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Concord Floral From A Dramaturg’s Perspective

This past weekend, the TND Program put on their production for the fall semester, a suspenseful, poetic play entitled Concord Floral. The show is about a group of teenagers who hang out at an abandoned greenhouse (called Concord Floral) and how they grapple with their shameful choices, all while being haunted by a figure from their past. There were four performances, one Thursday night 11/30, one Friday night 12/1, and two on Saturday 12/2. But the cast of the show and the technical staff (like me!) have been working on this production for almost half a year. The audience attended a show or two and spent maybe two hours thinking about it, hopefully appreciated the story and the acting and the skill, and then went home. But this play is going to stick with me for a very long time. 

You probably saw this headline and wondered, What on earth is a dramaturg? Is that a typo?

A dramaturg is a member of a theatre production who practices dramaturgy. That’s a fun word for the study of the culture behind a play, the world of the play and the information that goes into the show, be it the script or the staging. Concord Floral may be a show about modern teenagers, but the subject matter is so complex and rich with history that I researched this semester. I am immensely gratified by the deep dive I took into learning about the play, the literature it was based on (primarily The Decameron, a 14th-century allegory by Giovanni Boccaccio) and the theatrical strategies it used. 

But I’ve spent a lot of time talking about this research, and I’d rather talk about my experience working (literally) behind the scenes as an observer, an audience member. 

This semester opened my eyes to all of the elements it takes to put on a successful show. Between the directors, the cast, stage managers, set design, costume design, sound design, lighting design, props design, and even more, I was awed by everything for many months straight. 

One aspect of theatre that has totally blown me away is the ability to build trusting relationships with people to ensure that everything goes right at the same time. I had the privilege of attending weekly rehearsal to help work with the script, but once the show had been put together, I also watched the rest of the elements join in. It’s truly art, and it was amazing to see a show slowly built from scratch.

I spent at least three hours a week (usually more) working on the play, and this summer I thought that would be too much. Now I know it wasn’t enough. The amount of effort and passion that each participant had for Concord Floral was prevalent in every single rehearsal. Even when it was Sunday night, and we were sad, stressed, and tired sometimes, everyone showed up and poured their hearts into creating something truly special. A piece of my heart will always be in this production. 

If you came to see Concord Floral, thank you. If you don’t often see the productions on campus, I encourage you to reconsider. I saw the show many, many times over the rehearsal process, and I never got tired of it. I miss it now. You may have only thought about it for a few minutes afterward, but please take a moment now and reflect on how much effort went into it. I’ll be thinking about it for the rest of my life. Theatre has a way of making ordinary stories magnificently infinite, and inside of me, a simple researcher, this one will last forever. 

Source : The College Reporter