Production Dramaturgy  
New Play Dramaturgy  

Poor Lessing's
Theatre Almanack

Dramaturging Montreal/ATHE

It's such a relief to work with a dramaturg who doesn't look at my play as something that needs to be "fixed." In the past, interactions with dramaturgs, artistic directors, and critics have sometimes felt like this - "Hey, let's get down to the hardware store and buy the stuff we need to fix your play. Because - you know - it's broken."
  —Toni Press-Coffman,

I love my dramaturg because... she pushes me to find myself—and not just my characters—in my process; because she urges me to write what's happening off-stage so that I understand my own plot; and because, through her, I learnt about my professional ancestors, like Lessing, and have come to see myself in a long parade rather than as a lonely writer who's knocking on doors.
  —Matthew Ivan Bennett,

I love my dramaturg because it is like going to the play therapist, except the couch is my couch and I get to wear my pajamas. And we can discuss issues and arcs and intentions via phone, skype and email with the same kind of urgency as if they were real circumstances. So while I moan and wring my hands about character motivations and plot devices, she treats them with the same consideration she would (and does) any personal issue. She understands plays are family.
  —Ellen Struve, playwright


Press about Helinsky Dramaturgy

         Cast of 'Two Degrees' takes a dramaturgy field trip
         'Two Degrees': A telling exchange at public conversation
         Video, photos: Your first look at 'Two Degrees'
         The Real World, Theatre Edition, One More Interview
         'Two Degrees': Five things we learned at first rehearsal
         LMDA Regional Spotlight with Mark Bly
         FREELANCING ACROSS AMERICA: On the Road with Heather Helinsky
         O Pioneers! Paving the Way for New Plays in Nebraska

Theatre Journalism

         "Fueled by Fury: Finding the Language to Fix Us" / HowlRound
         "Rules of Engagement for New Play Development" / HowlRound
         "Profile Theatre artistic director Josh Hecht: Focusing the Lens" / Oregon ArtsWatch
         "Four Artists at the Crossroads" / TCG Circle

Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival

         Troilus & Cressida (2017)
         As You Like It (2017)
         The Three Musketeers (2017)
         Taming of the Shrew (2016)
         Love's Labour's Lost (2016)
         Henry V (2015)
         Pericles (2015)
         Two Gentlemen of Verona (2014)
         Measure for Measure (2013)
         Henry VIII: All is True (2013)
         Much Ado About Nothing (2012)
         King John (2012)

Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre

         Our Class (2013)

         The Kreutzer Sonata (2013)

         Chekhov Festival 2012: Three Sisters, Ivanov, After Chekhov, and Funny Chekhov
         Wrote, commissioned articles, and edited festival program

Philadelphia Theatre Company

         Guest Contributor. "Molly Ivins: A Firecraker Made in Texas." Mar/Apr 2010, Philadelphia, PA

         Golden Age directed by Austin Pendleton, January 22-February 14, 2010
                 "Long Live Bellini!" Playwise. Jan/Feb 2010, Philadelphia, PA
                 "Bravo! The Muses of Bel Canto Opera." Playwise. Jan/Feb 2010, Philadelphia, PA

Pittsburgh Public Theater

         Harry's Friendly Service directed by Ted Pappas, May 28-June 28, 2009
                 Program note

         A Moon for the Misbegotten directed by Pam Berlin, April 16-May 17, 2009
                 Program note

         The World Goes 'Round directed by Marcia Milgrom Dodge, March 5-April 5, 2009

         Metamorphoses directed by Ted Pappas, January 15-February 15, 2009
                 Program note

         The Lady With All the Answers directed by Ted Pappas, November 13-December 14, 2008
                 Program note

         Radio Golf directed by Ron OJ Parson, October 2-November 2, 2008
                 Program note

American Repertory Theatre

         Three Sisters directed by Krystian Lupa, November 26, 2005-January 1, 2006
                 "Coating the Pill." ARTicles. Vol. 4, no. 2b, Cambridge, MA

         Britannicus directed by Robert Woodruff, January 20-February 11, 2007
                 "Nero's Toy." ARTicles. Vol. 5, no. 3, Cambridge, MA (pdf)

         Betty's Summer Vacation directed by Marcus Stern, March 23-31, 2007
                 "A World Without a Road Map." ARTicles. Vol. 5, no. 4a, Cambridge, MA
                 "Behind Closed Doors." ARTicles. Vol. 5, no. 4a, Cambridge, MA
                 Contributor to ART BLOG

         The Killing Game directed by Scott Zigler, June 1-9, 2007
                 "Dance and Shout." ARTicles. Vol 5, no. 4c, Cambridge, MA
                 Contributor to ART BLOG

Arizona Repertory Theatre

         Manager/Editor of Arizona Repertory Theatre Blog, 2007-2008

MXAT Magazine

         For the last several years the Moscow Art Theater School has trained sizeable groups of students from the Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University, including actors, directors and dramaturgs. In spring 2004, five dramaturgs participated and their number is increasing every year. For three months they attended a wide assortment of plays in Moscow and met with many leading Russian directors, playwrights and actors. Throughout this time they maintained a group diary and consequently they developed a kind of theater chronicle or special journal: "Moscow through the Eyes of American Dramaturgs."

Being unaware of the social order that is generally accepted here, these American student dramaturgs often think outside our normal points of view and respected clichés. Their observations about Russian theater life are sometimes not fully formed, and at times they could even be considered "irresponsible." But in any case, they are always sincere. The dramaturgs did not have a strict plan of work, nor did they have the pressure of a special "agenda" to communicate to their readers. It was not even clear who their readers might eventually be.

However, when the diaries were all assembled, it was clear to me that it would be important to present the observations of our American colleagues to all those English-speaking readers who might be interested. Moreover, next season we plan to continue our electronic "Russian-American Theatre Journal." We hope that after several years the collected observations of American students might acquire a kind of special meaning, just as any opinion would do when it is freely expressed without prejudice by people from a different theater and different culture.

One final note. This collective diary, composed in Moscow in spring 2004, is being presented simultaneously on the websites of the Moscow Art Theater School and the American Repertory Theater. In this way, both Russian and American readers will have the opportunity to share in the results...

                                                                                                     Anatoly Smeliansky
                                                                                                     Moscow Art Theatre School

         Moscow Journal (2006)
                 "A Conversation with God-in-the-Audience"
                 "One Story, Many Voices"
                 "New Russian Drama: Praktika Theatre"