Walter Byongsok Chon (Theatre) Co-Authors a New Practical Guidebook on Dramaturgy, Dramaturgy: The Basics

By Walter Byongsok Chon, December 13, 2022

Walter Byongsok Chon, Associate Professor of Dramaturgy and Theatre Studies in the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance, co-authors, with dramaturg Anne Hamilton, Dramaturgy: The Basics, a new practical guidebook on dramaturgy.

This book is published as part of Routledge Press’s The Basics series and contains a foreword by dramaturg Susan Jonas.

Dramaturgy: The Basics

Book Description

Dramaturgy: The Basics introduces the art of dramaturgy, explaining how dramaturgy works, what a dramaturg is, and how to appreciate their unique contribution to theatre-making. A wide-ranging account of the role of this vital element of theatre helps students and aspiring performance makers to apply dramaturgy to a full spectrum of theatrical disciplines.

This guidebook teaches dramatic theories and script analysis as essential skills for aspiring dramaturgs and illustrates the various methods of reading for specific functions of dramaturgy. Dramaturgy: The Basics offers practical step-by-step instructions on how to practice production dramaturgy, dramaturgy of new work, translation, adaptation, devised theatre, site-specific theatre, literary management, criticism, editing, producing, and dramaturgical innovation, with detailed questions to consider at each stage of the process. This book aims to help students develop a dramaturgical mindset, enabling them to build a critical, inquisitive, and socially conscious perspective that is beneficial in all professions and relationships. Resource lists, further reading guides, and chapter summaries make this an outstanding guidebook.

An essential read for anyone hoping to make, understand, or discuss theatre, Dramaturgy: The Basics provides a clear, accessible resource for approaching this integral but often misunderstood facet of theatre-making.

Table of Contents

1.     Dramatic Theory and Script Analysis  2. Reading as a Dramaturg  3. Production Dramaturgy  4. Dramaturgy of New Work  5. Other Core Practices of Dramaturgy  6. Dramaturg as Literary Manager  7. Dramaturg as Critic and Editor  8. Dramaturg as Producer and Innovator


"Dramaturgy: The Basics is a profoundly engaging, accessible guide for dramaturgs. It’s packed on every page with useful suggestions and brilliant points of guidance on what to look for and how to research, sift, prepare and present information: in short, how to serve a production with depth, range and flexibility. This book should be on every list of essential texts in Theater Studies. And, for the theater-lover sitting in the stalls, it also provides a deeply absorbing look ‘behind the scenes.’" — Dr Philippa Kelly, Resident Dramaturg, California Shakespeare Theater, USA

"What a find! Dramaturgy: The Basics defines what dramaturgy is and shows how it's done with concrete examples. The authors have put a lifetime of experience into one concise resource that should be required reading for all theater undergraduates. If you want to understand how to create and develop new work, here are the trade secrets of professional dramaturgs." — Cate Cammarata, Off-Broadway producer and CUNY Baruch College Associate Professor, USA

Order Information

We are pleased to announce that print copies of DRAMATURGY: THE BASICS are available for sale now on The eBooks will be published on December 30th.  A 20% discount is available now. -- Paperback ISBN 9780367253783 (List price $22.95); $18.36 (20% off now); Hardback ISBN 9780367253752 (List price $115)$92.00 (20% off now)

Author Bios

Anne Hamilton is a NYC-based freelance dramaturg and the Founder of Hamilton Dramaturgy, an international consultancy. She created Hamilton Dramaturgy’s TheatreNow!, an oral history podcast series of important theatre women working in America. She co-authored Dramaturgy: The Basics (Routledge, 2023), a practical guidebook in Routledge’s The Basics series. Anne has dramaturged for Andrei Serban, Michael Mayer, Lynn Nottage, NYMF, Niegel Smith, Classic Stage Company, Tina Andrews, The Bouwerie Lane Theater/The Jean Cocteau Repertory, Circle Rep, Leslie Lee, Andrew Barrett, the Great Plains Theatre Conference, the Genesis Festival at Crossroads Theatre Company, and the Negro Ensemble Company, among others. She is also an award-winning playwright (WHO’S ANDY WARHOL?, THE STACY PLAY – A LOVE SONG – PART I, OFEM, and THE SHOEBOX). Her chapter, “Freelance Dramaturgs in the 21st Century: Journalists, Advocates and Collaborators” appears in The Routledge Companion to Dramaturgy. She is a Dramaturgy Editor for The Theatre Times, a leading online global theatre journal. Hamilton was a Bogliasco Foundation Fellow, won the Dean’s Prize for Dramaturgy at Columbia University School of the Arts, and holds dual citizenship in the United States and Italy. She received her B.A. in English literature from Drew University, was a Visiting Student at St. Catherine’s College at The University of Oxford, and earned her M.F.A. in dramaturgy and theatre criticism from Columbia University School of the Arts.


Walter Byongsok Chon is a dramaturg, critic, translator, educator, and theatre scholar from South Korea. He served as dramaturg at the Yale Repertory Theatre, Yale School of Drama, the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center, the Great Plains Theater Conference, the Hangar Theatre, the Civic Ensemble, and the New York Musical Festival. He is the co-author of Dramaturgy: The Basics (Routledge, 2023), a practical guidebook in Routledge’s The Basics series. His writings appeared in Theater, Review, Praxis, The Korean National Theatre Magazine, The Korean Theatre Review,  The Mercurian,Situations: Cultural Studies in the Asian Context, the volumes The Routledge Companion to Dramaturgy and Diversity, Inclusion, and Representation in Contemporary Dramaturgy: Case Studies from the Field, and the on-line magazine The Theatre Times, for which he is serving as a co-managing editor for South Korea. His produced theatrical translations include Sam-Shik Pai’s Inching Towards Yeolha (Korean to English) and Charles Mee’s True Love (English to Korean). His Korean translation of “A Manifesto for the Future Stage,” developed at MetaLAB (at) Harvard, is published in the 2022 summer issue of The Korean Theatre Journal. He received the 2022 Grant for the Translation of Korean Literary Works from the Daesan Foundation. With this grant, he will translate into English four plays by South Korean playwright Myung-Wha Kim. He has presented at various conferences, including ALTA, ASTR, ATHE, GSA, LMDA, MATC, NeMLA, and PTRS. Walter received his B.A. in English from Sungkyunkwan University in Korea, M.A. in theatre studies from Washington University in St. Louis, M.F.A. in dramaturgy and dramatic criticism from Yale School of Drama, and D.F.A from Yale School of Drama.