Toward a Dramaturgical Sensibility : Landscape and Journey, Hardback Book

Toward a Dramaturgical Sensibility : Landscape and Journey Hardback


Toward a Dramaturgical Sensibility begins with a moment in Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra in which Cleopatra says to Antony, "Not know me yet?" With these four words Cleopatra poses a simple but fundamental human problem: What can we know?

She and Antony have known each other for years, at times gloriously-emotionally, mentally, and in the archaic sense of the word, physically-but still the challenge of knowing hangs in the air.

Cleopatra's question reminds us that knowledge is not simple: that it is as likely to create yearning as satisfaction; that it is not confined to any one part of the self; that it is far from intellect alone.

It reminds us-as do most great plays-that life is part wonder, part terror. What can we know? This study-aimed at students, teachers, and theater artists-suggests that the attempt to know the dramaturgy of a play is little different from the attempt to know another person for whom we care. Toward a Dramaturgical Sensibility explores the interplay between the known and the unknown from two perspectives-landscape and journey.

Part I (Landscape) is divided into three chapters. Chapter 1 surveys this landscape using conversation to better understand the role of conversation in our work with a play and with our collaborators.

Chapter 2 explores ways in which pleasure guides and informs knowledge by focusing first on the landscape of time, particularly how time makes all pleasure (and pain) temporary; then considers the landscape of research, particularly the ambivalence among dramaturges about this word.

Chapter 3 looks at the pattern that is a play's landscape-surveying methods of dramaturgical analysis and the role of methodology itself. Part II (Journey) moves to rehearsal for Antony and Cleopatra at the Guthrie Theater in the fall of 2001 and winter of 2002-a production directed by Mark Lamos with Laila Robins as Cleopatra, Robert Cuccioli as Antony, and Stephen Yoakum as Enobarbus.

This case study follows that journey from first contact with script and production team to final preview, as explored by artists willing to accept the challenges created by any serious encounter with a play.

Part II allows the Landscapes of Part I to resonate inside a more or less chronological account of one particular journey-as we engage, explore, and respond to a play's dramaturgy.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Shakespeare studies & criticism
  • ISBN: 9781611475234



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