2009/2010

Research/Creative Work

Contribution of Research/Creative Work Appropriate to the Disciplines of Playwriting and Dramaturgy

Scholarly Review Equivalencies

Specific scholarly review equivalencies for Books, Refereed Articles and General Articles have been created for promotion/tenure portfolio review for the Department of Theatre Arts. The description of the equivalent Research/Creative Work that support the promotion/tenure portfolio review for the Department of Theatre Arts are outlined in the 2018 Department of Theatre Arts Guidelines and Criteria for Promotion and Tenure. Click here for the specific scholarly review equivalencies for the Department of Theatre Arts. To aide in the review process, beneath the heading for each Creative Work documented below the scholarly equivalency is noted.


Production Details

    • Hart's Role: Production Director & Dramaturge
    • Play: Zooman and the Sign written by Charles Fuller
    • Producer: Howard University Department of Theatre Arts
    • Location: Environmental Theatre Space, Washington DC
    • Rehearsal Dates: September 14 - October 8, 2009
    • Production Dates: October 9 - 15, 2009


Production Materials


Dramaturgy Research

Creative Work: Production Director & Dramaturge

Scholarly Equivalency - Refereed Article

Hart's Contribution as Production Director

In my role as theatre director in an educational environment I led the project by creating an environment where student artists in collaboration with a professional academic production team can implement the concept/vision set forth by the director and create a production that has artistic and commercial merit worthy of public viewing. Additionally, directing in an educational environment expands teaching beyond the classroom and places the student in a professional culture where they receive guidance on professional standards and protocol. In a supportive environment students are able to move beyond theory to application of the performance techniques learned in the classroom setting. My directing approach is discovery and process focused while achieving necessary milestones that result in a production worthy of public viewing.

My directorial contributions made to achieve the goals of creating a production reflecting artistic and commercial merit for "Zooman and the Sign" include:

        • Training students in advanced theatre/directing techniques
        • Over the course of 5 weeks spend approximately 100-120 hours in rehearsal (this is without release time from course work)
        • Guidance and instruction regarding professional industry standards and protocol
        • Ethnological and Anthropological research
        • In collaboration with the set designer determine the best use of the theatre space
        • Guide and collaborate with the artistic/design team (set/costume/lighting and sound scape) to visually actualize the physical environment and atmosphere of the play
        • Analyze the script for its structure, themes and socio/political arguments
        • Assess, interpret and actualize the physical and verbal action of the play
        • Casting that implements industry standard professional protocols
        • Plan for and manage rehearsals that provide adequate time for actors and the design and production teams to achieve their individual goals
        • Conduct rehearsals to construct blocking that reflect the plays tempo and help actors to discover and reveal a characters psychological truth
        • In collaboration with the design team, manage technical rehearsals to solidify and clarify all light and sound cues and final design decisions
        • Collaborate with the marketing and PR team

Hart's Contribution as Production Dramaturge

In an educational environment in my role as production dramaturge I support and enhance the work of the director and production team in creating a production of artistic and commercial merit. The production dramaturge helps the director and production team unpack the play and discover the multiple layers of meaning and value in the text and in the visual, aural and physical atmosphere of the play. This is accomplished by creating a dramaturgy resource packet created from analyzing the play and conducting thorough research that examines and articulates the inner structure of the play.

During early rehearsals the dramaturge is able to present critical observations and pose thought provoking questions; all of which position the production team to conduct rich and meaningful table work and engage in a productive on-your-feet rehearsal process. The work of the dramaturge empowers collaborators to make informed performance and design choices and enriches audience engagement.

Typically, early in the rehearsal phase the dramaturge supports the production team by presenting an overview of process and materials approved by the director, regarding how to best use the production resource book for a specific production. However, in this situation since I was also the production director, I spent the early rehearsals presenting the dramaturgical research to the actors to share my concept and to explore the 'drivers' in the play - images, events, patterns, words, memories, ritual, etc. Ultimately, the contributions of the dramaturge function to contextualize and offer frameworks for interpretation to deepen all of the collaborators understanding of the world of the play and enhances the presentation of a production worthy of public viewing.

