The purpose of this section is to raise some of the core debates that have a direct bearing on the practice of dramaturgy. For readers coming from a background in performance theory, much of what follows will be familiar, though I have tried to inflect each issue so that it sheds light on expressly dramaturgical concerns. While there are times when a dramaturg might have to address these issues directly—in conversation with a director, for example, or in response to an audience member’s question during a talkback—much of this theoretical material will not be an overt or even a visible part of what the dramaturg says. I would go so far as to say that a lot of it does not belong in the rehearsal room at all, where heady and abstract discussion can often be off-putting to actors who have to make concrete choices with their voices and bodies. I prefer to keep such matters for discussion either in the formal setting of the lecture, or the very informal setting of sharing thoughts with the company over lunch or a drink.
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