By Anne Flinders, dramaturg
Where are we?
What year is it? What time is it? What season is it?
Who’s in charge? Who’s in need?
Who am I?
Those are a lot of questions. And they need some answers. Let’s start with the last one.
Who am I? I’m Anne Flinders. I’m a dramaturg. I ask a lot of questions. And my job? Well, it’s to find the answers.
Dramaturgs view the world in terms of puzzles and possibilities. We wonder a lot. We look for ways to enable a blossoming play to live, to thrive, and to do so with truth. We try to help others organize and fit the world of a play together so that the pieces make a beautiful, connected whole. We do this by anticipating the questions an audience might have about a script or a plot, a place or a character, and then we find the answers with the playwright, the director, the designers and the actors.
During BYU’s 2013-14 theatre season, I’ll be asking a lot of questions about the world premiere play Pride and Prejudice, written by Melissa Leilani Larson. One of the first questions about the play that I’ll be answering for you? Who is Melissa Leilani Larson? I think you’ll find the answers intriguing.
I’ll also be finding answers to your questions about the director and designers of the play. Who are they? What have they chosen to bring to the stage to enliven this play for your enjoyment, and your thoughtfulness?
I’ll be looking for answers to your questions about the cast. What excites them about their roles in Pride and Prejudice? What do they hope to bring to the stage that you will connect with?
I’ll be introducing you to answers to questions that perhaps you haven’t thought about, such as “Who is Jane Austen?” “Why have her novels not only lingered but flourished into the 21st century?” Or perhaps you have already discovered the answers to those questions; in that case, I hope to add to what you already know.
I won’t be doing this dramaturgy work alone. Janine Sobeck, BYU’s dramaturgy specialist and a wonderful mentor and guide, will be working beside me. She brings an expertise and warmth to this work, and you and I will benefit from having her come along with us.
Where are we? What year is it? Who’s in need? Who cares?
Let’s find some answers.