My dramaturgical contributions made to achieve the goals of creating a production reflecting artistic and commercial merit for "Zooman and the Sign" include:

        • Have an understanding of the director's concept and vision
        • Researched the playwright's impetus for writing the play and to learn any other relevant information
        • Analyze the play and conduct thorough research on time period, styles, themes, location, language, etc.
        • Conduct approximately 150 hours of research along with creation of the dramaturgy resource packet
        • Ethnological and Anthropological research
        • Articulate the inner structure of the play and present critical observations to cast/design team
        • Posed thought provoking questions to the cast
        • Provide thorough research to support the artistic/design team (set/costume/lighting and sound scape) to visually actualize the physical environment and atmosphere of the play
        • Analyze the script for its structure, themes and socio/political arguments
        • During an early rehearsal present an overview of materials regarding how to best use the dramaturgy resource packet
        • Collaborate with the marketing and PR team
Final dress rehearsal. (photos by Denise J. Hart)
Final dress rehearsal. (photos by Denise J. Hart)
Final dress rehearsal. (photos by Denise J. Hart)
Final dress rehearsal. (photos by Denise J. Hart)
Performance Clip
Interviews with the Cast


Production Details

    • Hart's Role: Playwright & Production Director
    • Play: DC County Spelling Bee from A to Z!
    • Producer: The Children's Theatre Workshop
    • Location: Howard University, Washington DC
    • Rehearsal Dates: June 20 - July 23, 2010
    • Production Date: July 22 & 23, 2010


Production Materials

Creative Activity: Playwright & Production Director

Scholarly Equivalency - Refereed Article

Hart's Contribution as Playwright/ Production Director

The role of a playwright is to tell relatable entertaining stories that fit inside a theatrical structure and have artistic and commercial merit.

With a 22 year career as a playwright and director of plays written for child actors performing for family audiences, the production of "The DC County Spelling Bee" was one of my favorites. Inspired by the Broadway musical hit, "The Putnam County Spelling Bee" and popular tele-musicals like "Glee", I was mindful to consider the varying ages of the audience members when constructing the story, creating the characters and music lyrics.

With regard to process, in the initial stages I collaborated with the musical director to create the lyrics and musical story structure. Thereafter I developed a draft of the script prior to the production and once the cast was selected I was able to make edits and incorporate ideas from the child actors. Once the final 90 minute full length script was completed a full cast read through was held and thereafter the rehearsal process began.

In my role as the production director I created the rehearsal schedule and conducted daily rehearsals with the actors. In addition, I held production meetings with the design team to make decisions regarding how to best capture the look, tone and mood of the play. Lastly, in collaboration with the design team I managed the tech process in preparation for the public event.

Hart's contribution as playwright made to achieve the goals of creating a production reflecting artistic and commercial merit for "The DC County Spelling Bee" include:

        • Conduct ethnological and anthropological research to support the developing story line and character development
        • Write music lyrics
        • Write and edit multiple drafts of the play script
        • Collaborate with music director on the flow and structure of the story as told through music
        • Produce final script for production execution

Hart's directorial contributions made to achieve the goals of creating a production reflecting artistic and commercial merit for "The DC County Spelling Bee" include:

        • Train students in fundamental theatre/directing techniques
        • Guidance and instruction that reflect high standards and industry protocol
        • In collaboration with the set designer determine the best use of the theatre space
        • Collaborate with the musical director
        • Guide and collaborate with the artistic/design team (set/costume/lighting and sound scape) to visually actualize the physical environment and atmosphere of the play
        • Analyze the script for its structure, themes and socio/political arguments
        • Assess, interpret and actualize the physical and verbal action of the play
        • Cast the play
        • Plan for and manage rehearsals that provide adequate time for actors and the design and production teams to achieve their individual goals
        • Conduct rehearsals to construct blocking that reflect the plays tempo and help actors to discover and reveal a characters psychological truth
        • In collaboration with the design team, manage technical rehearsals to solidify and clarify all light and sound cues and final design decisions
        • Collaborate with the marketing and PR team


https://sites.google.com/site/professordenisejhart/research-1/2009-10-research/DJHartworkingwithcamper2010jpeg.jpg?attredirects=0
Rehearsal - Hart working with camper
https://sites.google.com/site/professordenisejhart/research-1/2009-10-research/DJHartteachingatCamp2010jpeg.jpg?attredirects=0
Rehearsal - Hart giving directions to campers

Playwright Kofi Kwahule

Production Details

    • Hart's Role: Play Development Director/Dramaturge for Staged Reading
    • Play: Melancholy of Barbarians written by Kofi Kwahule
    • Event: Visiting Playwright Series
    • Location: Howard University Department of Theatre Arts
    • Master Class Date: February 18, 2010
    • Rehearsal Dates: February 19 - 20, 2010
    • Production Date: February 20, 2010


Event Description

International playwright Kofi Kwahule (and his translator, Chantal Bilodeau) were in residence in the department for a play development staged reading of his play, Melancholy of Barbarians.

