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Words at Play

Words at Play

Creative Writing and Dramaturgy

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Felicia Hardison Londre. Forewords by Dakin Williams and Barry Kyle


Paperback (Other formats: E-book)
272 pages, 6 x 9

Theater in the Americas


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About the Book

In this encompassing and accessible introduction to dramaturgy, Felicia Hardison Londré promotes the dramaturgical essay as both an art form and as a method for improving creative writing skills. Words at Play: Creative Writing and Dramaturgy includes Londré ’ s essays on plays produced at several regional professional theatre companies interspersed with instructive examples for writing more clearly, economically, and compellingly.

Beginning with an introduction that outlines the purpose of the dramaturgical essay as well as its usefulness as a tool for teaching how to write for the theatre, Londré provides numerous examples of this specialized literary genre culled from program essays she has written for Missouri Repertory Theatre, Nebraska Shakespeare Festival, Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, American Heartland Theatre, and Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. Words at Play: Creative Writing and Dramaturgy contains more than sixty complete essays and pertinent selections from twenty others.

Drawing on personal and professional experiences as a teacher and dramaturg, Londré considers plays from timeless classics, including those of Shakespeare and Chekhov, to contemporary favorites and a few unusual and largely unknown pieces. Words at Play: Creative Writing and Dramaturgy furthermore incorporates introductory paragraphs that are informal and personal yet cogent and critical, providing readers with object lessons in both writing style and analysis. Taking the reader into her confidence, Londré also shows how a dramaturg develops a print relationship with other theatre artists and the community. A foreword by Royal Shakespeare Company associate artist Barry Kyle addresses the evolving role of the dramaturg in Britain and America. Dakin Williams, brother of playwright Tennessee Williams, provides a letter.


Felicia Hardison Londré is Curators’ Professor of Theatre at the University of Missouri at Kansas City and Dramaturg for the Nebraska Shakespeare Festival. She is the author of Love’ s Labour’ s Lost: Critical Essays and The History of World Theater: From the English Restoration to the Present. She was inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Theatre in 1999 and received the Outstanding Teacher of Theatre in Higher Education Award from the Association for Theatre in Higher Education in 2001.


“Readers will find a wealth of useful, practical, and insightful material about the art and craft of the dramaturgical essay. . . This work reveals the richness of the theatre experience itself.” —Theatre History Studies