What is Dramaturgy?
Unlike the role of an actor, director or technician, the role of a dramaturg is malleable. Essentially, all of the elements within the scope of dramaturgy - education, research and development, advocacy and promotion of new plays, aid in production, liaison between playwright, director and audience - are utilized to maintain the integrity of a show in order to enrich the experience of all who come in contact with the production of any live artistic performance.
In a nut shell: In theater, a dramaturg studies all aspects of a play in order to ensure that the performance is authentic, coherent and consistent with the objectives of the playwright. A dramaturg works with the director in whatever capacity is useful to the process of creating a quality production. The dramaturg uses devices, such as program notes, education packets and lobby displays, to communicate intentions and objectives to the audience. Audience talk-backs are also often utilized early in a show's run, particularly in the case of new plays, in order to provide valuable feed back to the production team as to whether those objectives were effectively realized. These devices are important toward the furtherance of an audience's understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of their theater experience. Dramaturgy is valuable to both production team and patron alike, since improving the quality of the theater-goers' experience improves the likeliness of success and longevity of a show.