Unless you work in the theatre, you might be wondering what the heck is a dramaturg? This article and this one explain in detail. Basically it’s someone who provides valuable research and context to theatre (and opera-makers). They also help playwrights shape material similarly to how an editor helps writers.
The best dramaturgs, editors, coaches, teachers, etc…anyone involved with providing feedback, follow one simple rule:
How do I help the person make the best possible version of what THEY are trying for?
It’s not about the the dramaturg or editor’s personal taste or preference. It’s about the artist. What does the artist (or player or student) want?
It’s not about you. It’s about them..
The best dramaturgs help playwrights recognize what exactly they’re trying for and how best to manifest excellence with it. As such, they must love and be steeped in all kinds of different art forms. They must be students of history. They never stop learning. They remain open to all possibilities and new ways of doing things.
If you’re lucky enough to work with a world class dramaturg (or editor), thank them today and everyday going forward. If not, seek one out. Much like a great coach, they’ll push you to heights you never thought possible.