Into the Breeches! - December 08 - December 18, 2022

Studio Theatre Worcester

  Notes from the Dramaturg  




Ever since it first premiered at Trinity Repertory Company in 2018, George Brant’s Into the Breeches! has found its way onto countless stages across the country, and, I can only imagine, into the personal script collections of many dramaturgs. Abound with visceral language, classical verse, and references to local history, this text is a fruitful playground for any production dramaturg.



But what exactly is a “dramaturg”?





The dramaturg is an artist on a play’s creative team, like a director or designer, whose focus is on the exploration and understanding of the world of the play. All playwrights create a microworld in which their characters live, and it is the dramaturg’s responsibility to uncover and cultivate that landscape. Through historical and cultural research, textual analysis, and discussion, dramaturgs help their fellow artists find connections between the characters, their actions, and the larger world of the play, so that the team can best tell the story crafted by the playwright.



And excitingly for us, the playwright, George Brant, created this play with a moldable world. Into the Breeches! is a unique script in that it allows any theater producing it to adapt the story’s location to the city in which it is being performed. As you may imagine, this is an enthralling opportunity for the dramaturg to flex their imagination, and to further share in the world building of the play.



Studio Theatre Worcester has seized upon this opportunity, and set its production on the homefront of 1940s Worcester. While I am not able to recount all that I have learned and discovered in my research and many trips to the Worcester Historical Museum, I do encourage you to explore the exhibit display on Worcester and the Homefront in the lobby, which features materials found in the WHM Archives. However, I would like to share with you one key finding that shaped my understanding of this play’s world.

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