Dramaturgy as Mentoring: An Investigation Of Personal Practice

Saffron Benner, Bruce Burton, University, My
2018
This thesis investigates contemporary Australian script dramaturgy as a form of mentoring. It analyses conventional dramaturgical practices, and the forms of professional development for dramaturgs and playwrights currently used by the arts industry. These issues are explored through two case studies that are self-reflective descriptions of my dramaturgical practice in different playwrighting contexts. Although there is considerable international literature on the practice of production
more » ... production dramaturgy, there is extremely limited literature on the subject of Australian dramaturgy. While dramaturgy has often been the subject of industry debate, few dramaturgs have discussed or analysed the specificities of their practice. As an extensive investigation of personal dramaturgical practice my thesis is unique, and therefore makes a significant contribution to the literature on Australian dramaturgy. My research discovered that there were considerable congruencies between dramaturgy and mentoring, which constitute the main forms of development for writers and new work in the Australian arts industry. Mentoring theory therefore provides the conceptual framework of my research. My research uses a modified form of feminist phenomenography as its methodology. Data was analysed using a combination of feminist research and phenomenographic techniques. Data was primarily collected through interviews with the research participants; my own work notes; and personal reflections. An inclusive approach to my research invited the participants to comment on and contribute to the analysis of their own interviews and case studies. The first case study describes my experiences as dramaturg for Queensland playwright, Margery Forde in the development of X-Stacy (1998). The second case study describes my experiences in the collaborative development of a satirical cabaret Slings and Arrows (1999) with WIT, an unfunded, feminist theatre group. Each of these case studies represents, respectively, a mentoring partnership and group mentoring. The fi [...]
doi:10.25904/1912/915 fatcat:oamp3x35vjatdo7rcec4fv4f24