Magda Romanska, Ph.D.

is a writer, dramaturg and theatre scholar. She is Associate Professor of Theatre and Dramaturgy at Emerson College, Dramaturg for Boston Lyric Opera, and Research Associate at Harvard University’s Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies and Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies. Her books include The Post-traumatic Theatre of Grotowski and Kantor (2012), Boguslaw Schaeffer: An Anthology (2012), and The Routledge Companion to Dramaturgy (2014). With 85 articles by 90 leading theoreticians, practitioners and scholars, it is the most comprehensive anthology of dramaturgy to date. Her Comedy: An Anthology of Theory and Criticism is forthcoming in 2015.

Romanska's scholarship in Theatre Studies has been recognized with two international awards: the Aquila Polonica Article Prize from the Polish Studies Association, and the Gerald Kahan Scholar’s Prize from the American Society for Theatre Research. Her current research project, The Bionic Body: Technology, Disability and Humanism, draws on interdisciplinary research from cognitive science, art, film and theatre, and investigates how the concept of the 'posthuman' body affects representations of the disabled in modern culture, and how these in turn alter our perceptions of what is and isn’t a ‘human’ – and challenge even the very need for such a category.

In addition to her scholarship and dramaturgy, Romanska is a translator and critically acclaimed experimental playwright. Most recently, her play, Opheliamachine, had its world premiere in Los Angeles. In 2014, Romanska was a Visiting Associate Professor at Harvard University, and in 2002, she was a visiting scholar at the Yale School of Drama. In 2014 she chaired the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas (LMDA) conference in Boston. The conference brought together over 160 international dramaturgs, who participated in a total of 21 panels and discussions. Romanska graduated with honors from Stanford University and holds a Ph.D. in Theatre and Film from Cornell University.

BOOKS

Martin | The Love Potion

Conductor: David Angus
Director: David Schweizer
Set Designer: James Noone
Dramaturgy: Magda Romanska

Written by Switzerland’s greatest composer, Frank Martin (1890–1974), in the late 1930s, Le Vin Herbé was initially conceived as a 30-minute piece. Wanting to distance himself from Wagner, Martin based the story instead on Joseph Bédier’s 1900 philological novel, The Romance of Tristan and Iseult




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Verdi | La Traviata

Conductor: Arthur Fagen
Director: Chas Rader-Shieber
Set Designer: Julia Noulin-Mérat
Dramaturgy: Magda Romanska

Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata, not seen at BLO in nearly a decade, returns in a glorious new production. The tale of Violetta, a worldly courtesan with all the men of Paris at her feet, takes a wrenching turn when she risks all for a chance at enduring love.




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REVIEWS

“Heartfelt, touching…” - Boston Classical Review

“Matanovic particularly shined with her vulnerability and honesty … BLO truly delivered.” - The South Shore Critic

“Much beauty and pathos in the accomplished performances.” - The Boston Musical Intelligencer

Bellini | I Puritani

Conductor: David Angus
Director: Crystal Manich
Set Designer: John Concklin
Dramaturgy: Magda Romanska

I Puritani is set in the Puritan fortress at Plymouth during the English Civil War. The Puritans, led by Oliver Cromwell, have inflicted a crushing defeat on troops loyal to Charles I (the Cavaliers) and taken parliamentary power. Although the King has been tried and executed (his widow, Henrietta, plays a significant role in the opera) the Cavaliers fight on.


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"BLO strikes a pose with 'I Puritani'" - The Metrowest Daily News


“BLO’s I Puritani: A Beautiful Madness” - The Boston Musical Intelligencer

Verdi | Rigoletto

Conductor: Christopher Franklin
Director: Tomer Zvulvun
Set Designer: John Concklin
Dramaturgy: Magda Romanska

Verdi's Rigoletto is set in the Renaissance Italian city-state of Mantua ruled by an all-powerful Duke. The opera's original title, La maledizione (The Curse), refers to the curse placed on both the Duke and Rigoletto, his court jester. The curse comes to fruition when Rigoletto's daughter falls in love with the Duke and eventually sacrifices her life to save him.

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"Lyric Opera offers energetic, traditional 'Rigoletto'" - The Boston Globe



“Passion and Beauty in BLO’s 'Rigoletto'” - The Boston Musical Intelligencer

Mozart | The Magic Flute

Conductor: David Angus
Director: Leon Major
Set Designer: John Concklin
Dramaturgy: Magda Romanska

Tommy, Pamela, Patrick, and Monty, four contemporary university students, are on an archeological visit to the Mayan ruins. Tommy (Tamino) is bitten by a snake, and as the venom enters his veins, he begins to hallucinate—the power of his altered state draws his companions into his dream, and they are suddenly and violently swept up into the pyramid they have come to visit.





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REVIEWS

"Boston Lyric Opera’s 'The Magic Flute': In A New Key" Artscope


Beeson | Lizzie Borden


A Chamber Version in Seven Scenes
Music by Jack Beeson; Libretto by Kenward Elmslie
Based on a Scenario by Richard Plant
Realized by Todd Bashore and John Conklin
Dramaturgy: Magda Romanska 

Fall River, Massachusetts has never forgotten the infamous crime. When Lizzie Borden was arrested for the brutal murder of her father and stepmother, the New England village became the focus of the nation. The jurors at Lizzie’s trial did not deliberate long, but  in the court of public opinion, debate still rages about her guilt or innocence.




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Copyright © 2014 Magda Romanska