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As a dramaturg, I spend my time supporting people’s art in every way I can. Dramaturgy, for me, is simply the art of asking questions of the artists and the art-making process in support of the emergent production. When I think about dramaturgy and shaping time, I see that my efforts are divided into three ‘time zones’ that often intersect and occur simultaneously.

The first zone is the timing, or rhythm, of the material that I am dramaturging. The piece of art itself will have its own rhythm and rules for time, including historical time period. Dramaturgs are experts in dramatic form and are in constant conversation with the script they are working with.

The second time zone is the use of time in the rehearsal and production process. As the dramaturg, I watch the rehearsal process carefully to see how the production emerges from the artists’ work. During this time I ask questions of the creators and/or the director of the work in order to help them shape their vision.

Research is the third time zone that I encounter as a dramaturg. I like to think of this as time travel on behalf of the art. By reaching back into history or even just out to current events in the world, I can provide the artists with a backdrop of information to support their work. Through this research process the artists have a clearer view of their art in reference to the world at large, and hopefully, they find a sense of how their art fits in with history.

Lexi Hamill is Velocity Dance Center’s Dramaturgical Intern. As student at Cornish College of the Arts, she is pursuing a degree in Theater with an emphasis in Original Works and Dramaturgy. Along with her studies she is also an active member of The Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas.

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