, what was going on in the world politically when the playwright wrote this play

Dramaturgy Assignment

Dramaturgy Assignment

Notes –

A lot of you are probably wondering when you were reading in chapter 3 what a Dramaturg is.The book gives a brief over view of what this person does for a theatrical production but I do not like the books definition and I would like for you guys to understand this position a little better.To do that I have developed a little assignment that will help you get into the shoes of an actual dramaturg.

The definition of a Dramaturg I would like you to use is this:

“A Dramaturg is a person that serves as the voice between playwright and the production.”

This means that when a production is being done, it is the responsibility of the dramaturg to make sure that the director, actors, designers and everyone involved in the production is sticking to the playwright’s original vision.

How does a dramaturg do this?A dramaturg can do this in many different ways but one of the most popular methods is called the PERSIA method.

PERSIA METHOD – this system has the dramaturg study the time period in which the playwright himself lived through six different viewpoints.

P – Political, what was going on in the world politically when the playwright wrote this play.Who was King, or President, was there a war going on etc.

E – Economic, what was going on economically at the time the play was written.Was the playwright poor was the economy good/bad etc.

R – Religious, what was going on religiously in the world at the time the play was written.What was the primary religion at that time.

S – Socially, what was going on socially at the time the play was written.Were there class systems and what were they.

I – Intellectual, what was going on intellectually in the world with education and what were the popular philosophies of the time period.

A – Artistically, what famous art movements were happening during the time of the playwright.


  • Students are required to experience what it is like to be a Dramaturg for a production, and complete a 350 word essay choosing 1 of the 6 viewpoints and showing how that particular viewpoint influenced the Playwright.
  • Read the play Othello by William Shakespeare.The play can be found online for free in numerous places.Just Google Othello by William Shakespeare and you will be directed to the text.
  • Next you must choose a viewpoint on which to research about the time and the place where this play was written.That time period is between the years 1575 c.e. and 1630 c.e. in London, England.Choose one of the PERSIA viewpoints and do your research.
  • Now write your 350 word essay about the research you have gathered and how it affected Shakespeare in writing it.
  • To turn in this assignment I would like you guys to complete the essay in the Course Content Section under the Assignment Titled Dramaturgy.You can write your answer in the answer box or Attach a word Document if you are more comfortable with that.

A Shortened Example: Play Macbeth. Viewpoint – Political.

Politically in England during Shakespeare’s life, James V of Scotland has just become James I King of England.Since Macbeth is about a Scottish king it is safe to assume that Shakespeare was writing a play that would appeal to the current King of England.James I was also interested in the occult, and in the play Macbeth the characters of the witches serve as a major influence in moving the story forward.

Things to Consider:

  • Make sure your research is from 1575 to 1630, and in London, England.I know the play takes place in Venice and then in Cypress, but you are not doing research on Cypress or Venice.You are doing research on Shakespeare and he lived in London, England and wrote plays for people in London.It isn’t even known if Shakespeare ever even left London to visit Italy so talking about Italy is not what this paper is about.
  • Do not talk about the Cinthio short story Othello is based on.Once again, this Italian writer writing in Italy is not what this paper is about.In the time of Shakespeare, there were many different versions of Othello.What makes Shakespeare’s notable was that his version was the best.Cinthio’s short story is irrelevant.
  • Do not talk about the Venetian-Ottoman Wars.This war happened in another country and although is in the play, it has no influence on Shakespeare and the audiences in London.
  • Do not write a Synopsis of the play.Most of your paper should be your research and the only mention of the play is when your research is connected to a certain character or event in the play.
  • Do this assignment early!
  • Ask questions if you don’t understand or are having trouble with this assignment.


Subject: Poetry


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