Working With Rachel

“My experience with Rachel made me a believer in the power of a good dramaturg.”

Rachel combined openness with insight in a way that facilitated the development of strong ideas, and her conscientious guidance helped create an environment in which disagreement was supportive and productive. She approached a fraught topic [rape culture] with vulnerability, maturity, and courage, and furthermore with a sophisticated understanding of the dramaturgy of catharsis: its structure, its music, its nourishing power. […Rachel] became the bridge between collaborators. She supervised the script as it changed, liaised between writers and designers and actors, and documented every aspect of rehearsal so we could decide what to try next. In her unassuming way, she set the tone with her professionalism, gameness, and creative problem solving.[…]

Rachel made transformative dramaturgical contributions to Steubenville throughout our rehearsal process, and then again during our run of performances through her facilitation of post-show talkbacks. Like many playwrights, I dread talkbacks, and I was particularly unenthused about participating in a group discussion about sexual assault. The Steubenville talkbacks, organized and facilitated by Rachel, proved me wrong. By asking the audience perceptive, focused questions, Rachel cultivated a discussion that was respectful, focused, big-hearted, and substantive. She brought back the guest experts she had invited into the process at the beginning, and she created an environment in which the creative team could receive feedback that was conducive to the piece’s growth. The talkbacks became cathartic, moving testaments to the power of community. Night after night, I was amazed to see that almost the entire audience stayed to participate in the talkbacks, and night after night, I felt confident that they were in the best of hands.

My experience with Rachel Abrams on Steubenville made me a believer in the power of a good dramaturg.” –Dan Giles, Steubenville

Learn more about Dan’s work here.

 

 

“On Kafala, Rachel Abrams diligently worked to bring the community into the project in unique and exciting ways.  In addition to her adept dramaturgy, she is an excellent communicator who works well with various people in many different roles.  Would definitely work with her again.” –Andrea Beschel, Kafala 

Learn more about Andrea’s work here.

 

“Working with Rachel is an absolute joy. It is far too rare of an opportunity to be able to work with a dramaturg from start to finish on a production, and working with Rachel is the one thing that made this process possible. To include a dramaturg that has both historical knowledge beyond compare, and also an in-depth understanding of the craft of language, makes a process one beyond compare. I cannot accurately express how integral Rachel was to the writing process, but I can guarantee that my process with never be the same without her.”–Nathan Bertone, Letters From War 

Learn more about Nate’s work here.

 

“Thanks very much for taking the time to take a look [at the script]. I found a lot of what you said really chimed. Sometimes you need someone to tell you
something before you notice it. We don’t really have many dramaturgs in
the UK so it’s been a real bonus to get your feedback. […] These notes
give me a good foundation to work from.“–Francis Kobayashi, The Grand Guignol at The Space Theatre

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