Greetings, dramaturgs, and other colleagues! 

The Dramaturging the Phoenix 3.0 planning group has returned for bi-monthly Forums. We have big hopes and open hearts looking for input, growth, and sustainability. Our goal, as always, is to create spaces for conversations about how dramaturgy has continued to be impacted by the ongoing pandemic waves and allow member-driven topics to develop in quick response to the systemic changes that theater in our communities are making (or not making).

In our effort to return strong and to ensure that DtP continues to serve the LMDA community, we have created a 5-minute survey about your experiences with the initiative. If you’ve already responded, thank you! If you haven’t yet given us your thoughts, brief or otherwise, please do so by Monday, October 17th. Your responses will inform our DtP 3.0 season planning. 

Next DtP Sessions

Tuesday, October 25th, at 5pm Eastern/2pm Pacific: New Play Festivals that are Affinity Spaces

In contrast to the regional theaters which create slots for the work of diverse writers, communities exhausted from being tokenized have created their own festival spaces. This session explores the question: What does the new play development process look like when instead of festivals created for a community, it creates practices by and of the community? 

Speakers: Patrice Amon, David Winitsky, and TBD

Moderator: Daniel Mesta

Moderator bio: Daniel Mesta holds a BA in Theatre Arts Studies and Russian Studies from Brigham Young University, and is pursuing an MA in International Relations at the European University at St. Petersburg conducting research in cultural diplomacy and international performance. He has worked in various capacities in radio, theatre, opera and dance including working abroad with the Center for International Theatre Development and The Russian State Museum of Theatre and Musical Arts. Mesta is a proud Mexican-American. He formerly served on the executive committee of LMDA-Mexico, and currrently manages LMDA’s Latinx Affinity space known as Entre Líneas: Barrio Virtual de LMDA. 

With information from our meetings in September 2022 and our current DtP survey we will build the next iteration of this program. We continue to welcome any LMDA member who would like to commit to a 6-month term to plan and execute with us the third season of the Dramaturging the Phoenix initiative. Let us know if you would like to be part of shaping Dramaturging the Phoenix’s future. Come stoke this fire with us!

~xo Dramaturging the Phoenix Team 3.0 

Anne, David, Deanie, Heather, Liana, Lydia, Martha, and Russ

Dramaturging the Phoenix

In April 2020, LMDA asked its members to contribute short essays to boldly inspire, provoke, and explore theatre’s potential to transform through global crisis. The Dramaturging the Phoenix challenge challenged writers to imagine the “radical dramaturgy” that will lead theatre and performance into the next year, decade, and century. What ideal theatre-making will heal the communities, nations, and the globe during the long recovery ahead? How can dramaturgical imagination and practices shape the theatrical phoenix that will rise?

The first round of responses – over 50 of them – were overwhelming. They are musings, manifestos, meditations, poems, song lyrics, calls to action, lesson plans for teaching dramaturgy during COVID-19, program notes without a show, recipes for the future, and eulogies for the dead.

They are views on dramaturgy from the floor, from a window, from a forest, from a narrow sidewalk and more. Views on classical literature and past plagues. Views from an audience on an unexpected closing night – and new views of what an audience means now. Views on silence and the meaningfulness of rest, and reminders that we need time and space to fuel the Imagination. Views on commercial and regional theatres – as well as what community theatre should mean.

Dramaturgs don't want the same working conditions in theatre that we had before. There's a heartfelt, passionate desire for systemic change, and these reflections imagine so many possibilities of what theatre could be and should be when we're allowed to gather again, and capture a moment in time and present the voices of dramaturgs in process. 

We invite all LMDA members to read the collected work here. (For access, make sure you're logged in and your membership is current.)  Our unique experiences and visions, expressed in diverse essays, constitute an invaluable archive of dramaturgical thought and feeling in this paradigm-busting era. Please make your mark, and send your essay to today!

These creative dramaturgical reflections are merely the springboard for Dramaturging the Phoenix. The roundtable discussion of essay authors that kicked off LMDA's first virtual conference on June 19, 2020 was accessed by over 2000 people in 42 countries via HowlRound. Offers to publish essays have rolled in from Howlround, Page-By-Page, and The Flashpaper. As we pursue more opportunities for the work, we encourage authors to share their essays where they see fit.

Read the Essays Watch the Forum

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