The dramaturg within our group…

I feel I have learned a lot about dramaturgy and the role of the dramaturg. Which is something I had no idea about at the beginning. In fact, I hadn’t even heard the term. Although know one took of the specific role of the dramaturg, we all contributed to the developing of ideas and the gathering of materials for the play. After discovering that the dramaturg has a huge role within a company/organisation, when applying all of the dramaturgical jobs to our performance, I think it would have been unfair to give one person the role of the dramaturg and that much responsibility. We cast the position of director in our very first session after decided on the groups, we then each took a job/responsibility in order to share the role. With Rachel as director. Kirsty, in charge of props, Sally in charge of lighting, Aaron in charge of sound. These were the main categorised roles. Martyn and Jimmy did a lot of research regarding using the space, concepts of spatiality and the use of promenade. Braden with the main role as Woyzeck did a lot of research around characterisation, as well as the staging and stage combat techniques during the fight scene.

I was responsible for costume, researching around costume ideas, researching what the characters wore in the original productions and in the film. Researching costumes suitable for the period and what can be portrayed through costume, for example, the masks for the circus characters. I made an visit to the costume/props stores in attempt to find the majority of costume that we needed. However the style or sizing was not quite right. The success of my rummaging lead me to find a suitable cap for the sergeant. I think this created a appropriate look for the sergeant, which really suggested his authoritative status that a green army jacket and black trousers couldn’t have created on their own.

Luckily, most costume we needed for the performance didn’t need to be anything outrageous or unique. We mostly needed green/army style jackets, which Rachel had at home. The majority of the cast wore blacks underneath, which again we all had in our own wardrobes. Kirsty and I, took a shop around for Marie and Margaret’s costumes. We wanted something feminine, to emphasise to womanly side to Marie that attracts the drum-major, but nothing too fancy. We still wanted to display the home-house wife look about Marie in order to suggest her middle class status.

Sally managed to find the costume for the showman within her own wardrobe. I had previously posted some pictures that I thought might work. More than anything I wanted the audience to be able to distinguish Sally’s character as the showman, in order to emphasise her as kind of a story teller, or the one the audience should listen to and follow. I felt that if we could create this connection between Sally’s character and the audience they would be more inclined to follow, therefore ensuring the smooth transitions within the promenade. Whether or not a characters costume has the ability to convey this, I do not know!

The doctors scene, required five lab coats. Aaron and Jimmy managed to borrow these. The look of the lab coats combined with the white drapes and brightly lit space created a clinical atmosphere. We wanted Woyzeck to feel under examination as a part of his pea-only diet experiment. The white also made a great contrast to the snap blackouts, especially as it takes a seconds for the eye to adjust to the surrounding light.

Despite having particular responsibilities, the whole group contributed towards the process leading up to the final performance. We all created the role of the dramaturg together. At least this way we can all be identified as dramaturgical contributors and know ones work goes un recognised. If you refer to my text on ‘The role of the dramaturg’ you will understand what I mean. However I’m not sure it really makes sense when applying it to our organisation. But anyway, please feel free to add anything else, perhaps some personal contribution that I may have missed.

Amie.

Posted in Costume, Dramaturgy | 1 Comment

One Response to The dramaturg within our group…

  1. Profile photo of Aaron Brown Aaron Brown says:

    In developing the sound of the play I rediscovered how much Antonin Artaud can wind me up :) but with that said I believe that the scene that has stuck with me since the performance was the examination scene. With the Distorted sense of reality and the obvious symbolic nature with the dark lighting and physical nature of the scene I think this is something as dramaturgs that we should not only contnue but expand upon.

    Aaron

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