In this encompassing and accessible introduction to dramaturgy, Felicia Hardison Londré promotes the dramaturgical essay as both an art form and as a method for improving creative writing skills. Words at Play: Creative Writing and Dramaturgy includes Londré’s essays on plays produced at several regional professional theatre companies interspersed with instructive examples for writing more clearly, economically, and compellingly.
Beginning with an introduction that outlines the purpose of the dramaturgical essay as well as its usefulness as a tool for teaching how to write for the theatre, Londré provides numerous examples of this specialized literary genre culled from program essays she has written for Missouri Repertory Theatre, Nebraska Shakespeare Festival, Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, American Heartland Theatre, and Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. Words at Play: Creative Writing and Dramaturgy contains more than sixty complete essays and pertinent selections from twenty others.
Drawing on personal and professional experiences as a teacher and dramaturg, Londré considers plays from timeless classics, including those of Shakespeare and Chekhov, to contemporary favorites and a few unusual and largely unknown pieces. Words at Play: Creative Writing and Dramaturgy furthermore incorporates introductory paragraphs that are informal and personal yet cogent and critical, providing readers with object lessons in both writing style and analysis. Taking the reader into her confidence, Londré also shows how a dramaturg develops a print relationship with other theatre artists and the community. A foreword by Royal Shakespeare Company associate artist Barry Kyle addresses the evolving role of the dramaturg in Britain and America. Dakin Williams, brother of playwright Tennessee Williams, provides a letter.