In addition, Kwahule, led the students in a master class focused on playwriting.


Production Materials

      • Description of Visiting Playwrights Workshop Series - Click Here
      • Photos and insights from the first table read/rehearsal - Click Here
      • The playwright shares his thoughts about the Visiting Playwrights Workshop - Click Here
      • Play Script Melancholy of Barbarians - Click Here
      • Production Program - Click Here



Photos Below: Rehearsals and Master Class

Creative Activity: Play Development Dramaturge/Director

Scholarly Equivalency - General Article

Hart's Contribution as Play Development Dramaturge/Director

In an educational environment in my role as play development dramaturge for a staged reading I supported the playwright with script development (rewrites) and helped to showcase the work with the intent of securing a producer and/or investors. In a staged reading, the theatre director’s role during a short rehearsal process, is to lead a team of actors to create a production that does not utilize extensive design elements. Instead, the production focuses on the language, impact and themes in the play.

Additionally, directing a staged reading in an educational environment expands teaching beyond the classroom and places the student in a professional culture where they receive guidance on professional standards and protocol. In a supportive environment students are able to move beyond theory to application of the performance techniques learned in the classroom setting. My directing approach is discovery and process focused while achieving necessary milestones that result in a production worthy of public viewing.

Through the Visiting Playwright Workshop Series, in the Spring of 2010, I collaborated with the internationally recognized Lark Play Development center in New York to offer a unique experience to the students in the Howard University Department of Theatre Arts and the Washington DC community. International playwright Kofi Kwahule (and his translator, Chantal Bilodeau) were in residence in the department for a play development staged reading of his play, Melancholy of Barbarians. In addition, Kwahule, led a playwriting master class for the student body. The residency allowed Kwahule to participate in all rehearsals and pre-production table discussions with the director and cast. The process posed a unique challenge in that Mr. Kwahule spoke French. All communication with the Director and cast was done via his translator Chantal Bilodeau.

My directorial and dramaturgical contributions made to achieve the goals of supporting the playwright with script development and/or to showcase the work with the intent of securing a producer and/or investors for "Melancholy of the Barbarians" include:

        • Training students in fundamental theatre/directing techniques
        • Guidance and instruction of professional industry standards and protocol
        • Ethnological and Anthropological research
        • Dialogue with playwright regarding making edits to the play
        • Determine the best use of the theatre space
        • Analyze the script for its structure, themes and socio/political arguments
        • Assess, interpret and actualize the physical and verbal action of the play
        • Casting that implements industry standard professional protocols
        • Plan for and manage rehearsals that provide adequate time for actors to achieve their individual goals
        • Conduct rehearsals to construct minimal blocking that reflect the plays tempo and help actors to discover and reveal a characters psychological truth
        • In collaboration with the design team, manage technical rehearsals to solidify and clarify all light and sound cues and minimal design decisions
        • Collaborate with the marketing and PR team
https://sites.google.com/site/professordenisejhart/research-1/2009-10-research/Kwahule%20table%20read.JPG?attredirects=0

Hart leading round table discussion

https://sites.google.com/site/professordenisejhart/research-1/2009-10-research/student%20discussion%20table%20read.JPG?attredirects=0

Student actors discussing the play

https://sites.google.com/site/professordenisejhart/research-1/2009-10-research/Kofi%20Workshop%202010.jpg?attredirects=0

Masterclass with Kwahule & students

Creative Work: Podcast/Radio Show Host

Scholarly Equivalency - General Article

Hart's Contribution as Podcast/Radio Show Host

    • The Creative Entrepreneur. (37 episodes) Facilitated interviews with artists, actors, performers and individuals who identify as creative entrepreneurs for listeners to hear about and learn from their journey. Creative artists shared their insights regarding how to achieve both artistic and entrepreneurial success.
      • Sample Interview: Howard University alum, Rosalyn Coleman Williams, actress and acting coach - Helping Actors Create