Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Interview with Dramaturg, Anna Rose MacArthur

Name: Anna Rose MacArthur
Major: Theatre Arts and English
Year in School: Senior

What are your responsibilities in the company?

I am Dramaturg; I help build the set; and I am also in the cast. And my responsibilities for that are…for dramaturgy I do the historical, contextual research for the show and present it to the company.  And, then of course, for the set, I help build the set and for the casting I act. 

What is your typical day like?

In the morning, I either help with the set or I’m doing historical research and composing that information into ready sources, such as a PowerPoint or a blog for the company. [Anna Rose's blog: http://thegooddoctoradramaturgy.blogspot.com ]  In the afternoon, I am in rehearsal. 

What is the most interesting fact that you have learned from your research?

Ummm.  This probably isn’t the most interesting….but, I am a writer and something that Chekov wrote that has stuck with me is that writing should be as objective as possible because that in itself is significant.  Just the day’s gestures of sitting down and eating dinner. He has this quotation how people sit down and eat dinner and all the while their lives are being created and being broken up, that those commonplace actions hold absurdity and significance.

What has been the best part about it?

I guess the best part about it has been being able to come in and do what I love everyday, which is theatre.  Even though that means waking up earlier than I would like and that means a lot of stress and a lot of time and a lot of energy, there’s really nothing else I want to do. 

What has been the most challenging?

The most challenging part has been, um,… it’s the daily energy requirement.  It requires a lot of energy every day, and the dramaturgy I had to start on during the break.  So taking my time during the break and devoting it to this project and not having a clean break from school; I had to carry the work with me.  And, being a senior, that’s expected.  Also, doing the historical research and figuring out dramaturgy, which I hadn’t done before…it’s a lot of isolated time researching. 

What makes this department unique?

Well, BSC is a liberal arts school and that permeates into the theatre arts major.  You don’t specialize in any field of theatre-- acting or set or costumes or lighting or what not.  You do it all, and that is very much seen in interim where you’re on a crew. And then, if another crew needs help, let’s say, you’re on costumes crew but set crew needs help, and costumes is having a light load for the day, you’ll switch over to the set crew.  If you’re acting, you’re also on a technical crew.  You really learn the whole process of theatre and what those roles require and also how to communicate with and appreciate the people in those roles.

How do you think what you have learned will help you in the future? 

Well, I ultimately want to teach, direct and write for theatre.  So, anything I do in theatre adds to my knowledge of theatre, which will help those career goals and inform those career goals.   

Anna Rose sneakily peers over her computer 

Anna happily working in the theatre lobby

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