Interviews with Dramaturgs Marina Jansen (Musical Theatre '25) and Caitlin Pfaff (Drama & Theatre Studies '22)
1. What was the most interesting part of being a dramaturg? Marina Jansen: "I have learned so much about the Regency/Georgian era of England! It was such an interesting time with very different values and ideas than we have today. I loved learning about a different culture and society."
Caitlin Pfaff: "The most interesting thing I have learned throughout this process would be how to create a website. I have never made one before this experience and I thought it was a very hard task that involved coding or a strong sense of technology. However, I learned the software and with the help of the dramaturgy team, it became a lot of fun!"
2. What was your favorite thing to do as a dramaturg? Marina Jansen: "My favorite thing to do as a dramaturg was working with the other dramaturgs and with Dr. Shawyer. We really clicked throughout this process and had wonderful collaboration and effort."
Caitlin Pfaff: "My favorite thing to do as a dramaturg is to be in the rehearsal room. I love the feeling of researching while also seeing the show come together. The process has been so much fun to watch and participate in."
3. What about this production stands out to you? Marina Jansen: "I love how this production pushes boundaries in terms of gender and specific roles. We have some gender-bent casting and performers playing multiple characters! It adds a fresh modern touch to this classic tale."
Caitlin Pfaff: "The main thing about this production that stands out is that this is a female-centered story. Professor Shively and Dr. Shawyer have chosen to highlight Elinor and Marianne's relationship as sisters rather than their marriages. Additionally, the majority of the creative team is female-identifying, and I think that is extremely powerful due to the lack of female representation within the performing arts. As someone who is female-identifying and wants to pursue a career in the arts, this is also important to me."
4. If you could describe this process in one word, what would it be? Marina Jansen: "Intellectual!"
Caitlin Pfaff: "I would describe this process as "thrilling." Not only is the show fast-paced and thrilling, but every day working on it has been thrilling as well. Despite the long hours I found this work and research to be extremely fun and fulfilling as well. It has been a while since I have been in a rehearsal room, so just being in the room also added to my experience positively too."