Rat Sass » Actor’s Dramaturgy:
Nelson’s rant and cause was always a red herring; the institutionalization of this process begins at a level much deeper than the culture surrounding American regional theatre. The whole of the education and training for theatre “professionals” is involved in what in business would be called a pyramid scheme.
“Professional” playwrights most often earn their bread-and-butter working as teachers in drama departments around the country. So they have as much invested in the status quo of this institutionalized process of play development as anyone else. I put the word “professional” in quotes because there is only a handful of writers actually making a living in theatre but there are thousands of playwrights in schools and elsewhere teaching others how to write a “good play.” These teacher playwrights, including Richard Nelson, are serving effectively as salaried dramaturgs for their student playwrights. So if there is truly a need to scapegoat the “institutional dramaturg” for the ills of theatre culture, here would be the place to begin.