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The Dramaturg's Art and Theatrical Adaptation

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Jane Barnette


E-book (Other formats: Paperback)
10 illustrations

Theater in the Americas


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About the Book

Dramaturg Jane Barnette has put together an essential guide for theatre scholars and practitioners seeking to understand and participate in the process of adaptation for the stage. Employing the term “adapturgy”—her neologism for the art of adaptation dramaturgy—Barnette redefines the dramaturg’s role and thoroughly refutes the commonplace point of view that adapted works are somehow less creative than “original” plays.
The dual nature of dramaturgy and adaptation as both process and product is reflected in the structure and organization of the book. Part 1 explores the ways that linking adaptation to dramaturgy advances our understanding of both practices. Part 2 demonstrates three different methods—each grounded in a detailed case study—for analyzing theatrical adaptations. Part 3 offers concrete strategies for the dramaturg: dramaturgy for the adapted script; the production dramaturgy of stage adaptations; and the role of the dramaturg in the postmortem for a production. Rounding out the book are two appendixes containing interviews with adapters and theatre-makers and representative program notes from different play adaptations.
Plays adapted from literature and other media represent a rapidly growing part of the theatre. This book offers both practical and theoretical tools for understanding and creating these new works. 


Jane Barnette is an assistant professor and the director of graduate studies in the theatre department at the University of Kansas. She serves as regional vice president for the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas and conference planner for the Theory and Criticism Focus Group of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education. She has published essays in the Journal of Adaptation in Film and Performance and Text and Performance Quarterly and in the edited collection The Routledge Companion to Dramaturgy.


"Thoughtful and accessible in its approach, Adapturgy is more than a 'how-to' book about adaptation dramaturgy; it presents a compelling argument for understanding dramaturgy and adaptation as related and mutually informing processes."—Lindsay Cummings, Theatre Topics

"Jane Barnette's Adapturgy is a welcome addition to adaptation and dramaturgy scholarship that highlights aspects of theory and practice previously overlooked or little analyzed in either field. Structured in three parts, with invaluable material on interviews and program notes the writer generously shares with her readers in appendices, the book is useful to a multitude of readers."—Maria Mytilinaki KennedyTheatre History Studies

Adapturgy is a razor-sharp introduction to adaptation as dramaturgy in action. Best of all, Barnette consistently works to broaden our sense of the potential for theory and practice to inform one another.”—Geoff Proehl, Toward a Dramaturgical Sensibility: Landscape and Journey
“This book is the first to tackle literary adaptation for theatre from a dramaturgical perspective, providing an up-to-the-minute treatment of a still-blossoming area of theatre practice. I am eager to use it for my next seminar in dramaturgy.”—Felicia Hardison Londré, author, “Love’s Labour’s Lost”: Critical Essays

"Unique, informative, exceptionally well organized and presented, "Adapturgy: The Dramaturg's Art and Theatrical Adaptation" is an especially recommended and extraordinary addition to professional, community and academic library Theatre/Cinema/TV reference collections and supplemental studies reading lists."--Mary Cowper, Midwest Book Review

is a worthy addition to the library of certain performance-makers. . . . Those not regularly engaged in such work will find this book helps them ‘understand and participate in the process of adaptation for the stage,’ as Barnette writes in the introduction.”—CHOICE, A publication of the Association of College and Research Libraries