Dramaturgy

Kate is an experienced consultant and dramaturg, particularly in the field of new musicals. She has over twenty years of experience in understanding how stories and audiences work, and is very proud of the nickname ‘Fairy Godmother of New Musicals’ (thanks Spitlip!)

The role of a dramaturg can differ from one project to another, depending on the needs of the team and the production timeline, but essentially a dramaturg provides and implements the support that a writer or writing team might need during the writing process. The collaboration can include inputting into story lining, researching, song spotting, questioning, advising on tone or structure and most importantly providing a consistent and focused outside eye and ear to aid the writers to work at their best.

A dramaturg may be useful at the outset of the project, after a first draft, or at any stage in the process where the writers feel a ‘fresh pair of eyes’ would benefit the musical’s development. They may be incredibly hands on in a process, or simply check in now and again – it is up to the writer to work with the dramaturg as much or as little as they see beneficial to the process.

A consulting relationship can include suggesting writers and putting a team together, supporting the conceptualising of a new project, creating timelines and draft deadlines, weekly or fortnightly catch up meetings, providing a sounding board for ideas, reading and feeding back on drafts, arranging a reading with a team of actors.

Jake Brunger looking confused over a table full of index cardsWriter collaborations include:

Jake Brunger and Pippa Cleary

Ben Frost and Richard Hough

Scott Gilmour and Claire McKenzie aka Noisemaker

Henry Roadnight and Adam Johnson

Alex Parker and Katie Lam

Dina and Rosabella Gregory

post it notes lined up on a tableJames Robert Moore

Annabel Mutale Reed and Jack Trzcinski

Ethan Lewis Maltby and Jenna Donnelly

Jen Green and Caroline Wigmore

Pete Rowe and Ben Goddard

Tamar Broadbent

Timothy Knapman and Laurence Mark Wythe

A board full of notes and post itsChris Burgess

Andy Collyer and Simon Warne

Jon Robyns and Christopher J Orton

Poppy Burton Morgan

Pippa Cleary, Phillip LaZebnik and Ronald Kruschak

Karl Lewkowicz and Amy Rosenthal

Consulting partnerships include:

Jamie Hendry Productions

Runaway Entertainment

i.e. Productions

Singapore Repertory Theatre

Katy Lipson/ Aria Entertainment

Gallissas

National Youth Music Theatre

 

Testimonials

Kate is an exemplary dramaturg and someone we simply adore working with – we’ve now worked with her on 4 of our produced musicals which says it all! In terms of how she comes into our process, in the first instance we will run our initial story ideas by her, then go away and work up a synopsis and present it back to her for her thoughts and advice. It’s reassuring to know that she will respond to this positively, but always offer interesting and unexpected insights. Throughout the writing process, we may check in with her after writing songs, scenes, or lengthy sections we are working on, but we always know we can go to her as soon as we feel that we need her. As a writing duo, we often lean on her as our mediator when we can’t reach a conclusion between us – sometimes the answer is staring us in the face and she will spot it immediately. And sometimes she can just be the very person we need to tell us that what we’ve done isn’t good enough! Her knowledge of musical theatre is second to none, and we trust her opinion implicitly. The list of writers she has worked with is testament to her brilliance in developing new musicals.

Jake Brunger and Pippa Cleary – Prodigy, Red Riding Hood, Treasure Island and Chicken Little 

 

Making a musical takes time. It’s a long process and there are lots of different brains that join you along the way. For the writing, the most important new brain is the dramaturg. Unlike a director, whose focus is rightly split between the piece and the production, a dramaturg is only there to serve the story. The role requires an individual who can recognise a shows potential, even if the writers have lost their way. Someone who respects the creative process, but is prepared to challenge it if it’s what the show needs. Basically, it takes a very specific type of artist to be a good dramaturg. And that’s why we’re writing this. Because Kate Golledge is a fantastic dramaturg.

Collaborating with her was one of the most enjoyable and inspiring processes we’ve ever been part of. Kate’s detail and nuance with text and storytelling is matched only by her ability to constantly view the bigger picture. What are the audience feeling? What is the story doing? Her musicality and understanding of song and orchestration is hugely impressive, it encouraged us to be bolder and braver with our writing and, as a result, create a more impactful and memorable score. Over and above her technical skill, however, it’s her management and sensitivity towards the people she works with that elevate her as a creative. There’s no show, or writers, that wouldn’t benefit from working with Kate and it’s our privilege to have already had the pleasure.

Scott Gilmour and Claire McKenzie aka Noisemaker – Legend Trippers

 

Making a new musical is a collaborative endeavour, so you’d better have good people you trust on board when you start writing one. It was our enormous good fortune, when bringing our musicals Midnight and Growl! to the stage, to have Kate on our side, offering insight, inspiration and brilliant ideas.  They’re very different shows, but Kate contains multitudes and she was just as brilliant with a dark romance set in the shadow of Stalin’s purges as a family show about the Big Bad Wolf.  Kate makes you believe you can work wonders and, with her help, you can!

Timothy Knapman – Midnight and Growl!

 

Being a writer can be a very lonely job – I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve disregarded projects because I can’t tell if they are any good or not! Having somebody to bounce off of creatively, or collaborate with is such a life-saver when it comes to the writing process. Kate is excellent at knowing the right exercises and conversations to have with a writer in order to push a project forward, and keep your imagination firing. My play POSTERBOY has benefitted hugely from Kate’s influence and shaped the piece into (genuinely) something I had never quite imagined – allowing me to play with style in a way I hadn’t considered before. Kate will always be my first port of call for a creative question and always will be. Collaboration is a writers best friend, and Kate is the friendliest of all!

