“The Dramaturgy of Public Policy”

thumbsI’ve had the great good fortune to have had several interactions recently with the brilliant Roberto Bedoya, artist, arts administrator, public intellectual, and someone who has earned the title of “thought leader.” The first of these interactions was at the 3 Million Stories Conference hosted on the ASU campus, then two weeks later when he returned as a guest on our Pave Speakers Series talking about “Property Rights, Human Rights, and Places,” and then this week during the ArtPlace Summit held in downtown Phoenix. It was there that I heard him use the phrase, “the dramaturgy of public policy.”

The dramaturgy of public policy.” And with those words, I could almost hear the heretofore tenuously connected gears of theatrical design and public policy analysis mesh together and begin 70px-Cog-scripted-svg.svgrunning smoothly in my head. “Of course!” said the voice in my head, “you understand policy the way you analyze a script dramaturgically: the characters, the setting, the given conditions, the motivations, the inciting action…” I thought to myself: Dramaturgy can be the entry point to understanding policy analysis for the theatre makers, dancers, and visual artists in my policy class. The garbage can model and policy streams could be thrown out the (policy) window in favor of a metaphor these students can relate to: policy as dramatic script.

Thank you, Roberto!


About lindaessig

Linda Essig is Dean of the College of Arts & Letters at Cal State LA and principal/owner of Creative Infrastructure LLC. The opinions expressed on creativeinfrastructure are her own and not those of Cal State LA. You can follow her on twitter @LindaInPhoenix.
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