Introduction to Dramaturgy/Research


Students will demonstrate their understanding of who a Dramaturg is by sharing research done on a film clip.



Materials Needed

TV, DVD Player, Hotel Rwanda DVD, computers/library resources



Lesson Directions

Anticipatory Set/Hook
Hook: Play film clip from Hotel Rwanda of the people being forced to use the pool as a drinking water or the clip from the beginning of the conflict to when the UN pulled out of the country. Ask students to pack up their belongings and follow you. Head to the library.




Step One: Find a quiet corner in the library to set up camp. Ask if there are any students who would be willing to give their commentary on the film and on the things the learned about the Rwanda conflict. After those who expressed an interest in sharing have had their turns ask the students how theatre and film can help us learn about human nature/society/history? And how can it be used as an instigator for change?


Step Two: Discuss the duties of a dramaturg in the theatrical process. Go through the process of researching, creating the study guide, the lobby display, creating a new script, actor’s packets, audience education and outreach, mediating between production minds, and where the dramaturg fits in with the technical designers, and the directors.


Step Three: Discuss how after watching something like Hotel Rwanda that incites something of a desire for change in us, we can see the importance of getting correct information out to the audience.


Step Four: Ask students to find a partner. Then have each group search the library for 20 minutes to find one non-internet source and three internet sources that might be beneficial to someone working on the Hotel Rwanda film. One should be historical, one about a broad topic that the film approached, such as genocide, and one visual source. Tell students ANY information that has any relation to the film even in the smallest way will help someone.


Step Five: Gather back together and have students share the sources that they found and why they think it would be beneficial. Time allowing, try to discuss a few of the sources that students found and relate it back to the film.




When instructing students on the search for information sources ask them to get one that was historical, one about a broad topic, and one visual source. For example students could get a book on the Rwanda Conflict, an internet site on clothing in the region that year, and an article on the psychology behind genocide