James Robert Moore – Posterboy and It’s Been Nice Knowing You 

 

Kate has such a brilliant dramaturgical mind. Plus she understands the art of provocation rather than offering a solution to the problem herself. Also she’s a delight to work with. I would collaborate with her again in a heartbeat.

Poppy Burton Morgan – Housefire

 

Kate is such a joy to work with. Often what you need, particularly as a book-writer, is someone to throw a million ideas at you. Not all the ideas — or even any of them! — need to become part of the show, but one or two might fix your sticky problem, or spark off your own solution, or help you better understand the issues you might have. Kate is simply brilliant at generating these ideas and she does it so unpretentiously, openly and positively that it puts you in the perfect frame of mind to make the most of all she suggests. I personally find the rehearsal room and process often wonderful but occasionally intimidating and uncomfortable; Kate makes anything negative go away instantly through the force of her radiant personality and creative talent. I would jump at the chance to work with her any time.

Katie Lam – Henrietta

 

Kate directed My Marcello at Theatre Royal Stratford East for BEAM2018. She was the glue. Everyone felt happy having her in the room and Dina and I felt invincible with Kate at the helm. Her professionalism and experience was obvious, but what really struck me was her kindness. It is wonderful to have worked – albeit for a short period – with someone who invests wholly in the people and the project she is committed to.

Rosabella Gregory – My Marcello

 

This is the first time I have worked with Kate and I’m finding it insightful, easy, fun and challenging (in the best possible way!). I am so very grateful she is taking the time to help us on our journey and I already have plans to approach her with other projects! Look out, Kate. You brought this on yourself!

Christopher J Orton – Then, Now & Next

 

Kate and I have been friends for many years. As an actor I have been directed by her in several workshop productions. So, when it came to choosing a Director and Dramaturge to help and guide me as a writer, she was my first and only choice.
As the drafts advanced, Kate had insights that my writing partner and I would never have considered and expressed them in a constructive and helpful way, which was invaluable to the process.
What makes Kate unique is that she understands story from all sides; what the audience needs, what the actors need and what the creatives and producers need.

Jon Robyns – Then, Now & Next

 

Working with Kate was brilliant. She really ‘got’ the piece, honoured the vision and brought it to life. It was a highly enjoyable and rewarding process!

Tamar Broadbent – The List

 

Kate is our go-to dramaturg for our musical theatre work for young audiences. Her considered notes and advice always jump straight to the heart of any problem we’re rubbing up against, and her experience across a wide range of new musical theatre means that she approaches dramaturgy through a directors eyes, which is invariably just what we need. We were commissioned to write a show with very strict perimeters in terms of a cast size of 2 and a tourable set, but a full and diverse community of characters and locations. Kate’s advice on theatrical devices that we could use to facilitate double casting, and ways we could think about using set and design as an integral part of the way we approached storytelling was invaluable. Working with her, our restrictions seemed like a theatrical gift rather than a limitation.

Jen Green and Caroline Wigmore – The Gingerbread Man, Errol’s Garden

 

Working with Kate was hugely rewarding and a great pleasure. With her long experience of new writing and workshops, Kate guided us through the rapids of a first workshop. With her invaluable dramaturgical advice, she delivered us safe, happy and enriched, through to a successful reading and ready for the next stage.

Karl Lewkowicz – The Queen and I

 

Kate’s support and dramaturgical skills contributed enormously to the success of our reading. She is a calm, warm presence in the rehearsal room, a strong leader in a workshop setting and a clear-eyed guide on script development.

Amy Rosenthal – The Queen and I

 

Working with Kate on The Battle of Boat was an incredibly useful and fulfilling process. Having such a creative mind look through our work and offer a fresh perspective became a key element in the development of the show. Kate’s knowledge and creativity is both deep and intuitive and she was able to find the core of the show and make suggestions which we simply hadn’t thought of. This enabled us to revisit the piece in its current form and make various tweaks to bring the pacing and narrative into sharper focus. We found working with Kate to be so illuminating, we then brought her in on our next show The Masters of Mystery for her input and found it equally as useful. She was a delight to work with (it’s never easy dealing with precious creatives) and always respectful of our material.

Ethan Lewis Maltby and Jenna Donnelly – The Battle of Boat and Masters of Mystery 

 

We were new to writing for stage when we worked with Kate on Super Hero as part of NYMT’s 2018 season. We are so incredibly grateful to have worked with Kate, and her advice has been invaluable for our careers. We worked together to produce a one act musical in just over one week. Throughout the process, Kate’s input helped us to mould the musical into its full potential under very strict time constraints. Despite having to graft together to pull it off, we still had tonnes of fun. A fantastic, patient and intuitive director, and would certainly recommend her as a dramaturg to writers new and experienced alike.

Adam Johnson and Henry Roadnight – Super Hero

 

Kate’s great skill is in taking something to pieces with tact and humour and a real understanding of the mechanics of a piece of writing – and then – more importantly – helping one to put it back together again. Her other great ability is in assisting you to write the piece that you want to write, and not another version that someone else might want to write!  I recommend Kate for dramaturgical work without hesitation.  She is a joy to work with.

Chris Burgess – That’s Jewish Entertainment and Yes, Miss