2012/2013

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 Dramaturge

Play: Breath Boom written by Kia Corthron

Producer: Howard University Department of Theatre Arts

Location: Washington DC

Rehearsal Dates: September 1 - October 2, 2012

Production Dates: October 3 - 13 , 2012

Play Synopsis

There is life/living (Breath) and then there is death/ending (Boom). Breath Boom is not a play about female gang members, it's a play about people. Human beings figuring out how to live. How to survive. How to succeed based on the rules of the game they've inherited. Breath Boom, travels through time from 1986 to 2000, set in the Bronx, it shows a group of women who are forced to figure out how to live, how to adapt and how to survive while existing in an environment that oftentimes produces an animalistic mindset.

Production Materials

Breath Boom Dramaturgy Support Packet - Click Here

Production Program - Click Here

Creative Work: Production Dramaturge

Scholarly Equivalency - Refereed Article

Hart's Contribution as Production Dramaturge

DC Metro Arts Production Review - Click Here

In my role as production dramaturge in an educational environment I supported and enhanced 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 conducting thorough research to create a dramaturgy resource packet that 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 the director did not wish to have a presentation. Instead, the packet was delivered to the production team and I attended several rehearsals and took notes regarding the kinds of questions actors had. I also prepared an addendum of information based on research requests from the actors. For most of the cast members this was the first time they had ever received and learned how to use a dramaturgy resource packet to support their acting process. Ultimately, the contributions of the dramaturge deepen the actors' understanding of the world of the play and supports 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 "Breath Boom" 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
    • Conduct approximately 125 hours of research along with creation of the dramaturgy resource packet
    • Analyze the play and conduct thorough research on time period, styles, themes, location, language, etc.
    • 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

Production Details

    • Hart's Role: Playwright & Artistic Director
    • Play: When a Tree Grows in Brookland
    • Producer: The Children's Theatre Workshop
    • Location: Washington DC
    • Rehearsal Dates: June 24 - July 25, 2013
    • Production Dates: July 26 & 27, 2013

Play Synopsis

When a Tree Grows in Brookland tells the story of a little girl transplanted away from her beloved home in California and finds herself smack dab in the middle of a new community that isn’t as crazy as she is about keeping the planet by being environmentally conscious. The trash and smog come to life and the entire world is threatened if folks don’t get their act together! Will they or won't they?

Production Materials

Creative Work: 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, I'm always mindful to consider the varying ages of the audience members when constructing the story, creating the characters and music lyrics.

The production of "When a Tree Grows in Brookland" was inspired by my desire to learn more about how to preserve our earth and “Go Green.” As part of my research process I watched Al Gore’s award winning documentary, ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ and to expand the learning for the campers, The Casey Trees Foundation facilitated an experiential workshop for the campers. They learned more about the benefits trees have on our environment and how to think more critically about global warming and the way our society functions and contributes to this issue.

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.

My contribution as playwright made to achieve the goals of creating a production reflecting artistic and commercial merit for "When a Tree Grows in Brookland" include:

    • Conduct ethnological and anthropological research to support the developing story line and character development
    • 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

My directorial contributions made to achieve the goals of creating a production reflecting artistic and commercial merit for "When a Tree Grows in Brookland" 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

staff and campers

staff and campers

production photo

Photo: Symposia panel - student presenter Jasmine Franklin, Moderator Denise J. Hart, student presenter Kayla Lindsey, panelist Dr. Andrida Mapson, panelist Lisa Briggs.

Event Details

    • Hart's Role: Symposium Coordinator
    • Event: The Arrested Development of Girl Gangs and Their Impact on Society."
    • Producer: Howard University Department of Theatre Arts
    • Location: Ira Aldridge Theatre, Washington DC
    • Event Date: October 12, 2012

Guest presenters

  • Dr. Andrida Mapson
  • Lisa Briggs
  • Student presenter Jasmine Franklin
  • Student presenter Kayla Lindsey

Event Materials

Creative Work: Symposium Coordinator

Scholarly Equivalency - Refereed Article

Hart's Contribution as Symposium Coordinator

The symposium was designed to support the departmental production of Breath Boom written by Kia Corthron, of which I also served as the production dramaturge. The symposium, entitled "The Arrested Development of Girl Gangs and Their Impact on Society." focused on identifying black girls as part of the disproportionately incarcerated teen population and solutions for prevention and support.

I created the title and appropriately branded the symposium, secured all panelists and reviewed their research papers and designed the format of the event. The panelists, both students and academic/career professionals, were invited to present their research on the following topics:

  • Andridia Mapson, PhD, LCSW - The Prevalence and Treatment of Mental Health Issues Among Incarcerated Girls
  • Lisa Briggs, MA - Performing "Rehabilitation": Theatre for Incarcerated Women and Girls
  • Kayla Lindsey, senior Radio, TV & Film - How does Breath Boom connect to the Howard University Mission Statement
  • Jasmine Franklin, senior Theatre Minor - How does Breath Boom connect to the Howard University Mission Statement

Additionally, as symposium coordinator I was mindful to implement my vision/ concept with the intent to:

    • Curate the submitted research papers
    • Create the event agenda
    • Market the event
    • Determine the best use of the event space
    • Conducting meetings with the production team to review technical requirements and the production agenda
    • Host and moderate the symposium

Creative Work: Production Director

Scholarly Equivalency - General Article

Hart's Contribution as Production Director

In my role as theatre director I led the project by creating an environment where artists collaborate to implement the concept/vision set forth by the director and create a production that has artistic and commercial merit worthy of public viewing. 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 "Bedlam in the Pulpit" include:

    • Coach actors in advanced acting techniques that reflect and industry standards
    • 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 and themes
    • 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

Production Details

    • Hart's Role: Production Director
    • Play: Bedlam in the Pulpit: The Jocelyn Marshall Story by Jacqui Brown -One Act Play
    • Producer: DC Black Theatre Festival
    • Location: Washington DC
    • Rehearsal Dates: June 1 - 28, 2013
    • Production Date: June 30, 2013

Production Materials

Play Script Bedlam in the Pulpit - Click Here


Production Details

    • Hart's Role: Production Director
    • Play: Quick Stop at the Florist - One Act Play
    • Producer: DC Queer Theatre Festival
    • Location: Flashpoint Theatre, Washington DC
    • Rehearsal Dates: May 7- 29, 2013
    • Production Dates: May 30 - June 1, 2013

Production Materials

Play Script Quick Stop at the Florist - Click Here

Creative Work: Production Director

Scholarly Equivalency - General Article

Hart's Contribution as Production Director

In my role as theatre director I led the project by creating an environment where artists collaborate to implement the concept/vision set forth by the director and create a production that has artistic and commercial merit worthy of public viewing. 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 "Quick Stop at the Florist" include:

    • Coach actors in advanced acting techniques that reflect and industry standards
    • 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 and themes
    • 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

Creative Work: Workshop Facilitator

Scholarly Equivalency - General Article

Hart's Contribution as Workshop Facilitator

      • "Improvisational Practice Skills Lab - Drama Based Learning" Facilitated drama based life skills workshops for PCC Strides Foster Care program. 4/29/2012 (Washington DC)
      • "Creating Believable Characters at The Performing Arts Training Studio. Fall 2012 (Washington DC)

Creative Work: Panelist

Scholarly Equivalency - General Article

Hart's Contribution as Panel Moderator

      • Panel Moderator: The Arrested Development of Girl Gangs and Their Impact on Society." In conjunction with Howard University Department of Theatre Arts Production of Breath Boom. 10/12/12 (Washington DC)