A dramaturge


A dramaturge is a specialized professional in the theater and performing arts who serves as a literary and contextual advisor, contributing to the development and realization of theatrical productions. This role involves in-depth analysis of scripts, historical research, and collaboration with directors, playwrights, and production teams.

Dramturges typically do the following:

  • Conduct thorough analysis of scripts, providing insights into themes, character motivations, and overall narrative structure to enhance the understanding of the playwright’s intentions.
  • Conduct research on historical and cultural contexts relevant to the play, ensuring authenticity and accuracy in the portrayal of settings, characters, and themes.
  • Work closely with playwrights during the script development process, offering feedback and suggestions to strengthen the dramatic elements of the play.
  • Assist directors and production teams in contextualizing plays within specific time periods, cultural movements, or theatrical traditions, contributing to a deeper understanding of the material.
  • Provide literary support to production teams, helping them interpret and communicate the play’s themes, symbolism, and artistic intent.
  • Consider the audience experience and engagement, offering perspectives on how the production may resonate with different audiences and communities.
  • Contribute to the development of new plays, offering feedback on emerging works and fostering relationships between playwrights and theater companies.
  • Analyze and advise on the dramatic structure of a production, ensuring coherence, tension, and effective storytelling.
  • Collaborate with directors and actors during rehearsals, offering insights into character motivations, historical context, and thematic nuances.
  • Engage with educational programs, providing lectures, workshops, or educational materials to enhance understanding and appreciation of theatrical works.
  • Assist in the translation or adaptation of plays, ensuring cultural and linguistic nuances are preserved while making the material accessible to diverse audiences.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to dramaturge:

playwright & dramaturge
music theater dramaturge
production dramaturge
dramatic advisor
music theatre dramaturge
dramaturge & playwright

Working conditions

Dramaturges often work in theater companies, educational institutions, or as freelance consultants. The role may involve attending rehearsals, conducting research, and collaborating with directors, playwrights, and other members of the production team.

Minimum qualifications

To become a dramaturge, a bachelor’s or master’s degree in theater, drama, literature, or a related field is typically required. Practical experience gained through internships, participation in theatrical productions, or entry-level positions contributes to the development of dramaturges. Continuous engagement with theatrical literature, staying updated on contemporary theater trends, and networking within the theater community enhance the effectiveness of dramaturges. Strong analytical, research, communication, and collaboration skills are crucial for success in this role.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Dramaturge is a Skill level 4 occupation.

Dramaturge career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to dramaturge.

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performing arts theatre instructor

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of dramaturge.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of dramaturge.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of dramaturge. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Work in an international environment: Guide your career to an international level which often requires the ability to interact, relate and communicate with individuals from different cultures.
  • Speak different languages: Master foreign languages to be able to communicate in one or more foreign languages.
  • Coordinate with creative departments: Coordinate activities with other artistic and creative departments.
  • Preserve documentation about creative process: Gather and preserve documents related to the creative process such as promotional documents.
  • Evaluate writings in response to feedback: Edit and adapt work in response to comments from peers and publishers.
  • Adapt to artists’ creative demands: Work with artists, striving to understand the creative vision and adapting to it. Make full use of your talents and skills to reach the best possible result.
  • Manage writing administration: Manage the financial and administrative side of writing including making up budgets, maintaining financial records, checking contracts, etc.
  • Show intercultural awareness: Show sensibility towards cultural differences by taking actions that facilitate positive interaction between international organisations, between groups or individuals of different cultures, and to promote integration in a community.
  • Draw up rehearsal notes: Document the rehearsal. Note the choreographer’s instructions, the instructions of collaborators, names of choreographic sections, how the dance sequences are related to other components of the work, corrections and any changes to be made to the work in progress. Draw spatial diagrams of the choreography.
  • Develop creative ideas: Developing new artistic concepts and creative ideas.
  • Draw up reference documents for performance: Create documents to guide the further production and execution of a performance. Create a performer cast list, cue sheets, choreographic notes, etc.
  • Synthesise research publications: Read and interpret scientific publications that present a research problem, the methodology, its solution and its hypothesis. Compare them and extract the information needed.
  • Consult team on creative project: Discuss the creative project with team members.
  • Create script for artistic production: Develop a script describing the scenes, actions, equipment, content and realisation means for a play, film or broadcast.
  • Stimulate creativity in the team: Use techniques like brainstorming to stimulate creativity in the team.
  • Study relevant writing: Do permanent research within the market, read relevant publications and follow blogs, stay up to date with recent writings in a specific field.
  • Adjust the work during the creative process: Analyse the work according to the initial artistic intent and modify it if appropriate. Adjust the components of the work according to a specific analysis and/or new artistic goals and production constraints.

ISCO group and title

2641 – Authors and related writers

  1. Dramaturge – ESCO
  2. Dramaturg Roles Explained – MasterClass
  3. Featured image: By ISC Sonora – https://www.flickr.com/photos/iscsonora/30636939631/, CC BY 2.0
Last updated on January 30, 2024