Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Eli Van Sickel Presents: The Dramaturgy of Pro Wrestling

Dramaturgy is one of those words that a lot of people a) sneer at, or b) don't understand, or c) both sneer at and don't understand. I've heard directors say they don't believe in dramaturgy. Laymen don't have a clue what it is. And then there's the job title. Dramaturg. Or possibly dramaturge. Is it pronounced with a hard g or a soft g? Does the last syllable rhyme with dirge or burg?

I'm on the side of "dramaturge" and "dirge," although when I just looked it up in an online dictionary, I found out it comes from the Greek dramatourgos, which certainly looks like a hard g.

Even if you manage to get past that prickly issue, you still have to decide if a dramaturge is a literary manager, selecting scripts and interacting with playwrights, or a researcher, someone who finds out more about a show to fill in the gaps in the script, or the person who writes notes in the program to help audiences understand it better. The first works with the artistic director and playwrights, the second works with the director and cast of a show, and the third is there for the audience. In England, the dramaturg has a playwriting component, throwing yet another possibility in there. So which one is the real dramaturge?

Luckily, we have Eli Van Sickel to explain it all for us. Or at least explain part of it. Van Sickel is offering a lecture and/or presentation -- free of charge -- called "The Dramaturgy of Pro Wrestling" in Centennial West 308 on Saturday, October 13, from 1 to 3 pm. Yes, that's right. Two hours on dramaturgy AND professional wrestling. Who could turn that down?

Eli explains the event thusly:
Eli loves wrestling. 
Eli loves performance studies. 
Eli wants to get better at lecturing. 
Eli thinks there should be more lectures around here that have nothing to do with a class. 

This event will be an exploration of pro wrestling as a theatrical performance and how it is made. If you're interested in wrestling, performance studies, or just learning new things, come check out this lecture/presentation and tell Eli whether his hypotheses are valid. It's gonna be fun! And there is only a 50% chance that there'll be a quiz at the end!
And there you have it. You may come to an understanding of both dramaturgy and professional wrestling in one fell swoop. Or not. You never know.

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