Letter From the Editors

We, Francesco De Salvatore, and Mike Doyle, would like to introduce ourselves as the new Editors-In-Chief of The Grappler. We look forward to a new year and contributions from both current and new writers.

When The Grappler was created two years ago, it focused on creating a space where artists could come together and reflect on the theatrical craft.  It was a place where everyone could take on the spirit of dramaturgy. But the more the term dramaturgy is thrown around, the less people understand what exactly it is that a dramaturg does.

There is a saying in the theatre that a “bad director needs a dramaturg, but a good one will never need one.” It seems from comments like this and many more that the role of a dramaturg is still often met with cynicism and misunderstanding.

Don’t worry, this is not a cry for respect or anything of that sort. It is though, a calling for all artists to partake in the dramaturgical process.

As Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, the great granddaddy of dramaturgy, once said, “I am always ashamed or annoyed when I hear or read anything in disparagement of criticism. It is said to suppress genius, and I flattered myself that I had gained from it something very nearly approaching to genius.”

Criticism is a part of the dramaturgical process, and while it may have a negative reputation, it is also a positive force. The Grappler dedicates itself to fostering a place where people can think critically and write reflectively about their craft. During the course of the year in this space, you will find artists reflecting and evaluating the work they have done and are currently in the process of creating. Dramaturgs will continue to present their work in productions and discuss the ever-evolving dramaturgical process, but we also find it necessary to ask that other artists to join the conversation.

One of the things that we will expand this year is the use of multimedia. During the course of the year expect an array of video interviews with theatre artists in the city. More of the production process will be recorded, including dramaturgical talkbacks, and table work. This month there will be a video exploring the definition of dramaturgy.

For upcoming articles, the focus was on exploring what our fellow dramaturgs did during the course of their summer and how it related to dramaturgy.

We are also changing our production calendar. Expect an article to be released weekly, or nearly weekly. In this issue, our first writer is Karly Bergman, fourth year dramaturgy/criticism major. In her article she discusses her work as a teaching artist. Catherine Miller provides a detailed account of her work on Toy Story On Stage in San Diego. Next up will be Mike Doyle, discussing his study abroad trip to France. And the final article is by Francesco De Salvatore. He reflects on his work at Free Street Theatre and the possibility of the artistic process serving as a tool for social change.

We look forward to working with you.

Francesco De Salvatore

Mike Doyle

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