Dramaturge  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

A dramaturge or dramaturg is a professional position within a theatre or opera company that deals mainly with research and development of plays or operas. Its modern-day function was originated by the innovations of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, an 18th-century German playwright, philosopher, and theorist about theatre.

One of the dramaturg's contributions is to categorize and discuss the various types of plays or operas, their interconnectedness and their styles. The responsibilities of a dramaturg vary from one theatre or opera company to the next. They might include the hiring of actors, the development of a season of plays or operas with a sense of coherence among them, assistance with and editing of new plays or operas by resident or guest playwrights or composers/librettists, the creation of programs or accompanying educational services, helping the director with rehearsals, and serving as elucidator of history or spokesperson for deceased or otherwise absent playwrights or composers. At larger theaters or opera houses, the dramaturg works on the historical and cultural research into the play or opera and its setting. In theater companies, a dramaturg will create a workbook for the director and actors (usually these are different) and work extensively with the director prior to the first rehearsal.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Dramaturge" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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