Adults need more support in the seemingly simple performance of reading aloud. Is it simple to set the scene and pique interest; use vocal variety to create build, tone, and patterns; or to ask questions that provoke deeper engagement and thinking? Instead of expecting all this to come intuitively, or handing adults a checklist, this project will design a hands-on workshop and materials, including videos, to help adults identify and practice choices that will help them lead more dynamic, engaging reading aloud experiences. The materials will be made available in English and Spanish.
 
Says Jensen, “Theatre artists and dramaturgs can also support literacy and bring their considerable skills to help energize reading aloud. Literacy is not simply a parenting, education, or social service issue; it should be considered a cultural imperative.”
 
Amy Jensen is a dramaturg, performer, and writer whose parents and 2nd and 4th grade teachers read aloud with flair. Amy has worked at the Arkansas New Play Festival, the Southern Writers Festival, the Colorado New Play Summit, the New York Neo-Futurists, Conni’s Avant Garde Restaurant, the Write Now Festival, Hartford Stage’s Write On Festival, and Geva Theatre. Amy performed at Lincoln Center with Trusty Sidekick Theatre Company. She’s a member of LMDA (Literary Managers & Dramaturgs of the Americas). www.amy-jensen.com
 
Amy will receive $1000 to support her project.
 
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Runners-up:

Tyler Crumrine, A Guide to Contemporary Poets’ Theatre

This project in interested in the cross-pollination between poetry and the theatre and proposes to conduct a survey of contemporary poets’ theatre to create a guide to the genre/practice. It would embrace both established poets' theatre traditions as well as the emphasis on novelty inherent in hybrid-genre work. It would include interviews from writers (poets turned playwrights and vice versa), essays on poets in the theatre, and tools for teaching poets’ theatre in classrooms. The final product—a book (published and free online)—would serve as a resource for writers, teachers, and dramaturgs alike. The hope would be to let practitioners whose work hovers between poetry and play know that they belong within a larger literary context, as well as let writers of either genre know they are welcome in both the poetry and theatre communities.

 

Tyler Crumrine is a Pittsburgh-based dramaturg and the founding editor of Plays Inverse Press, a small press publisher of hybrid-genre theatre (www.playsinverse.com). Past dramaturgical work has appeared at Signature Theatre Company, City Theatre Company, Bricolage Production Company, the Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre, and others. He also freelances as a book designer for new play theatres, creating short run, premiere editions of new plays as well as anthologies of previously developed scripts that may not receive a literary life otherwise.

 

Megan Johnson, Dramaturging Accessibility: a training lab for dramaturgs on creating accessible spaces and practices

​​In a continued effort to make theatres and performance spaces more accessible and inclusive, we must be willing to both adapt existing infrastructure and practices as well as create new methods of working. The unique perspective of the dramaturg means that dramaturgs have the ability to question, challenge, research, and create ways of working that will make theaters, workspaces, and projects more accessible and inclusive to diverse bodies, minds, and lived experiences. This project aims to contribute to this objective by creating a year-long (eight session) dramaturgical training “Lab” that includes workshops, lectures, and other training events to learn how to make performance spaces and practices accessible. Disability-identified artists and disability arts specialists will be an integral part of the training to help lead conversations and sessions, which will encourage dramaturgs to integrate these practices into their own work and organizations. Ultimately, this project will both engage with and demonstrate the following query: What is the dramaturgy of accessibility, and how might dramaturgical work and a dramaturgical perspective support continued movement towards accessibility and inclusion?
 
Megan Johnson is a performance scholar, mezzo-soprano, arts administrator, and dramaturg. She holds an MA in musicology from the University of Ottawa and a BMus in voice from Acadia University. Her research interests are diverse, ranging from theories of embodiment, disability performance and socio-cultural interpretations of the body, to contemporary vocal music, new play dramaturgy, and feminist performance. Her performing life ranges from the traditional to the wildly theatrical and in recent years she has turned to Practice as Research (PaR) methodologies to serve her interest in both academic inquiry and live performance. She is currently completing an MA in Theatre & Performance Studies at York University and will begin a PhD in the same program in Fall 2017.

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