With this robust group of posts, I formally end my work on The Grappler here at The Theatre School at DePaul University. When my advisor, Rachel Shteir (head of the Dramaturgy and Criticism program), and I first conceived of this project, we wanted it to be a place to showcase dramaturgical and critical work. Over the past year and a half, it has become much more. I am proud to say that now this blog also functions as a resource for incoming and interested students looking into the program here. It has helped me to work on my editing skills, and made me realize that editing and journalism as a whole, is of great interest to me. And I am happy to say that this group of posts contains our first post by someone who is not a dramaturgy/crit student: actor and staff member Dexter Zollicoffer. I hope that his piece will inspire more members of the community to consider writing for us.
As I prepare to graduate in just less than two months, I can’t help but reflect on my time here and become, dare I say, a bit nostalgic. I remember when I first decided to switch from Theatre Arts to dtgy/crit. I was, for a time, the only major in my year, and I switched over so that I would have a focused experience– a conservatory experience. Looking at the classes below me, I am amazed at the growing interest in dramaturgy/criticism; supply has surpassed demand. I cannot wait to see what this means for the school and for The Grappler. I am proud to say that contributors Mike Doyle and Francesco DeSalvatore are stepping up as the new editors-in-chief.
While it may be close to the end of my time in the dtgy/crit program, for many it is just the beginning. Spring quarter is arguably the most intellectually stimulating one for dtgy/crit students at The Theatre School at DePaul University. The MFA I directors are directing their first plays, and the dtgy/crit students in Dramaturgy I are assigned to each of them. Back when I was in this class, there was only one dtgy/crit major per play, now there are multiple dramaturgs available to provide many dramaturgical research angles to support the productions. First-year MFA student Kevin Kingston is directing boom by Peter Nachtrieb. To assist him, Mike Doyle delves into the intersection of art and science as well as the meaning of Nachtrieb’s use of brackets. Francesco De Salvatore began his research by looking into survivalism and evolutionary theory. Jessica Allison, intrigued by apocalyptic events, explores our human inability to control catastrophe and how we deal with natural disasters over time.
First-year MFA student Michael Osinski is directing Crooked by Catherine Trieschmann. Catherine Miller was interested in the idea of stigmata and used it as her jumping off point. Laura Routh, who is actually from Mississippi, started her research with Free Holiness Christians and struggles with her own personal connections to the work. Lastly, Karly Bergmann, dramaturg for Richard Sheridan’s The Rivals directed by TTS faculty member Catherine Weidner, shows an actor packet that pushes the boundaries of what it can be.
I am so proud to have worked on this blog and I thank all of the contributors who have given their time to support it.