Magda Romanska

Magda Romanska
executive director

Magda Romanska is an award-winning theatre and performance scholar, dramaturg, and playwright, with over 15 years of teaching, production and publishing experience in the dramatic arts. She has taught 30 different courses on theatre, dramaturgy, and performance, including at Harvard University, Yale School of Drama, Cornell University, and Emerson College. She worked on over 30 theatre, musical and opera productions (as dramaturg, playwright, and director), including at Boston Lyric Opera, and Yale Rep. She is the author of five critically-acclaimed theatre books, including Reader in Comedy: An Anthology of Theory and Criticism and The Routledge Companion to Dramaturgy, a leading handbook of dramaturgy . She is the sole editor of a ten-volume series on dramaturgy to be released within the next two years from Routledge. A leader in her field, Romanska is a frequent guest speaker at professional conferences and panels. Currently, she is a research associate at Harvard University’s Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, an Associate Professor of Theatre Studies and Dramaturgy at Emerson College in Boston, MA and the Executive Director and the Editor-in-Chief of, the largest global online theatre portal. In this capacity, she manages the work of over 140 Regional Managing Editors around the world, covering theatre in 75 countries. In the past, Romanska served on the editorial board of Theater Magazine, the Yale Journal of Law and Humanities, Diacritics Review Journal of Criticism and Theory, Journal of Law and Theatre, Polish Theatre Perspectives Journal, and The Cosmopolitan Review. She was also a founding editor of Palimpsest: Yale Literary and Arts Magazine.  Romanska received her B.A. from Stanford University and her Ph.D. from Cornell University’s Department of Theatre. She was also Visiting Scholar at Yale School of Drama Department of Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism and completed The Mellon School of Theater and Performance Research at Harvard University. Her current research focuses on theatre, transmedia, new technologies, and posthumanism. She is a playwriting fellow at Lark Theatre in NYC.

The Theatre Times: Why? Why Now? is a non-partisan, global portal for theatre news. With an expanding collaborative team of Regional Managing Editors around the world, we aim to be the largest global theatre news source online. publishes news stories on daily basis from a variety of sources. In addition to original content, we have agreements with many regional publications which allow us to repost their stories and articles. In addition to our app (available at Apple’s App Store and on Google Play), we are developing many other features that will further enhance our readers’ experience and allow them to connect to other theatre people around the world. Our main goal is to create a transnational discursive space that would bring together theatre-makers and theatre lovers, facilitating global collaborative models, and generating opportunities for interaction and creative development amongst a wide network of international theatre-makers and theatre goers. We want to be the number-one destination for both globetrotting theatre lovers and adventurous theatre-makers looking for new inspirations and professional partnerships. Why are we different? During much of the last century, Western theatre scholarship and theatre-making have been in a somewhat predatory—colonial and postcolonial—relationship with the rest of the world. American, British or Western European theatre scholars and artists would travel to faraway locales—Africa, Asia, South America or Eastern Europe—to gain some, often superficial, knowledge of the local theatre ecosystem. They would use whatever...

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Disability in Comic and Tragic Frames

The connection between humor and disability is perhaps one of the most challenging and underresearched, aspects of comic theory. Modern theorists of humor and comedy generally pursue two lines of inquiry: along one they analyze how, historically, humor at the expense of the disabled has created and reestablished discriminatory and alienating comic conventions (these critics also argue about whether we’ve experienced the emergence of a taboo on such humor—or the continued lack of such a taboo); along the other line of inquiry theorists investigate different comic strategies used by the disabled to avert and displace comic insults (including black...

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Mieczysław Weinberg’s Opera “The Passenger”: On Memory and Forgetting

Polish classical musicians and opera singers have always enjoyed global renown, with singers such as Mariusz Kwiecień, Ewa Podleś, Piotr Beczała, Aleksandra Kurzak, and Andrzej Dobber regularly performing at the world’s top opera houses. Likewise, Polish opera directors have been successful abroad—most recently Mariusz Treliński in his Met debut with Bluebeard’s Castle and Iolanta. Poland’s own operas, however, have largely remained a mystery to opera lovers worldwide. The Adam Mickiewicz Institute in Warsaw—founded in 2000 by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage in consensus with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with the sole mission “to establish Poland as...

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Between Art and Science: A Conversation with Roald Hoffmann

Roald Hoffmann was born in 1937 in Złoczów, Poland. Having survived the German Nazi occupation, in 1946 he left Poland with his family for Czechoslovakia, Austria, Germany and arrived in the U.S.A. on February 22, 1949, at the age of 11. He studied chemistry at Columbia and Harvard Universities (PhD 1962). He has received many honors as a scientist, including the 1981 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.  In addition to his scientific work, Roald Hoffmann is also a writer. He has co-written a play with fellow chemist Carl Djerassi, entitled Oxygen, which has been performed worldwide and translated into ten...

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Magda Romanska on Dramaturgy and Opera

BLO: What is a dramaturg? MR: In its broadest and earliest definition, dramaturgy means a comprehensive theory of “playmaking.” Originally, the Greek word dramatourgos simply meant someone who was able to arrange various dramatic actions in a meaningful and comprehensive order. Today’s dramaturgs concern themselves foremost with dramatic structure. In the February 2013 episode of the hit TV series Smash, entitled “The Dramaturg,” a dramaturg is referred to as “the book doctor.” His job is to fix the structural errors afflicting the script of the new musical. The concept of dramaturgy as a separate theatrical function originated with the eighteenth-century German...

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Bogusław Schaeffer: Poland’s Renaissance Man

Polish theatre has gained world renown thanks to its innovative and bold experimental style. In international theatre circles, it is often enough to mention the names of Grotowski, Kantor, Witkacy, and Gombrowicz to elicit profound nods of approval. One aspect of Polish theatre that is well known but rarely analyzed is that its greats often straddle many artistic disciplines. Kantor was both painter and theatre director, Witkacy was both painter and playwright, Gombrowicz wrote both novels and plays with equal ease. Drawing on that strength, Polish artists often blend many art forms, feeling equally at home in various fields...

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